Wednesday, May 13, 2015

" A walk along Buen Retiro Park " , " The beauty of El Parque Retiro "




take the Metro :
alight at RETIRO / IBIZA station


We had an early walk to Retiro park that wintry day.
The sun was up and shining,
It was neither hot nor cold, just the perfect weather to go out for a stroll.

Going to new places, we make sure we set a day to visit local parks.
Sometimes, museums and mainstream sights can be overwhelming.

As soon as you alight at Retiro metro exit.
When you see these very creative and colorful tiles, then you know you're on the right track.
They are extremely eye catching don't you think ?!



And with a bit of Googling, it lead me to Mingote, a well-known prolific artist and cartoonist: [ MINGOTE info here ]




The impressive Puerta de Alcalà * The Alcala entrance *, is a ceremonial arch and what used to be the
gateway to the city of Aragon.
It was designed by an Italian architect named Francisco Sabatini.
It's strategically placed in the middle of Plaza de la Independencia and now stands as one of the busiest thoroughfare.

plaza de 
la independencia


There are several entryways to PARQUE DEL RETIRO.

retiro 1


We chose the Puerta de la Independencia entrance.

[ A bit of a story here:
The park was once part of the gardens, palaces, and dwellings mainly for Royal use only. ]


Once inside,
the park is lined with trees, trees and more trees!
If it were spring /summer, I'm sure it's filled with lush greens and blooming fleurs.



... and seemingly quiet paths among trees, where you can easily forget you're in the heart of the metropolis...





There are a handful of fountains, all beautifully detailed.


fountain 2

fountain 5

fountain 6


And just as you're about to walk further,
You'll find THE ESTANQUE DEL RETIRO , where the monument of Alfonso XII stands proudly in the centre.


Can you imagine what it must've been like centuries ago?
when this was used as a favorite spot for Royal diversions,
water pageants
and dramatic plays.

On a clear day, you can rent canoes and paddling boats.
There are a few lake lovers as you can see in this picture and
I was at one point so tempted to try, but didn't get the chance to do so.


Random things spotted:

These kids were so animated by this hand puppet show.

I haven't really tried the food here, so not much to tell, except for the sign: Local Con Calefaccíon [with heating]

Restrooms for Men and Women.

Instead of lunch, we had quick snacks so we can have more time to stroll.
We bought these 1 euro aka Super-Cheap-treats.^ɷ^
Me and Palomitas...
They sure tasted too bland and err.. tasteless.
it's like eating white paper.
... but Beggars can't be choosers. ^ɷ^


Inside the park, there are two vital structures you need to visit:

This was built at the end of 19th century.
These red bricked walls were designed by Velazquez Bosco.



There was a temporary exhibition for Helmo Zobernig,
one of the many art pieces.


Insert: This art piece: made from Loo rolls. cool eh?!


#2 - PALACIO DE CRISTAL - The Crystal Palace

This second structure was also built by Velásquez Bosco and was inspired by the London's Crystal Palace.
It was surprising to know that back in 1887, This palace was designed for the Philippine Exposition.


It was purely made from Iron and Glass works.




You might have noticed intertwined ropes , as if barricading the area.
It was also puzzling at first, till we realized that there was another temporary exhibition.

This one was from a Czech artist: Jiri Kovanda called "Two Golden Rings " [ Dos Anillos Dorados ]

"Cheap and simple things can sometimes turn out to be important and extraordinary, while expensive
objects can be invisible... " by Jiri Kovanda.

"Two Golden Rings is an intervention created specifically for the Palacio de Cristal [ Crystal Palace ] .
They are placed at two different spots in the Palacio, establishing a kind of dialogue between visible and invisible.
, the valuable and the functional."





Almost at the south end of the Park is the monument of the Fallen Angel - [ Angel Caído ] built by Ricardo Bellver.

I am a confirmed tv buff and I love watching series, so it got me a bit intrigued after watching "Angel o Demonio" [ which was a Spanish series ] , and one of the settings was in this park.


Truth be told, there was nothing really interesting to see.
Not much info to share either, which I wish there would be.

In fact, we sort of got lost and asked a local abuela, who was sitting on the bench for directions.
I was surprised that she didn't even know where it's located and
It was her daughter instead who showed us the way.

IMG 1963
this is the closer look of the monument.

We would've liked to visit the Real Jardin Botanico, but I guess, our feet were tired from all the walking. ^=^

and this is what we do when we desperately need a tripod... we improvised. ^=^

* If I were to compare Retiro Park in Madrid vs. Ciutadella Park in Barcelona.
It would be without a doubt, this park in Madrid.
I had a great time here, and felt safe, even if, we were warned by the locals about petty thefts.
It was a nice and relaxing walk, and believe me when I say, because I'd rather be shopping than walking on parks, not really my thing. ^=^
But this is one of the parks I would definitely love to visit again.

Linking this to: Budget traveler's sandbox
Sundays in my City

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  1. Wow that's beautiful. We passed by but didn't have time to visit, was a short 1 day sorta layover in Madrid. Someday if Lady Luck smiles my way and I find myself in beauitiful Madrid again, I'll be sure to pencil this park in. All I have of it is a picture of the entrance :)

  2. same here, i'd rather be shopping than walk parks. looking at the photos, the park kinda reminds me of central park.

  3. That looks like a fabulous place! Your photos are really great.


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