We arrived in Madrid fairly late in the evening. Our destination for the night was a carpark about 5km out from the centre near a station for one of the main Metro main lines. It was also next to a park. This meant the majority of the spaces were taken up with commuters, and those that were remaining were being fought over by dog walkers. We managed to squeeze The Van into a tight spot that a normal sized motorhome would have struggled with. By 11pm, the car park was pretty much deserted and we had a reasonably quiet night.

Rather than trying to find all the important bits of the city, which we’ve been doing a reasonable job of so far, we looked at the map of Madrid and decided we’d be biting off more than we could chew. Instead, we paid to use the bus tour service which allows you to hop on and off at various points on the routes around the city. We also got ourselves some day passes for the Metro so we could bounce around to wherever we wanted. This served us pretty well.

We’d heard mixed reviews about Madrid. Having visited, I think it’s similar to London. It’s the capital, but it’s such a melting pot and moving so fast, it doesn’t really represent the rest of the nation. Madrid is beautiful, has some great architecture and a great transport system. But it’s not terribly relaxed, and much of the history of the capital seems to have been squeezed out by the dozens of phases of building and expansion that the city has been through. It’s a great European city, but it doesn’t feel particularly Spanish. We still enjoyed it though.

Next stop is the controversial Valley of the Fallen…

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