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Mr. Selfish and I took a self-guided walking tour of historic Madrid. Luckily for us, it was a lovely but brisk day.

We started at the Plaza de la Puerta del Sol, which was full of photo ops. Men dressed in children’s mascots were all waiting around for you to take a photo with them. I opted for the matador.

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Next, we stopped by the Plaza Mayor, which was full of Christmas stands. There were also some mascots waiting for photos ops. Please note the Sponge Bob character and the very chubby Spider Man.

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Then, we walked to the Santa María la Real de La Almudena, which is the large Catholic cathedral. Even though Madrid became the capital of Spain in 1561, Madrid was without a cathedral until the Almudena was built in 1879. There is some controversy over the design of the cathedral. In any case, I definitely enjoyed the Sagrada in Barcelona more.

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We also stopped by the Palacio Real (Royal Palace), the Templo de Debod (which was a gift from Egypt), and the Plaza de España, which has a large Don Quixote statue.

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Finally, we walked down Gran Via, which is the main shopping street. I enjoyed the Christmas decorations, as well as some roasted chestnuts.

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I definitely had a good time with our walking tour of historic Madrid. Tomorrow, I’ll go over the museums we visited and the Parque del Retiro.