Archive for September 1st, 2021

September 1, 2021

Casa de Campo de Madrid!

And as I am with the parks of Madrid, and already told you my other favorites ,and Retiro, why not the biggest in Madrid, Casa de Campo or Country House Park. Located in the district of Moncloa-Aravaca is the largest in Madrid with 1772 hectares or 80K m2 ; it is ,also the biggest in Europe 6,5 times bigger than Hyde Park in London and 2X bigger than Bois de Boulogne in Paris. It is 2,5 x bigger then Phoenix park in Dublin,  and 5x bigger than Central Park in New York. My many souvenirs of living and visiting my beloved Madrid. It is ,also, next to the forest of Pardo where the Zarzuela castle and residence of the king of Spain

All started briefly with King Felipe II who in 1560 thereabouts purchase the land after he decides to put his court in Madrid. Later king Fernando VI the area is declared a royal forest and served as hunting grounds. It is now managed by the city of Madrid and serves well all residents and visitors alike since 1931. I remember going here back in 1971 with my dear late mom Gladys to see the attraction park and it was awesome memories forever. I was able to take in several times with my dear late wife Martine and my boys; indeed, Madrid is more than a visit to me nowdays. Picture below my wife and boy and others are older, just for the memories of always!

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There are many wonderful things to do and see here. These are ; a Parque de Atracciones or amusement park , easiest to get there is by metro Batán on line 10,in this park you will enjoy three different areas including Nickelodeon Land, Lanzadera (free fall attraction) Tornado and Abismo that are rollercoasters, and the Walking Dead Experience. You ,also, have a ZOO de Madrid , here you will see incredible animals such as giant panda, monocled cobra, Asian elephant, Siberian tigers and even dolphins. In total, you will see more than 6000 animals of 500 different species. There is the famous (my favorite ride lol) cable car or Téléferico linking you to Paseo del Pintor Rosales. During the trip you will hear an explanation (in Spanish) about the history of Madrid and the monuments you will see during this time. Don’t forget your camera because there will be a lot of chances to take amazing pictures of the city and bridges of Madrid. And of course, you have the Aquarium one of the biggest in Spain. All wonderful spots for the whole family!

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There is,also, a youth hostal, exposition park, and the Venta de Batàn (storage for the bullring corridas). There is of course clean air!, soft ground and silence; the perfect combination for jogging and running, and you can choose flat paths or those with different slopes etc. You can ride a bike or rent one for the day in stores located along the Manzanares river. It’s a perfect spot for mountain bikes but there are also areas suitable for regular bikes. There are great areas for picnic under a tree or in one of the tables and benches all around the park. When you need to eat some snacks there is also a cafeteria right in the middle of the park. There ,also, a complex for cultural activities  IFEMA , all along the year with concerts, exhibitions, fairs, sport events all year long. In the park you can find a small lake with many aquatic activities such as Kayaking and boat paddles. During the weekends, many families come to the park for a picnic.

Other things to see here are the primitive palace of the Vargas was property of king Felipe II; you see the gallery of grottos or the Galería de las Grutas  in the gardens or  jardines de El Reservado, next to the palace. These are grottos artificially done from the 16C that were decorated with fountains, sculptures and motifs inspired by nature; from the five trails that was created now only two and part of a third one are open. You see the bridge or  Puente de la Culebra  built in 1782 on orders of king Carlos III by  Francesco Sabatini, the artistic work most representative still there and an example of Italian baroque style work. Sabatini also did four other bridges of which only exist today the Puente de la Agachadiza and Puente del Álamo Negro with its three original blinded eyes and the brick structure covered with cement. The Puente de la Culebra is in an area known as the El Zarzon next to the pathway of Prado Rodajes and the road to Zarzon where there is a small dam with waters of the Meaques creek on the place it is known as the small lake or  “Estanque Chico“, surrounded by thick vegetation. Most of the Casa de Campo is surrounded by a stone wall with 70 cm thick and done with brick and cement and chalk. The upper section is covered with granite stone with some parts rebuilt or reduced; and you can still see the ones given access to the Club de Campo that were the old gates of Aravaca, and Castilla. They had small gates to allow pedestrians to go thru such as the ones of  Agachadiza, Casa Quemada, Los Pinos , and Zarzón, all rebuilt.

