Taking advantage of the long weekend, we have made a family getaway to Madrid. In addition to visiting the family and spending Saturday at the Madrid Amusement Park with the kids, I was able to take advantage of Sunday to get a few minutes of training. There were two options, going to the Retiro Park to run where almost all the people of Madrid run, or in addition to going to the Retiro, to make a complete visit to the center of Madrid.
And I think the second option is much more striking, both for me and for you, because I took the camera with me and so I can make you a travel guide, something like the "running guide 2015 Madrid", so you can write it down on your next visit to the capital.
This is the complete route that I followed, so you can take reference of it. I took most of the pictures while I was running, so some of them might not have the desired quality, but I'm sure you'll still appreciate them.
Obviously, for a route through the center of Madrid you can't expect to do it on a Saturday at 6 p.m. So you have no choice but to get up early. Because on a Sunday at 8 a.m., who will be on the street? Well, server and some taxi.
The first point on the route was the Retiro ParkHowever, it is a green lung in the heart of the city, a very pleasant place to walk and which at this time of year is truly beautiful.
But I wasn't the only one around. The first runners were already starting to gather. Everyone you see in the picture was playing sports, especially runners.
I move a little away from the main "avenue" of the park to enter more into the wooded area, to lead me to the Crystal PalaceAlthough the structure is metallic, it is covered with glass, hence its name. It is inspired by the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park.
Leaving the forest area you immediately arrive at the main pond, where I took this (incredibly unfocused) photo.
Back on Alcalá Street, we find the Church of San Manuel and San BenitoNot that it is a monument to be highlighted in Madrid, but if it is a good example of the architecture of Madrid in the early twentieth century.
And being on Alcalá Street, where is the best place to go? Yes, to the Puerta de Alcalá.
Here I turn left into Alfonso XII street, and at the end of the park, and bordering the Royal Botanical Garden, we enter the Paseo del Prado. Here I leave the Atocha station behind.
After the Botanical Garden you arrive at the Prado Museum. At this hour of the morning there is nobody around, but in a few hours the museum will be a hive of people.
Soon you will arrive at the Statue of Neptune, which many of you will know as the usual venue for Atletico de Madrid's celebrations.
And this is where I enter the most central area of Madrid. The streets become narrower as we approach KM 0.
And as I guess you know, KM 0 is the Gate of the Sun. At that time of the morning (8:45 yet) there wasn't much Japanese visitor yet, although you can see two in the picture.
Continuing along the same street where I entered the Puerta del Sol, a few meters away I found the Plaza Mayor, where a stage was being prepared for some kind of event.
Continuing along the Calle Mayor towards the Royal Palace, we leave the Plaza de la Villa on our left.
And I'll be right there Almudena Cathedral.
And next to the Almudena Cathedral you find the Royal Palace of MadridAt this point the route became a little more bitter, as I pulled a tremendous muscle in my left calf from which I am still recovering today.
And next to the Royal Palace you can see the Sabatini Gardensbuilt after the proclamation of the Second Republic.
And just a few meters away, the Plaza de EspañaThe statue of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza delights foreign tourists.
Going up a staircase we have another small park, on a hill where the Cuartel de la Montaña was located. From there we have a good panoramic view of the western part of Madrid, presided over by the Royal Palace and the Almudena Cathedral.
And it is at this point that we can see the Temple of DebodA gift from Egypt to Spain that is approximately 2,200 years old.
On the way back, instead of doing it in the same place and taking advantage of the early hour of Sunday morning, I pass by Gran Vía. Running in this street is not at all easy, it is one of the streets in Madrid with more passers-by along with Preciados Street. Luckily for me the city is still waking up. Meanwhile, in the Callao Theatre, the Mutua Madrid Open is being promoted.
By the way, San Isidro is just around the corner, you might want to consider a visit to the capital, where you can see the mythical Schweppes sign.
The Gran Vía ends in Alcalá Street, where we find the Cibeles Square with its namesake fountain and, on one side, the Communications Palace.
Turning in the square on the left we arrive at Paseo de Recoletos, where it is not at all usual to find this picture of empty streets.
The Paseo de Recoletos leads to the Paseo de la Castellana, starting at the Plaza de Colón, presided over by a huge Spanish flag. The photo does not do justice to this 294 square meter, 38 kilogram flag.
Turning right at Colón, you cross Serrano Street, which is said to be the most expensive street in Spain, but it is completely deserted at this time of the morning.
And, going up Goya street, I finish my "running touristic guide of Madrid". If you have scheduled a trip to this fantastic city and want to make a getaway I recommend a similar route. Although if you can't leave early on the weekend, you will have to opt for option A, running in the Retiro.
Thanks for reading me!