One of our favorite things to do in a new city is to go on a walking tour. But, we don’t always just see the highlights. Nope, we like to see a few off-the-beaten-path things too, even if those things are actually on the beaten path and just ignored by most people. And, our trip to Madrid was no different.
We started by heading to the Colon Square area to see the Woman with a Mirror sculpture by Botero. Apparently, the sculpture was part of an exhibit back in 1994, but it was so well-liked it was left behind as a gift. Good luck getting a decent photo of it though, as it is on an island in the middle of a busy road.
After that, right next door, is the Good Luck Frog. This sculpture was created by Eladio de Mora and was a gift to the city of Madrid from the Gran Madrid Casino. Who knew frogs were a symbol of good luck?
And, right across the street is Julia, by Jaume Plensa. The statue is nearly 40 feet tall and downright creepy. But, still cool.
From there, we headed to the Salvador Dali Plaza to see the Dolmen by Dali. I’ve read that the statue is a tribute to Dali’s wife, and I’ve also read that the statute is supposed to be Isaac Newton and is a monument to science. Either way, it is pretty cool.
Next, we headed towards Retiro Park to see the Fountain of the Fallen Angel. The Fountain of the Fallen Angel is, believe it or not, a monument to the Devil. It was sculpted by Ricardo Bellver for the 1878 Paris World Fair.
Our next stop was right outside the Puerta de Atocha train station, where one can find the Day and Night statue. This statute consists of two giant baby heads. Each of the heads stands about 10 feet tall and weight over two tons. Day and Night is even creepier than Julia. But, that might be because we can’t stand babies.
Finally, we visited the Air Crash (“Accidente Aereo”) statue, which depicts another fallen angel. This one is high atop a building and we had previously walked right by it without even noticing it.
Very close to Air Crash is Chocolateria San Gines, one of the best places in the city for churros/purras and chocolate. It has been open since 1894, so you know it is good. (The chocolate is amongst the best we had in Spain, and you know we tried chocolate everywhere.) It isn’t at all off the beaten path, but it is the perfect place to end any walking tour.