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Another element were the wrough iron grills that gave access to the creeks to allow water in with a set of three grills and available to open them in case of flooding. You can see these wall grilles in the creeks of  Meaques, Prado del Rey,  Zorra  and two at  Antequina. The railroad bridge or puente del ferrocarril, was built in 1860; all bricks and granite with a half point arch on the road to Robles, and have several fountains such as  the  triangle or Triángulo  by the lake and the Neveros  nearby crossing the square or Glorieta de Patines; and some older such as the Zarzón, from 1898, even if a bit change; see also the fountain or Fuente de Rodajos even older , and the  potager or Huerta de la Partida dating from the 16C to give service to the palace de los Vargas, for which a canal for irrigation was done named the La Partida, coming from the creek of Meaques, as time went on the potager lost its function from the 20C onwards and by 1928  it was done on the land an experimental potager of medicinal plants.

The harbor for the Lago/lake of Casa de Campo where you will find boats and paddle boats etc up to four persons per boat where they can be rented for a period of times usually 45 minutes but check for the latest on site. It is located at Paseo del Embarcadero, 8 , check the latest for hours due to the pandemic but normally are Mondays to Sundays from 8h30 to sunset , prices are according to the day Mondays to Fridays 6€ and Saturdays and Sundays 8€ again check for latest on site ticket counter or call ahead . The best locations to reach the Casa de Campo are by the metro station Lago, you have the lake, pools and tennis courts, the expo center, and expo fair. Near the metro station Casa de Campo you have the Zoo and Aquarium, and near the station Batàn you have the amusement park.

You can walk or bike to reach the Casa de Campo by eleven entrances such as  Río or  Rey and Moreras , Batán,  Venta,  Dante, Grande and Ángel; also,  Aravaca, Somosaguas, Rodajos ,and Zarzón , and by here entrance to another half dozen small pedestrian gates .  You can do this by bus on lines 25, 31, 33, 36, 39, 55 y 65 on the south ,and 41 and 75 on east;  and 160 and 161 by the north. By metro you can do so on line 5  Casa de Campo, and line 10  Lago, Batán , and Casa de Campo. By auto is only allowed by the Avenida de Portugal, to reach the parkings located next to the amusement park, Zoo, and cable car terminus, lake area and some sports installations; these access are open from 06h to 00H30 or 01h0 at the end of the food kiosks time or the activities at the amusement park.

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The city of Madrid on Casa de Campo (as usual rather long links sorry): https://www.madrid.es/portales/munimadrid/es/Inicio/El-Ayuntamiento/Medio-ambiente/Parques-y-jardines/Patrimonio-Verde/Parques-en-Madrid/Parque-de-la-Casa-de-Campo?vgnextfmt=default&vgnextoid=482a315919a9e210VgnVCM1000000b205a0aRCRD&vgnextchannel=38bb1914e7d4e210VgnVCM1000000b205a0aRCRD

The city of Madrid tourist office on Casa de Campo districthttps://www.esmadrid.com/en/madrid-neighbourhoods/casa-campo

The city of Madrid tourist office on Casa de Campo lakehttps://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/lago-de-la-casa-de-campo

There you go folks, another dandy spot in my dear Madrid. Hope you enjoy the ride and history, and see the beauty found in the Casa de Campo. It is a sublime place, love by all who comes here. You will love it too I am sure!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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September 1, 2021

The Retiro park, my Retiro, my Madrid!!

Ok so , tjhis is time to update a memorable mythical place in my heart for me. It was home away from home and just love it enormously, can’t visit Madrid without been at the Parque del Buen Retiro! I have become nostalgic again, and means coming back to my beloved Madrid.  I have several posts in my blog because not only is my Spain ,but lived there in beautiful moments of my life; Retiro park, my Retiro, my Madrid!! Hope you enjoy the detail post and some reference pictures.

