This tour covers the more majestic and beautiful part of Madrid that was the home to the greatest authors of the Spanish golden age; beloved writers such as Cervantes, Lope de Vega and Quevedo. It also covers part of the city which was shaped under the reign of Charles III, the history behind the fountains on Paseo del Prado, a chilling ghost story and the iconic features of the Retiro Park, all in just under two hours. After finishing the route, we will stop by Puerta de Alcalá (there are a few caferetias around) to have some drinks.
An excellent plan for a quiet SUNDAY!!
Join us for a very entertaining and educational TOUR around the centre of Madrid.
From a dusty outpost on the edge of the enlightened Moorish Kingdom to the glorious capital of the world´s biggest empire, from the birthplace of Don Quixote to the dark heart of the Spanish Inquisition , Madrid has seen its highs and lows. Anarchist assassins, dictators and despots, painters and poets- the passion that runs through Spanish blood burns with genius and madness.
Many people are thinking of moving to Dublin to look for work and working in Ireland is a tempting offer. Many major multinational companies have their European headquarters in Ireland because of the tempting tax breaks on offer (Microsoft, IBM, Google and HP are all taking advantage of this) and it is easy for people from the European Union to work in Ireland. There are some things one must take into consideration before moving to Ireland though as there are some major and minor differences which one might come across. First, the obvious; in Ireland, they drive on the left, so make sure you look both ways before crossing the road. Ireland was the first country in the EU to introduce a smoking ban, so no smoking indoors. Many of the houses in the towns and cities all look the same because of housing projects, so keep an eye out of the street number. Street names are in two languages, English and Irish, don't confuse the two, they are very different and some might take offence. The light switches for rooms are on the outside, the list is endless, but one can eventually adapt. It’s the minor difference that can be problematic, housing costs are astronomical and landlords sometimes even demand up to 3 months’ rent as deposit to secure a flat or room. Most shops will charge or even refuse to give or sell you a plastic bag. A bank account is an absolute must, no landlord will rent you a flat without it and no company will give you a job until you have one. Drinking on the street is prohibited and you can be fined for it... The list goes on, but the Irish are a friendly people, so don't be afraid to ask for help and advice.
One of the highlights of Dublin is its nightlife and its pubs. Its rather different from the nightlife in Spain in that it is more pub orientated and is more low key with less big clubs and more live music. The feeling of being in a genuine Irish pub is special and different from the Irish themed pubs that you will find abroad, the well-dressed bar tenders and the art of pouring a proper pint of Guinness give the pubs an aura that cannot be matched abroad.
The Gate of Alcalá
It is not a well kept secret that the Puerta de Alcalá o Gate of Alcalá (as it is known in English) isn´t the same on one side as it is on the other, but the story as to why this is a bit of a mystery for some pèople. Charles III commissioned the Gate after he destroyed the old Christian walls of the city and he decided to tirn the Gate into a munument en 1777.
He asked his favourite artist and designer, a man called Francisco Sabatini, an italian who came to Spain whith Carles III in 1759, to redesign the gate to make it into a muument. Sabatini was unsure what the King wanted so he presented two different designs to the King so his highness could choose the one liked the most. The trouble is that Cjarles III loved both designs so much that he couldn´t decide which one he wanted so in the end he decided to have both designs on his monument. So the next time you walk around the Gate of Alcalá try and see if you can spot the five differences between the two sides.