"The greatest act of faith some days is to simply get up and face another day..."
Spain & Portugal
(29 December 2000 - 5 January 2001)
|(A shopping spree)|
|(Sara, iwan and Ja having a good time)|
Madrid’s infectious and colourful fiestas punctuate the year, with each district trying to outdo the other in its celebrations. The highlights include Feast of the Three Kings, Carnival, the religious processions of Holy Week, the San Isidro festival in May, the beginning of the bullfighting season and New Year’s Eve, when the Puerta del Sol becomes the focal point during several hours of uninhibited partying. Visitors should also look out for the major cultural festivals, notably the Veranos de la Villa in summer and the autumn Festival de Otoño, embracing film, dance, theatre and music of every description. Although Madrid’s climate is more extreme than other Spanish locations, the warm dry summers and cool winters still allow for many alfresco activities.
|(Chilly weather in the evening)|
Madrid becomes capital only in the second half of the 16th century, but it oozes a vitality and character that rarely fails to move. In no other European capital will you find the city centre so thronged so late into the night, as though some unwritten law forbade sleeping before dawn.Madrid has always been a city of immigrants and transients, and the result is an unusually open and accessible city. Ambitious programs to modernise the city are afoot, but the gatos (locals) of Madrid can rest assured that their town remains as refreshingly unlike Paris, London or Rome as ever.
|(A cool winter night)|