I had to come back to the Retiro park, yes it was practically my backyard, not far from my house when lived in Madrid and many times running, chasing,and eating , playing you name it in it. The park of my first loves, my youth, my adolescent my early days of free life in my beloved dear Madrid. Even here, my journey with what later became my wife started, my dear late wife Martine (our first trip out of France with her I had to take her to Madrid and the Retiro was grand ) she always loved to come here each year with me and then with the boys. I can say my life can be resume with one word Retiro. This is Madrid at its best, yes I know ,there are many wonderful monuments and great museums people go to, but for me this is it. If can only have time for one thing would be to come to the Retiro park.

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What’s in the name, well , it is known as the Parque del Buen Retiro,and popularly call simply El Retiro. In its historique life ,it was also known as the Parque de Madrid, as you can still see written in some gates or Puertas coming to the park. . This was used when it was made part of the city of Madrid in the last third of the 19C. It is, also,known as the Jardines del Retiro or Jardines del Buen Retiro, even if this name has a restriction covering only the area created in the end of the 20C where today you have the Palacio de Cibeles on lands that belonged to the Royal Palace.

And, will give you a run down for things to see and do in it. Of course, not exhaustive, heck you can get almost anything there now…  Let me briefly tells you about some of the wonders inside the Parque del Buen Retiro.

The gates or Puertas:

Puerta de Felipe IV (or Mariana de Neoburgo) is the oldest gate today in Madrid done in 1680.

Puerta de la Independencia, done in 1817 as entry gate to the Casino de la Reina located in the Ronda de Toledo. In 1885 it was transferred to the Retiro park by the Cibeles fountain and square.

Puerta de España done in 1893 located at Calle Alfonso XII connecting to the Calle Antonio Maura and the big lake or Estanque Grande by the Paseo de la Argentina (before name paseo de las Estatuas or statues)

Puerta de Madrid at the corner of Calle de Alcalà and Calle O’Donnell, it is open to the Paseo de Fernán Núñez (or Paseo de Coches/ carriages), the longest in the Retiro (the Promenade).

Puerta de Hernani, first built in 1888 in metal, replaced in 1943 for a bigger one, located in the Calle de Alcalà in front is my family Church Iglesia de San Manuel y San Benito. My closest entrance to the park!

The monument/buildings:(see posts)

The Ermita de San Pelayo y San Isidoro, built in the 11C outside the gates of Avila and brought to the Retiro park in 1896; now only the abside and a lateral door remains.

Real Observatorio Astronomico, built in 1790 on the height of the hill or cerro de San Blas in the Retiro that today are next to the Prado museum and the Royal Botanical Gardens part of the idea to give Madrid a district of Natural Sciences!

Palacio de Velàzquez while holding events in the Retiro park one of them was done here built between 1881-1883 for the national exposition of mining, metarulogical, ceramics, glass and mineral waters.

Palacio de Cristal (Crystal palace) an architecture of glass and metal to house different species of vegetables coming from the Philippines due to the exposition of 1887 on the country. As well as the Palacio de Velazquez ,the Palacio de Cristal is used for exposition center of the Reina Sofia Museum.

And it has many fountains , such as:

They  have from the 18C, two fountains in the parterre garden that are twin representations . there is also , the Fuente de la Alcachofa built in 1871. From the 19C , we have the Fuente Egipcia located next to the big pond or Estanque Grande as well as smaller fountains such as the Fuente de la Salud y Fuente de la Gruta decorated with corals simulating caves, and the Fuente de los Galapagos with a pedestal like a palm with children figures mount on dolphins on the base; this one was first set up at the street Red de San Luis in the Gran Via in 1831. In 1879 it was transferred to the Retiro park at the Plaza de Nicaragua, near the big pond. The popular Fuente del Angel Caido built in 1885 and some said the only fountain of a devil in Spain . From the 20C we have the Fuente de Cuba done in 1929 as a monument to the nation of Cuba as well as the Fuente de la Gaviota 1962 located in the gardens or Jardines de Cecilio Rodríguez (garden inside Retiro park ) surrounded by a sculpture group.

