On Thursday morning, May 24, 2012, we made our first trip into the city center of Madrid.
Beverly is waiting at the bus stop located right next to the temple:
We took Bus #32 from the temple to the end of the bus line at Benavente. This is the typical, very nice, modern bus that travels throughout the city. The normal price is 12 euros (about $15) for 10 rides. Senior citizens, including us, can obtain an "abono" that allows them unlimited rides for 11 euros per month.
We walked from Benavente to the famous plaza Puerta del Sol, considered to be the geographical center of Madrid and of Spain. The plaza (shaped like a half moon) is surrounded by historic buildings, shops and cafes, and this glass-covered metro station:
In the center of the plaza is a statue of the Spanish king Carlos III, who reigned from 1759 to 1788:
On the east end of the plaza is an interesting statue of a bear eating from a madroño (strawberry tree); the statue is a symbol of Madrid:
The plaza also included a central fountain. If you look carefully, you can also see another "symbol" of Madrid (a beer bottle) floating in the water. Madrid is world-famous for its night life, much of which takes place in Puerta del Sol:
We walked from the plaza east along Calle de Alcalá, which included lots of traffic, beautiful, historic buildings (this is Torre del Edificio Metropolis) ...
... and interesting statues, including this Romanesque chariot on top of a tall building:
We returned to the plaza, where we bought and ate delicious Italian gelato (ice cream):
Scott took pictures of Beverly standing next to some TV characters, including Sponge Bob Square Pants, which we hope the little grandkids will enjoy:
We then took the bus back to our apartment in time for our afternoon shift at the temple.