Spent a little while in the centre of Madrid looking for 'wildlife' (contrary to popular belief, that's not the reason that I go on holiday). Had no intention of stopping in Spain but was seduced by the advert: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRW2I....com/Spain.htm
and there is something very relaxing about watching the countryside unfold while you're drinking the first coffee of the day:
.... but, back to Madrid, which has an extensive Metro system as well as other unified public transport.
Most interesting was the botanical garden ( Botanical gardens
) but some other 'green' areas. Towards the centre is the Retiro Park - Parque del Retiro, Madrid
- large with a lot of trees and some interesting buildings, such as this imitation of the London Crystal Palace:
It's mainly closely mown grass but with some very fine trees. Recent plantings of Catalpa:
as well as older oaks etc
, some looking the worse for wear:
It also houses Madrid's oldest tree - a Taxodium mucronatum
- Taxodium mucronatum description
- but I couldn't find it.
In the west of Madrid is the larger and, in parts, wilder, Casa de Campo, seen here from the Egyptian Temple:
. Hope the crane doesn't suggest that this view is going to be blocked ....
There's a lot of building going on - most of it just boxes but some more spectacularly ugly: