Madrid is hot. Spain is hot. Folks will tell you it is a dry heat, so that means if you can get out of the sun, you can cool off a bit. Not like the Midwest where July’s air feels so thick you could cut it. Kids today don’t know what it’s like to be hot; they are too busy playing video games in air conditioning. For everyone else, there is the shade of the public parks, which Madrid has plenty of. Near the Palacio Real there are two: Sabatini Gardens and Campo Del Moro.
Adjacent to the Palacio Real are the Sabatini Gardens. The idea for the park dates to the 1930s, but it was not completed until 1978. The manicured hedges, reflecting pools, benches and gravel paths offer visitors a place to rest their legs and escape the sun-whether you just finished you finish touring the Palacio or you are on a walk to the Principe Pio train station. Entrance is on Calle Bailen, just north of the palace.
The larger Campo Del Moro is directly behind the Palacio Real. It dates back to Moorish times and was more recently the royal hunting grounds. On a map the park looks close to palace and when you are touring the palace, the inviting park is directly below. Unfortunately, the public has to access the park by exiting the palace and then walking all the way around along the busy Calle Bailen and Cuesta de San Vincente.
After the roar of the traffic and the heat of the sun, the entrance to the park is a welcomed sight. Once inside, the din of the city is quieted and heat of the sun is cooled. The park is lush with shady trees, rustic paths, benches, fountains and peacocks (that’s right).
Both parks are free and open daily. They may not be worth a walk over here on their own, but coupled with the Palacio Real they make for a nice half-day trip.
Scoff now, but after being in the Spanish sun for more than 30 seconds, you will be looking for shade, and a park filled with tall trees will look like an oasis.