We've discovered before that sometimes when you prioritise and focus on "must see" Attractions, there's a risk that you may miss-out on some of the charm of the route that brings you to your target destinations. We were at risk of doing just that in relation to the Paseo del Prado - we touched on it in getting to the highly-regarded Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, and travelled it again heading for the incomparable Museo del Prado, without really paying much attention to its various features on either occasion.
Happily, we made up for our negligence - or maybe it was just casualness? Anyway, on one of the later days of our visit to the wonderful City of Madrid, we took a long walk back to our Hotel (the excellent "Catalonia Las Cortes") from the upmarket shopping area around Calle Serrano (we looked in a lot of windows & made very few purchases!), eventually bringing us from Calle de Alcala to the junction with Paseo del Prado.
For starters, at the Plaza de la Cibeles - and allowing for the frustrating motor traffic - we could now observe the statue/fountain honouring the goddess of that name. Fascinating to recall that King Carlos III was so taken with the Cibeles monument that he wanted to re-locate it to the Royal Gardens, and even more interesting that he had to back-off appropriating it due to the extremely bad vibes emanating from ordinary madrilenos - even kings, apparently, didn't always get their way. And in the modern era, it was interesting to note that this is the assembly point for Madridistas (Real Madrid fans) celebrating victories - most recently "La Decima".
We continued along the pleasant "Paseo", enjoying our surroundings, and passing close to the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, we arrived at another past and present landmark, the Plazo de Neptuno, with another impressive fountain. This one, we're told has at least the same significance for Atletico de Madrid fans as "Cibeles" for Madridistas - here, the "junior" Madrid club fans, apparently "go wild" when they win, and it must surely have been interesting at this fountain at the conclusion of "La Liga"!
On the day of our leisurely walk, we were turning right here onto Carrera de San Jeronimo, (instead of going straight-on towards Museo del Prado), but were far from unhappy as we had enjoyed the stroll - sometimes though, when you're on foot, you can resent car traffic, and this was one of those days...
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