Road Trip: The Only Way to See Southern Spain
Madrid remains a wonderful combination of old and new. While traveling about the city, guests see amazing displays of historical architecture in the form of government buildings, palaces, sculpted fountains and commemorative squares. The city also features a number of museums that include the Prado, which many compare to the Louvre in Paris. The smaller, but no less impressive, Thyssen Museum houses works created by celebrated masters that include Rembrandt and Van Gogh.
When looking to indulge an urge to go shopping, make a trip to the La Latina district and find the ever popular and rather large flea market. Find gifts or self-indulgent holiday memorabilia at unbelievable bargain prices. If visiting during the hot, summer months, take a break and relax in the nearest local pub. Have a cold beer or a glass of Sangria while enjoying a selection of local tapas that might include grilled seafood, Paella or cold cut sandwiches.
Go to Casa Labra for outstanding fried fish. Chocolate lovers stop in at Chocolateria San Gines for freshly fried churros immersed in melted chocolate. When weary of the popular touristy destinations, drive over to the expansive El Retiro Park in the heart of the city. Enjoy peaceful hiking trails under shady trees and around lakes while viewing fountains and palaces nestled among the green space.
After spending the desired amount of time in Madrid, visitors may opt for traveling down the road toward Granada. High above the landscape stands the amazing Alhambra. Mughal rulers began construction on the complex began sometime during the 10th century. Over the centuries, structures expanded and increased in number. Now the complex features a community comprised of ornate buildings contained within fortress walls. Stroll through the palaces and admire the intricate carvings and great attention to detail. Relax in acres upon acres of gardens. When overcome with hunger and thirst, journey to the Bodegas Castaneda.
Continue the southern Spain road trip in the car hire vehicle by driving on to the famous city of Seville. The massive and elaborately designed Seville Cathedral encompasses over 12, 500 square meters and houses 20 different chapels. The building also serves as the resting place for famed explorer Christopher Columbus.
For a look at some of the country’s most important works of art, journey to the Calle de Alfonso XII plaza. Here lies the Museo Provincial de Bellas Artes de Sevilla. View religious works created by Esteban Munillo along with the more controversial pieces completed by Francisco de Zurbaran and Juan de Vales Leal.
Many rightly equate the famous city with bullfights and flamenco dancing. While matadors possess a certain amount of courage required for confronting a large bull, the eventual bloodshed occurring in the sport combined with the bull’s untimely demise does not appeal to everyone. The pounding beat, colorful costumes and seductive music of the flamenco performance more than likely attracts more visitors.