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Editor'S Choice - 2020

Playing hopscotch with Madrid

Imagine that Madrid was a hopscotch lost on any cobbled ground in the historic center of the city. We would jump from museums in bars, from sunsets with views in modernist buildings, from squid sandwiches in well-pulled reeds ... This is what you intend Angeles Vázquez in '100 things to do in Madrid (at least once in a lifetime)', a kind of 'Maga' that invites us to take advantage of the city in all its facets, among all its streets and neighborhoods. We have taken a little walk with her, from Sun to the Temple of Debod to tell us what your weaknesses are as 'cat'.

But where does a Madrid guide start? "At kilometer zero of the Puerta del Sol; from there, all the routes depart from the books we read as children of 'Create your own adventure' ”, Ángeles tells me while we leave the Bear and the Madroño behind. The index says it all: "Take a break in Olavide Square" or "You can't stop seeing the graveyard that isn't holy." The eclecticism of the chapters It takes us through a different and curious capital at every step. But Is it a book for Madrid? "In addition to what to see, I tell how to see it and the stories and legends that hide the places." What if we have "lost faith" in the city? “There is nothing better than going to the Naval battle (to be held on July 15 at the Puente de Vallecas) and rest after in the park of the Tits of Vallecas, watching sunset ”.

The park of the 'Tetas de Vallecas', an exceptional viewpoint © Corbis


So we started and we have not yet reached the Plaza Mayor: with a battle of vallecana water. When passing through La Mallorquina to climb the Postas street the gluttonous conversation comes to us: “outside Madrid there are no good squid sandwiches, I am very squid sandwich; I keep one that is very close, the one at the bar The bell (Botoneras street) or the stew of the White Cross of Vallecas; also with the stews of The ball, the Lhardi or the chicken in pepitoria de Ciriaco House"Through which we would go a little later ... Salivating.

And so we continue, crossing the Playa Mayor and down the street of Ciudad Rodrigo. At the exit of the street the San Miguel Market"There is a lot of tourist, but it is worth going and having a drink and some oysters." Ángeles says that the market, known for its original iron structure, was built on the Church of San Miguel de los Octoes. This was affected by the fire of the Plaza Mayor at the end of the 18th century and, once demolished, where before there were pulpits food stalls were installed creating a street market, which in the 20th century would become what we know now.

San Miguel, the market on the burned church © Corbis

With my mind still on the oysters, Angeles encourages me to look towards a facade on Calle Mayor: “here is the other statue of the Fallen Angel of Madrid, in addition to the Retiro park ”. I corroborate that the Madrid of mystery crosses our path at every step, without waiting to see an angel not so fallen, as if crashed and swooping. But is there an enigma behind this statue? None. This figure is from the artist Miguel Ángel Ruiz Beato and is called "Air Accident". It's that simple. And so impressive his work.

'Air accident', the other fallen angel of Madrid © Thinkstock

But to mysterious, the night of the city. We continue touring the main Street, and in full in the Madrid of the Austrias with the Plaza de la Villa on the left ("there is behind Madrid street, the shortest in the capital”, Says Angeles) and that chicken in Pepitoria oozing at Casa Ciriaco on the right:“Malasaña and the Barrio de las Letras are areas to live by day and especially at night. In the morning you can stroll through the House of Lope de Vega or visit the tomb of Cervantes in the convent of Las Trinitarias to stay with rods and cups; Malasaña by day it is totally commercial, where to find the latest in fashion and at night ... It is to live the heritage of the Movida ”.


We arrive at Bailén street and, with the Royal Palace in the background, Ángeles tells me the story of the statues that surround us in the Plaza de Oriente: “Isabel de Farnesio, the wife of Felipe V, dreamed that the statues they fell on him from the cornice of the Palace so he ordered to remove them. That is why the Plaza de Oriente and the Sabatini Gardens are full of them. ” But the anecdotario with the marble does not end there: the main statue of the entire 'sarao real' is that of Felipe IV, the first equestrian statue in history to stand on two legs. And for that it was none other than Galileo Galilei who proposed a solution to the headache that this 'engineering' supposed: “he proposed to the sculptor Pietro Tacca that part of the sculpture be made of solid bronze”.

The Gothic (and fallen) kings of the Plaza de Oriente © Corbis


As we leave the framework of marbles and bronzes, I ask Angels to give me the recipe of a Madrid alternative, curious: "Underground", answer me. “The best known is the Chamberí station, which closed in 1967 because the extension that was intended to be done from it was not possible. Since 2006 it has been a museum of what the subway was like in its origins since it maintains the appearance of 1919, when the first line of Madrid was inaugurated ”. And the least known? "The Madrid mine, which is actually a reproduction created in the 60s for the practices of Polytechnic students. You can visit and at the entrance there is a fossil market the first Sunday of each month, perfect for a route with children, because they love it; Another extension of this route would be the Madrid Metro Motor Ship in the Pacific, where the Motor Market is now made "(also the first Sunday of each month).

Yes, Madrid has even a mine © Marcelo Jorissen Museum

The 'ghost' line of Chamberí © Metro Madrid

We greet Don Quijote and Sancho, at the back of the Spain Square and we route the debod temple. Is hot. Much. The sun hits full and we move towards the viewpoint while many 'cats' and dogs stretch in the grass and take a good nap. Envy. And forced question to our guide on the best views of the city: “Cibeles terrace it is impressive, with the birth of Recoletos and la Castellana and that different view of the Cibeles statue; Vallecas's tits they give you a perspective of Madrid from the east; and from Madrid Rio, you find the entire historical city, with the Royal Palace and the Almudena presiding. ”
But we look straight ahead and see Madrid disappear: "the views from the temple are like the end of the city." I answer that what I need is a good sea on the horizon, "Wow, wow, there is no beach here ...", replies Angeles, "so what? and that?! That's how we respond from Madrid. That's how we are. ”
* You may also be interested ...
- Madrid Guide
- 100 things from Madrid you should know
- Madrid with magnifying glass
- The Madrid of mystery
- Well disposed and exposed: the San Miguel Market and the San Antón Market
- All articles by María F. Carballo

Debod, 'the end of Madrid' © Corbis

Video: THIS THING CALLED LIFE - Hopscotch live 010613 @ Sala Fax, Madrid. (April 2020).

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