Before the conference I spent a day wandering around the neighbourhoods near our hotel, the Gran Melia Fenix. By the way, it is a very nice hotel, in a wonderful location.
Near the hotel was a fascinating development that appeared to be a converted theater. It featured three levels of restaurants which I discovered when I entered through a very elegant food store
Walking around the streets one didn't get the impression that this was a country with 25% unemployment that increased to 40% amongst the youth. But then again, I was in a fancy part of Madrid. Nonetheless, the array of expensive shops and goods was overwhelming.
|I was very saddened to come across this carbuncle that intruded into a streetscape. It turned out to be a relatively new sports centre. Not a pretty site.|
|One of the things I did like was how at certain intersections the corners of all four buildings are cut-off. It's a subtle device to create a more attractive intersection. I first saw this in L'Example in Barcelona.|
|I want to see these wonderful ornate facades to come back in style!|