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There are walks, trails, promenades inside Retiro park , my favorites are:

The Parterre of course. One of the first gardens on the French style done in Spain; work began in 1716 and finished in 1722.

Paseo de la Argentina (or de las Estatuas (Statues) ) there are parallel to the Parterre. Takes its name because of the statues on its sides belonging to a series of Spanish kings created by the middle of the 18C to decorate the corners and niches of the Royal Palace on orders of king Carlos III ,however, he later figure they were too much and removed them. After several decades in storage, by 1843, they were rescue and put in several spots around Madrid and elsewhere in Spain. In Madrid, you can see them at the Plaza de Oriente and the Jardines de Sabatini gardens (see post), both near the Palacio Real.

Jardín madrileño. Came from reforms pushed by queen Isabel II from 1841 and this garden is located to the south of the Parterre.

Paseo de Fernán Núñez (or de Coches (carriages)).Done in 1874 and vehicules were still permitted on it until 1981. It is a big promenade all along the park. Awesome walks.

La Rosaleda, done in 1915 by famous Spanish gardener Cecilio Rodriguez (1865-1953) similar to the one at the jardin de Bagatelle in the Bois de Boulogne in Paris from which the gardener brought 12000 roses of more than 350 species, and created a greenhouse of steel and glass very near the Paseo de Fernàn Nûnez. Upon the Spanish Civil war it was badly damaged and was rebuilt it in 1941.

Jardines del Arquitecto Herrero Palacios (former Casa de Fieras or zoo) ; this was the old zoo of Casa de Fieras created in 1774 by king Carlos III in the street Cuesta de Moyano (where today you have a book stalls fairs each year) In 1830 it was transferred to the Retiro park upon instructions of king Fernando VII. Eventually, transferred to the Casa de Campo in 1972 (where the zoo still is) the place was name after the architect that was the gardener at the time. The place is very nice and it is preserved many parts of the simple old zoo like the pavilions, cages, and sculptures from the original zoo. Some were decorated and the pavilion called La Leonera o( the lioness from the first third of the 19C now it is a library on site!

Jardines de Cecilio Rodriguez, the pioneer gardener of Retiro park who built one of his original gardens here as an extention of the Casa de Fieras (old zoo) done in 1918. When the Spanish Civil War destroyed it and the same gardener rebuilt it in 1941. On the rebuilding he change the decoration and laidout of the garden with a rectangular floor flank on three sides by pavilions that are now used for official events. IT houses several elements of gardening, fountains, pergolas, basins, ornamental columns, chess floors and sculptures groups from Hispanic Arabesque look.

Bosque del Recuerdo ( rememberance forest) was done in 2004 at the Plaza del Emperador Carlos V in honor of the victims of the terrorist act of March 11, by 2005 was place at the southwest side of Retiro park very near the Atocha train station. It is an artificial mountain surrounded by a basin on which are planted 170 cypress trees, 22 olive trees in honor of the 192 fallen on the terrorist act.

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The Retiro park also has as we call it Caprichos or whims usually of a king or queen. Two of them ,I have already discussed it above such as the Fuente Egipcia (Egyptian style fountain) and Casa de Fieras (the zoo). Those now still there are

Casita del Pescador. Fisherman’s house is a small house of square shape and two levels with roof in zinc and water spouts.

Montaña Artificial. Also known as the Montaña Rusa de los Gatos (rollercoaster mountain of the cats) because of cat sculptures on it. It is a hill on steps with lots of vegetation and corals on which you see several cascades that falls into a basin . There is a trail on the sides crossing several bridges with towers like a fortress in miniature and inside there is a funerary space from which you can come by three doors .However, check because it was closed for deterioration and do not know if re open.

Casa de Vacas. Or house of cows here it used to milked cows and provide milk. Right now it has been rebuilt due to the storm of 1886 and the fire of 1982, Today it is a cultural center of the city of Madrid.

Casa del Contrabandista. The contraband house, as the previous one it has been rebuilt due to its use as a hostal lodging during the 20C and 21C. It was designed as a water wheel that is why circular and covered like a dome. At the roots of it had a collection of automates with Andalucian motifs such as a priest, and a bandid contraband that is why the name of the house.

