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Day Five: Madrid from above

July 8, 2011
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Today was a perfect summer day: a nice breeze, not too hot… although, on second thought, I have recently redefined “too hot,” so I’ll just be objective and say 89º F.

I only have a few pictures of today’s outing, because I managed to leave my camera’s memory card at home (I didn’t screw up until day five!  Hooray!).  But I can assure you, the view of Madrid was really great.

The view of Madrid from where, you say?  Why, from the cable cars over the city, of course!

Yeah, Madrid’s got everything.  Even cable cars!  I didn’t actually know that for the longest time and, despite my initial excitement, they quickly got pushed to the back burner.

Thankfully, this week is all about back burner stuff.

Now that I’ve ridden them, I can officially recommend taking the cable cars at least once, but I will issue one warning: the cars talk to you.  Over inane elevator music, you’ll hear the “voices” of all of the different Madrid landmarks telling you fun facts about themselves.  Cute, but only if you know it’s coming.

You even get to travel over Madrid’s river, the Manzanares.  Before you get too excited, keep in mind that Madrid, unlike most European capitals, does not have a river running right through the center of town.  On the contrary; you could easily live here for years without ever seeing the Manzanares.  As you can see, it’s in a pretty uninhabited part of town.  But even that’s exciting when you see it from the sky!

Perhaps the best part is that the cars drop you off in Casa de Campo, which used to be the Royal Family’s hunting grounds far west of the city.  Nowadays, it’s an enormous park that also houses a zoo, an amusement park, and trails for walking and biking.  It’s the perfect place to spend a day, and I just discovered the perfect way to get there.

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