One of my favourite things to do in Madrid is to walk along Madrid Rio. About ten years ago the mayor of Madrid decided to put this dirty big dual carriageway, which ran either side of the city’s river, underground. On top of the road he built a pedestrianised pathway, with lots of parks, sculptures and play areas. Marvellous.
El Rio Manzanares, which runs through Madrid, is shallow and tame,
At a certain point you can cut off into a park called Huerta de la Partida and get a view of the royal palace of Madrid.
If you walk along the length of Madrid Rio, towards the South you will also find a variety of very funky modern looking bridges, which have been built across the river. Many of them are real spectacles. They’ve been making the tourist guides – I remember a Norwegian man once approaching me with his reluctant looking family, trying to work out which way one of the bridges was.
There’s a very old fashioned restaurant not too far away on the northern stretch of the Madrid Rio. The interior is fantastic and the waiters are all old boys. The food is OK, roast chicken, which if the truth be told I always find a bit dry, cider, salad and cheese.
You can park on Calle Aniceto Marinas, where if you’re lucky you’ll see the Alsatian dog, who is immortalised in street art, on the doors of the garage Talleres Ribercar. From there you can walk along Madrid Rio, then come back for a bite at Casa Mingo.
In 1901 children played in Madrid Rio. Different times.