Castillete medieval. A small medieval castle originally called the Torre del Retiro or the tower of Retiro with a middle ages aspect with four angle towers, three levels and a flat cover. At the end of the 20C was given to the Meteorological service currently it is without use and in bad shape.

Some of the ponds or estanques in the Retiro park you can see today are

Estanque Ochavado (or de las Campanillas (small bells)) The date of construction is not known but it has to be before the big lake or Estanque Grande. It is done with eight sides and a small isle in the center with a coral decoration today

Estanque Grande or big lake, was ordered built in 1634 done to extract water for the Royal Palace and use for fishing and boating as well as theatrical shows . In 1817 it was built a pavillon with oriental designs and later destroyed tobuilt what you see today the Monument to Alfonso XII. In 1917,it was done a new one located on the north side that caught fire and again was rebuilt in 1926 as the one that has reach our days. Just a must ,gorgeous spot many memories crying just to write on it.

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Ría de Patinar. An skating stream done in 1876 to replace a previous one that is now at the Rosaleda. It was chosen an area shady to keep the water colder frozen even so that the ice skating could be done, it has an oval shape around a garden isle.

Estanque del Palacio de Cristal ; small lake right in front of the palace built in 1887. Done in a rocky cave and a nice water basin.

Rias del Estanque Grande y Ria de La Chopera; on each side of the monument to Alfonso XII the two merge.160 for the Estanque and 200 for Chopera meters long , not known when they were created but probably end of the 19C, shown in maps until 1900. The Ria de La Chopera is from the same time and has 200 meters running.

Estanque Rustico, the gardener Cecilio Rodriguez did this one to provide water to his gardens from 1918 , the lake has a bridge and a masonry factory with brick lines.

There are the statues still left in the Retiro park from the times of king Carlos III, these are kings done in the 18C along the Paseo de la Argentina or de las Estatuas along the paseo from west to east are Fernando IV of Leon and Castilla, Sancho IV of Leon and Castilla, Enrique II of Castilla, Garcia I de Leon, Urraca of Leon and Castilla, Berenguela of Castilla, an empty pedestal follows then, Gundemaro, Visigoth king, Carlos I of Spain, Carlos II of Spain, Ramon Berenguer IV count of Barcelona and prince of Aragon, Chintila, Visigoth king , Alfonso I of Aragon, and Sancho IV el Bravo of Castilla.

There are ornamental monuments such as these:

Monumento General Martinez Campos, done in 1907 at the Plaza de Guatemala behind the monument to Alfonso XII, is an equestrian statue in bronze. He was sent to Cuba to try to pacified the independence rebellion in vain

Monument Benito Pérez Galdos done in a square of the same name next to the Paseo de Fernàn Nùnez. It is made of white stone of Lérida, and with 2,10 meters high ,1,3 meters wide and 2,2 meters deep opened in 1919 with the presence of the actor himself invalid and blind.

Monument Alfonso XII, it was called a national contest to built it upon the request of the regent queen Maria Cristina, the winner finally did it inspired on the monument of William I of Berlin, built this one in 1922 . It is at the west side of the lake or Estanque Grande and has 30 meters high, 86 meters long, and 58 meters wide. Around the king you have statues of representation of peace, progress and liberty . Around the hemicycle you have other statues representing The army and marine, the sciences, agriculture, Arts, industry, and two lions.

Monument Santiago Ramon y Cajal, in the Paseo de Venezuela done in granite stone and bronze. In the center of a basin with Etruscan figures and fountains representing the life and death, done in 1926.

Monument Jacinto Benavente, is in the parterre garden forming an axis with the Puerta de Felipe IV and Cason del Buen Retiro (now part of the Prado museum) . It has a female figure of Greek inspiration with arms rise showing a mask referring to the theatre one of the genre of Jacinto Benavente, it was done by popular donations and finished in 1962.

There is extensive flora and fauna here as well as great sports installations. Did I told you enough? Cheer love and beauty here, a must in Madrid!

