I feel like recently, my blog has been filled with travel diaries. I haven't posted much else apart from photos of my little trips away, and I wonder if you're getting tired of them or not haha! But I have never travelled so much as I do at the moment, so I'm taking every opportunity to document it as I go! Hopefully, it makes you discover places you've never been before, and I could help you find your next destination! ;)
At the end of July I went to Madrid for a few days, and although I didn't choose to go there (I would have preferred Italy, as you must know by now!) I am SO glad we went there. Madrid was such a beautiful surprise, I loved every moment and everything we saw. It's just packed full of sunshine, culture, nature and Pokemons. (yes, Pokemons - if I had a pound for each person we saw playing Pokemon Go, I would be rather rich by now!)
All of these photos were taken in the Parque del Retiro, which is probably the most incredible park I've ever been to. There's beauty at every corner and the place is huge, you could take a whole day just exploring, having lunch and ice cream, and maybe take a nap in our of the quiet oasis of greenery. Some of my favourite areas of the park are the Rosaleda, a beautiful rose garden in full bloom, in which the French garden pattern is arranged around beautiful fountains; and the Jardines Cecilio Rodrìgez and its tiled floor, oddly-shaped bushes and colony of peacocks - if you're lucky, you'll even see little ones in the shadow of their mothers.
The Jardines del Sabatine are also wonderful. Located at the back of the Palacio Real, these French gardens (we all love a good French garden don't we?) are beautiful and the view from there on the façade of the palace is worth a visit. What I loved the most about parks and gardens in Madrid, is that they weren't crowded at all and it feels like you're totally out of the city. The smell of pine trees, the sound of the locusts and the warm August air really made me feel like I was on holiday.
The only thing I'd say is to skip the Royal Botanical Gardens, they aren't as impressive as the public parks of the city, which is a little sad because they seemed promising; the result just wasn't there.
If you want to see the more cultural side of Madrid, there are quite a few places that you would enjoy. My favourite was the Palacio Real, which is the Royal Palace (yeah I know, my Spanish skills are amazing) - although the royal family doesn't like there. You can only visit part of it, but the whole building is huge, I've never seen a palace as big as this one. The interiors are lush, with gold at every corner, beautiful ceiling paintings, there's even a room that's completely covered in porcelain, on the walls, the ceilings, everywhere. There's a room containing quite a few Stradivarius violins, which means we were literally surrounded by thousands of $$. Unfortunately you're not allowed to take photos inside, so I can't show you, you'll have to go and see by yourselves! ;)
There's also the Museum del Prado of course, which has amazing collections of medieval and 19th-century Spanish and Italian paintings. I'd also recommend just walking around, taking in the views, the amazing buildings, and of course stopping once in a while for coffee or tapas!
Have you ever been to Spain? Where do usually go in the summer to catch some sun?