04 August, 2009

Parks & Stations... A memorial of sorts...

Yesterday, was a long LONG day indeed... It started at around 8.30am when I left the Hotel and headed for Madrid central. I first went to the Atocha main railway station. This is where, in 2004, terrorist bombings took place. There is a non descript memorial to the victims of this attack, but what I found far more important, in some ways and not to take away from the loss of so many lives, was the Garden inside what looks like the old railway station. It appears as though the multiple new platforms were moved to allow for the central meeting are with cafes, shops and of course, the Garden.

Atocha Station, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

Inside the Garden, there is a lot of little walkways, lighting and climate control sprays to maintain humidity. There is also a pond with aquatic plants, fish and turtles!

Atocha Station Garden, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Atocha Station Garden, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Atocha Station Garden Turtles, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

After checking out the station, I then headed over to the Parque del Retiro. This is a HUGE park, I suppose it is about the same size as work, but it is a very different layout, with many statues, fountains lakes where you can hire a boat and row. There is also a very well used fitness area. I sat on the lawns amongst the Peach trees, and watched for a couple of hours actually, enjoying the sun, whilst having lunch. I could not get over just how many people used the fitness equipment! It made me come to the conclusion, I HAVE to get fit again, and when I get home, it is ALL SYSTEMS GO to lose some weight!

Parque del Retiro Fountain, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.
Parque del Retiro Lake Fish, originally uploaded by AussiePomm.

After lunch, and nearly 7pm, I slowly walked around the rest of the Parque, and came across the Mto. Alfonso Xii which is a very grand structure, Roman in style! More walking around and it was finally getting dark, now nearly 10pm, so I thought I had better head for the Metro and head back to the Hotel. I ended up getting to the cit centre, tried to find the spot where I saw the Paella for dinner, failed, so it is on for tonight! I got back to the Hotel at 12.30, showered and relaxed but very sore indeed...

So far today, 10.30am wake up, breakfast and shopping at the local shopping centre, and a swim in the pool. Camera battery is on charge, and as soon as it is ready, I am off to the Teleferico Madrid!

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