Some webpages to help you plan your trip to the awesome Retiro Park are:

The Madrid tourist office on Retiro : https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/parque-del-retiro

The city of Madrid on the Retiro (long link sorry): https://www.madrid.es/portales/munimadrid/es/Inicio/El-Ayuntamiento/Parques-y-jardines/Patrimonio-Verde/Parques-en-Madrid/Jardines-de-El-Buen-Retiro/?vgnextfmt=default&vgnextoid=499561945d9ec210VgnVCM2000000c205a0aRCRD&vgnextchannel=38bb1914e7d4e210VgnVCM1000000b205a0aRCRD

The regional Comunidad de Madrid tourist board on the Retirohttp://turismomadrid.es/es/descubre/madrid/de-inter%C3%A9s/5111-parque-del-retiro.html

There you go folks, I think you get an idea, this is a must, a lingering must in Madrid. Cannot come to the city without visiting day and night. To me ,it is a pilgrimage each time. To Madrid to heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day: yes, and the Retiro is a big spot looking down!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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September 1, 2021

My parks of Madrid !!!

It’s time to talk about my other love, Madrid and it’s parks I share while in my adolescent life and later. Let’s take you on a brief tour of several parks, that I have been to, played in them, chase for my first love, and oh well many other things even introducing them to my then wife and boys. Madrid is invigorating to the soul, active, modern, no taboos, free, open, lively, enthusiastic even in the worst economic situation, so what, its Madrid, all worth it a million times.  As have posts and pictures on many of them in my blog, this would be sort of an introduction to them in my black and white series. Hope you enjoy it as I.

The park closest to my old home in Madrid was the Parque El Calero, on Metro Line 5 Quintana or Carmen, it has nice promenade and an open air auditorium for concerts and cultural events. Also a petanque field and bike paths. You can easily go from the metro Quintana in Calle de Alcalà (where I lived) up avenida del Sagrado Corazon to it. My last trip the area has change but still a good walk into the real Madrid at daytime.

The next park is more for the tourist /visitor, this is the Parque Quinta de la Fuente del Berro. Early on it was a farm or Quinta de Miraflores ordered by king Felipe IV as a new royal site with more than 13 hectares (adding the gardens or Jardines Sancho Davila). It is on the limits of the Calle Enrique D’Almonte, Avenida de Alcalde Saenz de Baranda, and the M-30 (first beltway of Madrid) until reaching the Calle de Alcalà and the bridge or Puente de Ventas parallel to the M-30 to join up with the Jardines Sancho Davila; all total about 53K m2 of green. It is not far from the Monumental Ventas bullring. The main entrance is by Calle Enrique D’Almonte with two small towers in brick; and you can see the old palace remaining of what it was before.  The park is well designed with several slopes with prairies and rustic stairs of stone. One of the things to see here is the Monument to Bécquer ,and the statue to the Russian writer Pushkin, a fountain with a stone jar next to the main entrance, a cascading waterfall, and two small lakes. You can see more on Fuente del Berro in Madrid tourist officehttps://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/parque-de-la-fuente-del-berro

I walk you to the Parque del Oeste, (see post) ,a gorgeous part of Madrid. This park is by Moncloa between the avenida del Arco de la Victoria, and the Paseo del Pintor Rosales; next is the railroad track and the Avenida de Seneca, traversing the park are the Paseo de Ruperto Chapí, Paseo de Camoens, Calle Francisco and Calle Jacinto Alcàntara.  Worked on the park began in 1893 and the first phase was finished in 1905 with 87 hectares between the streets of today Calle Moret and Calle Seneca in addition to a carriages street ,Paseo de Camoens. IN 1906 the second phase continue the work and the park reached the Cuartel de la Montaña (HQ of army during Franco) and today it is where the Templo de Debod (gift from Egypt) is located.  The park was extended parallel to the Paseo Del Pintor Rosales . In the years 1956 -1973 it was enlarged not only by the Cuartel de la Montaña but also the rosary section of La Rosaleda and the Parque de la Montaña today the Templo of Debod (see post). The northern parts of the park is the nicest as well as the oldest with an artificial creek of 600 meters long.  Special attention to the big oak tree the grandfather or el Abuelo this is a Cedrus atlantica; and two sophora pendulum trees , and a majestic Ginko, etc all really nice.  At the end of the promenade of plaintains or paseo de Plátanos, you can see birds in the fauna center or Centro de Avifauna with informative panels. You can reach here on metro lines 3 and 6 at Moncloa , lines 2,3 and 10 at Plaza de España , and lines 6 and 10 at Príncipe Pío; also, buses 21, 46, 74, 160, 161, and A , as well as Cercanías train at  Príncipe Pío. A real trip recommended. More on the parque del oeste on the Madrid tourist office: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/parque-del-oeste

