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Earlier in July, my friend Jose and I went to Madrid. Summertime in Madrid is busy, and the crowds of people could be a little intimidating. However, Madrid has some amazing attractions, too. As the capital of Spain, the government buildings are built to both last and impress, and I was certainly impressed. People in Madrid are generally pleasant and friendly, even in the tourist-laden areas of the city. While the temperatures soar in the daytime, the evenings are cool and dry and perfect for sitting outside at a terrace restaurant with a cool beverage in hand.

However, as with most capital cities, Madrid is expensive. While the hotel and the metro were reasonable, the food in the city was pricey. The variety of food for vegetarians more than made up for the price, though, and I really appreciated the options available for my consideration.

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As a bonus, there was an El Greco exhibition in the Prado museum, and we were able to see some of El Greco’s paintings that I have only seen in textbooks for so many years. Yes, I did take an illegal snapshot, but only without the flash and just to demonstrate how awesome the exhibit really was.

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Overall, Madrid is definitely a great destination, and the architecture, location, and sheer variety of activities means that being bored in Madrid is a choice. This city is a bustling center of friendly people!

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Here are a few pictures of Plaza Colón, and yes, that is Christopher Columbus. Pretty amazing!DSCN5314 copy DSCN5316 copy DSCN5317 copy

So much more to see! Madrid is very green…DSCN5323 copy DSCN5324 copy DSCN5326 copy DSCN5329 copy DSCN5330 copy DSCN5331 copy

The mail building…DSCN5334 copy DSCN5335 copy

This means “Garden Street”…. without a garden in sight!DSCN5336 copyThe first words of the classic by Cervantes, Don Quixote: “In a village of La Mancha, the name of which I have no desire to remember, there lived not long ago one of those gentlemen that keep a lance in the lance-rack, an old shield, a lean old nag, and a greyhound for racing…” DSCN5337 copy DSCN5341 copy

The symbol of Madrid, which is a black bear standing to eat from a madrone tree.DSCN5344 copy DSCN5347 copy

Ahhhhh, King Carlos!DSCN5349 copy DSCN5353 copy DSCN5355 copy DSCN5357 copy

The view outside of our hotel.DSCN5359 copy DSCN5361 copy DSCN5364 copy DSCN5365 copy DSCN5370 copy DSCN5385 copy DSCN5386 DSCN5389