This is a very famous site, the fountain of Cibeles, or in Spanish, la fuente de cibeles. The fountain is located on one of the busiest streets in Madrid, "Calle Alcala". It was extremely difficult for me to get across the street. In fact, I got half-way across the street and realized there was still another half of the street to go. I almost died getting across that street, but it was worth the risk. Breath-taking!
Speaking of Calle Alcala, here it is in all its glory!
This is the "hub" of the city: Puerto del Sol. I spent a lot of my time in this area. Puerto del Sol is a quad, a gathering place for tourists from all parts of the world, as well as for Madrilenos. One day, a week day, I was strolling through Puerto del Sol. I was taking pictures and saw a teenaged bride and groom, dressed in traditional bridal clothing, dancing through the quad. There was a small group of family members following behind the couple and a few musicians. I followed them, in the hopes of taking some pictures of them. I kept thinking this opportunity would make a great photo! A photo of a life-time! I didn't get too far because I got stopped by an older, American woman from the Mid-west, who spoke absolutely terrible Spanish! She had her dictionary in her hand and asked me something so off-the-wall in Spanish, that even I couldn't understand what the hell she was saying. I remember telling her I spoke English and that I was also American. Omigod, she went absolutely ape shit hearing those words. When I was first stopped by this woman, I thought she had a real emergency. I later found out she and her husband were looking for Puerto del Sol and did not realize that they were already at their destination. I told her she was standing in Puerto del Sol, then I took off to look for the bride and groom. Unfortunately, they were nowhere to be found. I ran into that American couple one more time during my week in Madrid; they were at the Prado the day I visited the museum. They sure remembered me. They came up to me in the restaurant at the museum, to say "hi". They had another couple, also Americans, with them. The other woman in the party asked me if I knew where the "no smoking" section of the restaurant was. I told her, "This isn't the U.S. There is no such thing as 'no smoking' areas in Europe." WOW.