I had a rough night sleeping; I forgot to take my melatonin to help adjust my internal clock, and that might have contributed too it. Also, the air conditioning was loud, so I turned it off – but then woke up at 5pm uncomfortably hot. I finally got a few zzz’s, and got up around 8:30am. I probably should have slept longer, but I wanted to take advantage of the morning. I went to breakfast downstairs in the hotel, which was a rather impressive spread – but I just had some eggs and coffee, and a small danish. I figure there would be more than enough food to come, so why go nuts? Of course I forgot the coffee is basically espresso, and filled most of my cup. Wowza, that was strong!
I started by walking to the Plaza de Colon, which is where the world-famous Madrid landmark statue of Christopher Columbus is located. Then I headed south to the Parque del Retiro, which is kinda like Madrid’s Central Park. On the way I noticed a Juan Valdez Cafe, which looked (and smelled) really good, but I already had enough coffee in me!
The Parque del Retiro was really pleasant. I walked through the length of it, past the small lake where you can rent boats, and checked out the Monument to Alfonso XII. Further south was the Palacio de Cristal, a pavilion inspired by the Crystal Palace in London. I kept walking south, and got some great photos of the park where the sprinklers were on, creating a great bit of ambiance.