Feb 19, 2012

Madrid: The Weekend in Parque del Retiro

Every great city has a great city park. In San Francisco it's Golden Gate Park, New York has Central Park, Amsterdam's is Vondelpark, and there's Englischergarten in Munich. These central city parks provide city dwellers with a refuge from the everyday hustle and bustle of urban life and offer opportunities for all sorts of recreation. On my short visit to Madrid, I was happy to discover that I was only a short walk from my hotel to Parque del Retiro. I paid a visit on a warm Saturday afternoon and, as with the rest of Madrid, was excited by all of the lively activities going on. There are row boats, a huge blacktop for inline skating and biking, eateries, street performers, a puppet show, and of course some good ol' grass. Locals and tourists alike flock to Parque del Retiro on the weekend, many seemingly without a defined purpose. I myself couldn't imagine a better way to spend the weekend!

Photos after the break.

The main lake where a 45 min row boat rental costs about 5€. People can also take out kayaks and there's a big solar-powered boat for the youngians.

Rowing along.

It was a beautiful warm sunny day – t-shirt weather for a San Franciscan! After all those freezing temperatures, I'm ready for some sun.

Reading a book, looking out on the lake.

This park is famous for all of the cats who call it home. This one was especially adventurous. Most just lay on the grass and sunbathe.

Literally hundreds of people of all ages and abilities spent Saturday practicing their inline skating skills on the large central blacktop.

Father and son enjoying a ride side-by-side in the park. Is that a small messenger bag I spot?

Big bubbles!! I'd love to see bubble girl hook up some sort of apparatus to make bubbles like this for the next Bike Party.

Kids sit down down for a puppet show while others stroll past the multitude of performers and vendors. It's been a perfect Saturday afternoon in Madrid!

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