We spent three days in Madrid.  Got in on Saturday afternoon – the day of the European Union football (soccer) finals.  The hotel we were able to get for Saturday night looked like a dungeon and was on a street that left a lot to be desired.  Lots of working girls on the corner and some rather shady looking characters on the street corners.  Nevertheless, we went to the Puerto del Sol area and it was hoppin.  Germans and Italians everywhere wearing their teams’ colors or jerseys.  Singing, drinking beer, and carrying on – and all before the game which didn’t start until about 9:45 p.m.  All kinds of street performers.  Great people watching.  Just hung out and blended with the crowd.  The Italians won the cup.  Sunday the Italians were still singing, but the Germans were pretty quiet.  A lot of the crowd left to go home.

Sunday we spent the best part of the day (the hottest part) doing the museum shuffle through the Prado.  What a terrific museum.  We perused many paintings by Goya, Velasquez, Bosch, and el Greco just to name a few.  We took a walk through the botanical garden, but the garden had very few flowers and it was a disappointment.

Monday we decided to take a bus tour of the city.  Madrid is home to about 5 million people and it’s huge.  We couldn’t see it all, so a good overview seemed the best way to go.  We rode around the city once.  After that, we could get off and on as we pleased so we stopped off at a few places that looked interesting.  What impressed us was how clean Madrid is and how well laid out it seems to be.   Despite the concrete, the city seems to have lots of green spaces for the general population.

Monday night we were back on the Puerto del Sol, and it was much quieter than it had been on Saturday.  Glad we got to see Madrid.