Friday, July 6, 2012

3 Things I love about Madrid

I figured a good way to end my first full week alone (while Luke brings home the bacon) in Madrid would be to document a few things that I noticed this week and really liked.  So with no further adieu, here we go!

#1:  The parks! Madrid is a lot like any other big city in the states....lots of people and lots of concrete. But there are several big green parks really close to the center of the city that offer lots of shade and great trails for running. Just this week, I ran approximately 20 miles in just 4 runs through 2 different parks: Parque del Oeste and Parque del Retiro.  (Don't worry, Mom, I'm changing my routine! :)) Retiro is pretty big, so it's easy to do longer-ish runs without a bunch of looping back and forth. Plus, since I'm never exactly sure of my location within the park, I don't really recognize it if I am doing the same loop over and over. Whoops! Hopefully, that will change as I become more acquainted with the area.  Oeste is hilly.  In fact, did you know that Madrid is the second hilliest city next to San Francisco? Not really. But it sure felt like it at times in Oeste.  Both parks have lots of trees offering great shade, so even if I don't make it out until 11 or so, I'm not dying in the summer heat. And there are always other runners, cyclists and tourists around so it always feels safe and lively!

#2: The babies! I guess it's because I don't have my own, but I can be a little obsessed about cute babies.  So walking through the city with Luke, I point out all the cute babies, and he points out all the good looking dogs. It's just what we do.  These Spaniards make some of the most beautiful babies I've ever seen.  With beautiful caramel latte colored skin, dark curls, chubby thighs and in fashion clothing, I can't get enough of them! They also have amazing strollers. These kids are rolling around in style in their bugaboos carriages with shade umbrellas attached.  The strollers here seem much more streamlined and less bulky than the ones we're used to at home, but that may be typical of any big city to make them easier to maneuver in tight, crowded places. I'll try to discreetly snap a picture of a cute baby in a cool stroller in the next days to illustrate. 

#3: The Metro! The metro system is so convenient and user friendly. The maps are easy to read, and in the center, you're never far from a stop.  To be honest, I really haven't used the metro all that frequently because I'm new to the city life and am still enjoying being able to walk just about anywhere.  But it's nice to know that if I ever get turned around or way too tired, I just have to find the nearest metro to be headed back in the right direction. Also, the metros have a ton of stairs, and after enjoying all the Spanish wine and beer nearly nightly, I feel like a cheater if I don't take them.  So while I hate this when I'm actually climbing the stairs, I secretly love it and hope it will help keep me in shape. Every step counts!

And many more good things, but I'll save those for a future post. Have a good weekend!

No comments:

Post a Comment