What not to see in Madrid

I’ve been curious about El Pardo for a while. It’s a large, tree-filled area just northwest of the city that I’ve passed many a time en route to the Sierra. I’ve heard people speak fondly of spending a lazy Sunday afternoon there. So this weekend when I had friends in town as well as mi chico with his car, we decided to head up there with a picnic and see what it was all about. I also thought maybe we could get a glimpse of La Zarzuela, the Spanish royal residence. Boy, was I wrong.

The palace was down a road that was closed to the public. As for the rest of El Pardo, there was no grass, just brown, dried vegetation under the trees. We asked a couple different people about a nice place to have a picnic. Neither offered good advice, and one was a gas station attendant who just griped about how terrible it is when all the weekenders come in. After driving around for a while, and getting out to find a potential picnic spot no good at all, we headed back to Madrid, and had a lovely picnic in the Parque del Oeste.

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