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A week in Madrid

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The end of February seemed like a good time to get out of Belgium for a week where the weather has been awful. . So now I have a week here in the Spanish capital and plan to make the most of it with taking in some soccer games, visiting some more stadiums, hitting museums, drinking cafe con leche, eating whatever looks delicious and also taking lots of photos and doing lots of writing. This gallery will track my time down here - February 24th to March 4th, 20013.
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Paseo de Recoletos, 20-22, 28001 Madrid, Spain
I was walking the streets of Madrid when I came across the national library. The only problem was, I wasn't allowed in the part where they had books. The building itself on the outside was amazing. I particularly loved the lights on both sides of...
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Calle del Payaso Fofó, 5, 28018 Madrid, Spain
Was hoping to get inside Estadio Vallecas, which is the home of Rayo Vallecano but alas, a stubborn gray haired man refused me passage, even after producing my international press pass. I did find some good food there however. I saw some nice...
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Calle del Payaso Fofó, 0, 28018 Madrid, Spain
After a La Liga game the night before, I wanted to visit yet another stadium but could only see it from the outside. I guess they were still cleaning up the mess from the game the day before. But this is where Rayo Vallecano plays in the Spanish...
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Calle de Juana Doña, 28045 Madrid, Spain
This building, which looks run-down but I think is still used for something, is close to the Legaszpi Metro station. It has something of a prison motif about it, with some children thrown in for good measure. From what I'm told it was once a...
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Calle de Velázquez, 136, 28006 Madrid, Spain
After arriving in Madrid and dropping the bag off at my daughter's, it was time for food and I was beyond hungry so we went to the closest place - a store called VIPS which was located just around the corner. Its a nice little store and in the...
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Paseo de la Virgen del Puerto, 67, 28005 Madrid, Spain
Madrid is a city for soccer lovers - they boast three teams in the city and one just a short distance south in the suburbs. Atletico, who usually play second fiddle to Real Madrid are actually having a great season and are ahead of their cross...
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Gran Vía, Madrid, Spain
(first of all ignore the address because that isn't it but the only option that I get) This small cafe is close to the metro stop Islas Filipinas and is my new favorite breakfast stop - two and a half euros for a cafe con leche, churros and a...
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Paseo de Recoletos, 20-22, 28001 Madrid, Spain
Outside the national library you will see several statues of literary men of Spain. One of the best and most famous is Cervantes, who penned Don Quoxite after spending a spell as a prisoner by the Ottomans. There is also a statue in another part...
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Plaza Padre Juan de Mariana, 1, 45002 Toledo, Spain
Walking through Toledo, I came across the Church of the Jesuits and saw a sign that said there was access to the two towers. Since I am one for a bird's eye view, I parted with just 2 Euros, had a look around the church (and was allowed to take...
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Callejón Potro, 5, 45003 Toledo, Spain
When the train pulled into Toledo, I knew right away that this wasn't NW Ohio! Built in the Neo-Mudéjar style, the station opened in 1920. The clock tower at the far end is an imitation of a typical Toledo tower. A train runs between Madrid and...
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28045 Madrid, Spain
I love bizarre and found some of it in Madrid. Behind the main train station are these two dolls heads that must be 7 feet high! These are much more interesting than the big head (and hand) at Les Halles in Paris.
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Toledo, Spain
Spain definitely loves to cach in on their favorite author, Cervantes. If you don't see a statue of him in a Spanish town, then you'll probably see one of his most famous character, Don Quoxite. Personally, I love the fact that they celebrate...
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Paseo de las Delicias, 61, 28045 Madrid, Spain
The train museum in Madrid is housed in an old railway station—one of the first in the city from the 1800s. The space is really amazing with about 50 trains from the late 1800s up til the 1960s—among the largest rail collections in Europe. One of...
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Paseo de las Delicias, 61, 28045 Madrid, Spain
This has got to be my favorite train in the Madrid train museum - its so retro yet also looks futuristic.
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28045 Madrid, Spain
Close to the Spanish railway museum is the metro stop Arganzuela - Planetario, which is on the #6 line, the circular one. As the name suggests, there is also a planetarium close by. The main wall in the station has a bit of a worldly motif as...
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Av. Teresa de Calcuta, s/n, 28903 Getafe, Madrid, Spain
True, Madrid has three professional soccer teams, but just south of the city (still accessible by Metro and about an hour from downtown) is the city of Getafe with a pretty decent La Liga team of its own, Getafe CF. The team goes by the nickname...
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Along the Grand Via in downtown Madrid, you look up at the buildings, and one will make you feel like you're in Paris, then another like you're in New York. The architects were given a lot of freedom when it came to designing the buildings along...
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Plaza de San Miguel, s/n, 28005 Madrid, Spain
I went by the san miguel market for a quick look around but that quick looked dragged on, especially when I found this one stand that sold different ports and sherries. This particular one was a kind of vermouth that reminded me of noilly prat...
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Calle de Cervantes, 10, 28014 Madrid, Spain
Obviously most of the books that you find in Spain are written in the Spanish language (a no brainer, I know) but you can find lots of English ones too. Libros is a chain bookstore, much like Barnes & Noble back in the USA, and they always have a...
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Calle de la Princesa, 27, 28008 Madrid, Spain
I don't know how many Starbucks there are in Madrid, but I'm guessing around 50 or so. I walked into the one in the photo yesterday (not 100% sure the address is correct), looked at the menu and the prices and walked straight out. Don't get me...
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Plaza de la Independencia, 7, 28001 Madrid, Spain
Don't miss Parque del Retiro—a stunning area complete with a lake, playgrounds, gardens, and fountains. It's the perfect public space where anyone can enjoy the day by taking a walk, playing a game, going on a boat ride, or exploring to your...
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Retiro, Madrid, Spain
The biggest park in the Spanish capital, Retiro is a great destination where you could spend the better part of your day. There is lots to do including renting a boat and rowing around the place. The park has lots of green areas where you can have...
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Calle Badajoz, 31, 28931 Móstoles, Madrid, Spain
One of the biggest flea markets that I have ever been to is located in Madrid, Spain. El Rastro is an old neighborhood that is teeming with activity, but the place really comes alive on Sunday mornings for the weekly flea market. You can buy just...
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Plaza Emperador Carlos V, 10, 28014 Madrid, Spain
Sure, I hear you; what's so special about Dunkin Donuts?! Well look closely - the place is not Dunkin Donuts but Dunkin Coffee. Same thing, I know. And of course there is nothing special about Dunkin Donuts (or Coffee) except if you don't live in...
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Plaza Mayor, Madrid, Spain
The landscape of Plaza Mayor's artists—performers and painters—is ever-changing. New life is breathed into the corners by dancing goats, mimes, pianists, and the occasional traveling circus, but you can count on one thing: Madari will be there,...
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Parque Tierno Galván, Av. del Planetario, 16, 28045 Madrid, Spain
Just outside the Planetarium in Madrid you can find quite a bit of graffiti, as well as homeless people living in the area under a bridge and makeshift shelters. The planetarium is up on a hill and not very far from the train museum.