We stayed in a wonderful place in Madrid, the Hotel Wellington. Dating from 1952, many famous persons have stayed their including royalty, Hemingway, Matt Damon, and large numbers of Spain's bullfighters since its founder bred bulls for bullfighting. Our first stop today was the roof of the hotel.
It was still early spring but the hotel boasts an extensive garden of herbs and vegetables on the roof. The produce is used in the hotel's restaurants.
The plants are meticulously organized and labeled.
Many planters have photographs showing what the plant will look like at full growth.
For April, this garden was exceptionally thriving and obviously tended by some expert gardeners.
The gardeners have high hopes for this field of asparagus that takes more than one year to mature for food.
A detailed schedule lays out the growing cycle for each plant. All-in-all, this was quite a garden.
While only seven or eight stories tall, the hotel had a good view of much of Madrid's skyline. Although it looked like more rain was coming, it actually turned into a sunny day later.
Our next stop was the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, that had been closed the day before. At the museum, we viewed Picasso's famous "Guernica," that had special meaning since we visited the city earlier on the tour. No photos were permitted inside but there was sculpture outdoors including Joan Miró's "Moonbird," a 1966 bronze piece.
Alexander Calder's "Carmen," a 1974 aluminum and iron mobile sculpture.
Our final stop for the day was the Real Jardín Botánico, a huge garden next to the Prado Museum. Many flowers were in full bloom.
The garden dates from 1755 but has had a varied history including abandonment during Spain's War of Independence in 1808, cyclone damage and a zoo that has since been relocated.
The garden is a pleasant place to spend a sunny afternoon—very peaceful although it is probably quite busy on weekends.
Irises were in bloom along with lots of tulips.
Carlos III, ordered the garden to be moved in 1774 to the current location next to the Prado.
The Villanueva pavilion was constructed in the 18th century but renovated in 2008 and contains a lecture hall. It was originally a greenhouse.
It seems like there's graffiti all over the world including on a few of the garden's trees.
The garden now has a more modern greenhouse, the Greenhouse Santiago Castroviejo Bolibar, named after a former director of the garden.