Moving right along to a garden nearby ,an extension of the above park too we reach the Jardín de la Rosaleda  with more than 500 variaties of Roses from the world over; perfect for a family walk and beautiful pictures. La Rosaleda del Parque del Oeste exist since 1956.  This was the work of the main gardener here who was inspired  from the great work done in Paris etc at the end of the 19C early 20C as well as the one at Retiro done in 1915.  The central part has small lakes and here you can see the fountain of youth or Fuente de la Juventud, done by Federico Coullant Valera, who, also did the alas of victory that adorn the Metropolis building in the Gran Vía , and the Monument to Cervantes in the  Plaza de España.  On the laterals you will see arches that you can go in, walk by them like if you were in an underground passageway where the walls are decorated with green leaves and colorful roses. Plenty of trails here to walk into the lawns,and find many variaties of roses, their origins and year that participated and won a prize. The best here is the cable car of many rides of youth and now family trips this is the Teleférico de Rosales (see post).  You can climb into the mountain of Principe Pio and visit the Templo de Debod (see post) and its gardens, and see from there wonderful views of the Palacio Real (see post) or Royal Palace and the Cathedral of the Almudena (see post). The hours here are from 10h to 20h every day and in summer to 21h, check always for hours. The entrance is free. The Rosaleda del Parque del Oeste  is located in the Calle Rosaleda s/n, a bit away from Paseo del Pintor Rosales,closer to the Templo de Debod,and a few meters from the cable car /Teleférico. More from the Madrid tourist office: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/rose-garden-oeste-park

This is a bit off the beaten path for most but it is Madrid at it local best. Come to the Parque del Cerro del Tío Pío in the neighborhood of Numancia, district of Puente de Vallecas, and extending over neighborhoods or colonies of residences  Colonia de Fontarrón, Colonia de Santa Ana , and Colonia de los taxistas.  It is locally known as the park of the seven tits or Parque de las Siete Tetas because of its peaks or hills.  You come here to see the city sunset or sunrise and see most of the city. The park is bordered by the Calle Benjamín Palencia, Calle Camino de Valderribas, Calle Sierra de Cuerda Larga , and Calle Maruja García Romero.  It is recommended for a panoramic view of the city from this park as well as the mountains outside of Madrid.  The park has 3 entrances and on the highest there is a lookout , bar, and game zone for children as well as machines to do outdoors sport.  There is ,also, a bike trail. On the lower part of the park you find sports complexes for indoor football/soccer, basketball, and ping pong. You reach here by metro light line 1 stations Portazgo and Buenos Aires as well as buses lines 54 , 141 , and 143 .   More from the Madrid tourist office on Parque del Cerro del Tio Piohttps://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/cerro-tio-pio-park

We come to one dear to me this is the Parque de El Capricho (see post) on a green zone in the neighborhood of Alameda de Osuna in the district of Barajas ,yes the town of the airport of Madrid.  It was ordered built by the Duchess of Osuna between 1787 and 1839 , and it has now an area of 14 hectares; with the only unique Romanesque garden in Madrid.  It has a labyrinth of shrubs, buildings, small palaces, small chapel and a beautiful dance hall as well as creeks and lakes where you can find swans and ducks. Here, the weekends you find concerts, theater, dance etc in the so call «Tardes de Capricho» or craving afternoons. You can see here a bunker at the Jaca position the password of the general headquarters of the Republican army during the Spanish Civil War 1936-39. More from the Madrid tourist office on the Parque del Capricho: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/parque-del-capricho

