Sunday, July 20, 2014

Un paseo por Gran Via & Puerta del Sol - 19/7/14

After I walked around Malasana, I walked back to my apartment in the Barrio de las Letras, which meant that I had to cross Gran Via and Puerta del Sol. Gran Via is the main avenue with tons of shopping and broadway-like theater performances. It is also home to the largest H&M I've ever seen! (seriously - 4 floors, in an old theater). Here are some photos of Gran Via.

The famous Schweppes building is in the very back/center of the photo

Lots of outdoor cafes and restaurants (and tons of people)

Beautiful architecture 

A movie theater - do you recognize any of the movies that are playing?

And then I arrived at Puerta del Sol, commonly known as just Sol. Sol is always packed with people (esta hasta arriba!).  Like many plazas, Sol is a common meeting point with friends, and also an area to just hang out and people-watch. I like to do that a lot. There is also a delicious Italian gelato place called Palazzo that always has a long line. My hazelnut gelato was heavenly the other day.

The Casa de Diego store is famous for their hand-painted fans and fancy umbrellas. They opened shop in 1858, so they're been doing this for a while! A very detailed fan can cost anywhere from 25-100 euros here. 

Some people were walking around with the traditional mourning veil. I'm not sure if they were coming from a funeral or a different religious event.

One of the most commonly used metro stops is "Sol," which of course arrives at Sol. However, recently the largest telephone company, Vodafone, "bought" the metro stop. Yes, a company bought a metro stop. This angered lots of Spaniards because 1) now the official name of the stop is Vodafone Sol, and 2) despite the stop being purchased for millions of dollars, the service has not improved. In fact, many Spaniards argue that it has gotten worse.

Look at all the people just hanging out and relaxing with friends!

If that boy on the right is not a model yet, he should be!

Some more beautiful buildings.

Finally, I found myself back in my neighborhood - the Barrios de las Letras, or Cortes, or Huertas (so many names!). This is the Teatro Espanol on the left and the Plaza de Santa Ana on the right. 

A waiter bringing either tinto de verano (red wine mixed with lemonade) or sangria (wine with fruit and other things!) to a table.

So that's a walk from Gran Via to Sol to the Plaza de Santa Ana. I hope you enjoyed it!

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