Subject: Re: Sites: Madrid,Seville and Granada
During our extremely short stay in Madrid last Spring we elected to visit a few of the parks. We had brought along The Garden Lover's Guide to Spain &Portugal by Barbara Segall which we found to be very useful.

By all means any visit to Madrid should include some time strolling through the Parque del Buen Retiro. A great place to see Madrileños at rest and play.

Closeby is the Real Jardín Botánico. An extensive botanical garden which would be of great interest if you garden but may be a bit dull if you don't. Although during the Spring the blooming tulips put on a show that would amaze all.

Adjacent to the Palacio Real are the formal Jardines de Sabatini with its fountains, statuary, precisely clipped box hedges and cypresses. The precise geometrical lines coupled with the whites of the statues and greens of the foliage give this park some interesting eye appeal. As we passed through there was a woman throwing a ball for her large shepherd-type dog. She would toss the ball in amongst the hedge rows. The dog would then leap over each hedge running up and down the row and proceeding to the next row until he found the ball. And these were not short hedges, 4 feet tall or so. I was amazed that some groundskeeper didn't come and ask her to move along as they would surely do here in San Diego. The whole scene was incongruous#the formality and preciseness of the geometric lines being violated by this romping beast. I loved it and watched in fascination until the two of them (the dog exhausted from his many vaults) finally moved along.

And the final park I recommend you visit is the Campo del Moro, behind the Palacio Real. This park is directly west of the Jardines de Sabatini but require a bit of a walk to get to the western gate. As you enter the grounds you are greeted by a massive sweep of lawn leading to the façade of the palace. When we were here the park was relatively empty and should afford one an opportunity for quiet reflection while strolling amongst its stately chestnut trees. Don't be surprised by the various varieties of fowl that make the park its home. We saw pheasants, guinea fowl, ducks, and black swans.

Have a great trip.

John Rule San Diego, CA