Another park ,known later in life is the Parque Quinta de Torre Arias located in the neighborhood of Salvador, district of  San Blas-Canillejas; the old home of my maternal aunt.  It is located between the Calle de Alcalà, Calle Rodríguez Ayuso,  Calle Eduardo Terán, Calle de Fernando Mijares , and Calle Marquesado de Sta. Marta. This was the old farm of Torre Arias with 17 hectares with very nice garden to find 51 species of trees some of more than 300 years old.  It belongs to the nobility of Madrid from 1600 until our days today.  The park is created after the passing of the last owner. In 1986, the owners signed an agreement to give it to the city as a donation that finally become owned in 2013 by the city of Madrid. You can reach here on metro line 5 Torre Arias, and buses lines 104, 77, 140, and 153. More from the Madrid tourist office on the Parque Quinta de Torre Ariashttps://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/quinta-torre-arias

And last ,but not least for this post I like to tell you about the Parque de la Bombilla, (see post) on 13 hectares running parallel to the Parque del Oeste by which can communicate with Passarella’s trails. The park is located between the Avenida de Valladolid, Ciudad Universitaria, and the old North Station that is bisected by train of the cercanias lines C7  and C10. Each June 13 the park is host to the festivities of Saint Anthony  as well as the circus in winter and the summer cinema showing in summer.  It has a tracing from the Royal Palace where in the old days royal carriages took the nobility by the Calle Bailén, to the forest of  El Pardo. This tree lined road was given the name of the King’s way or Senda del Rey  and part of it can still be done inside the park.  At the end of the 19C it was changed into municipals garden center and the tramway cars.  In the interior of the park there are benches, prairies, stair terraces where water runs,a lake and a fountain. You can reach it on metro lines 6 and 10  Príncipe Pío ,and buses lines 41, 46, 75,  and N20; also cercanias lines  C1, C7, C10 ,and regional at Principe Pio. More info from Madrid tourist office on parque de la Bombillahttps://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/parque-bombilla

Another mythical park of Madrid for me is the Parque de la Quinta de los Molinos located in the neighborhood of Salvador, district of San Blas-Canillejas .  It is considered a historic park located in between my Calle de Alcalà , Calle Miami, Calle de Juan Ignacio Luca de Tena ,and the Avenida del Veinticinco de Septiembre.  It has 25 hectares and in the park includes great lawns and prairies of trees with lots of olives, pines eucaplyptus, and figs trees, even thus the start of the park of the almond trees that flowered every spring offering a wonderful spectacle.  You can find here at the extreme north of the park a palace from early 20C , gardens and lawns, there is ,also a lake, windmill (why the name of the park) and a building known as the watch house or Casa del Reloj.  The park has trails of dirt and pavement bordered by plantains trees from the main entrance  in my Calle de Alcalà to the palace.  During the summer, there are many activities here with concerts on the Summers of the city activity or Veranos de la Villa. Due to its location by Calle de Alcalà the access is easy from anywhere in the city; next to the main entrance there is the metro Suanzes, for line 5  (mine!!!) and also by Calle de Alcalà you get the buses lines  77  and  104.  By the Calle Juan Ignacio Luca de Tena you can catch buses lines 114  and 146, where there are two entries to the park. Other access to the park are at the Calle Miami on metro line 6  O’Donnell , and buses lines  2, 56, 69, 71, 143, 15, and 28. More ifrom Madrid tourist office on the parque de la Quinta de los Molinos: https://www.esmadrid.com/en/tourist-information/quinta-molinos

There you go folks, a wonderful walks and rides into my Madrid great parks/gardens. Hope you enjoy this ride into the parks of Madrid, my favorites of course , and there are others, but these are my favorite parks of Madrid.  Of course, see my posts on many of them including the unique Casa de Campo, and parque del Buen Retiro park. Glorious awesome not enough words. Madrid to heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it every day!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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