What is it about rose gardens that fill us with visions of romance? Over the years roses have been given as gestures of love, passion, and friendship. What’s the first thing we do? Smell them of course, as the sweet aroma fills us! Can you smell them now?
During our trip to Barcelona, my husband and I decided to pack an overnight bag and head for Madrid. We first went to the Prado Museum of Art and their exquisite collection of paintings from great masters such as El Greco, De la Cruz, Velasquez, Goya, Rubens and so many more. This was the first time we hired a private guide and what an experience! We learned so much more about these great works and the stories behind them than we ever could have otherwise.
Later we rented bicycles and explored the grand El Retiro park, which means the retreat. This was a royal park starting in the 1600’s, each generation adding to or changing the park until it became what it is today. El Retiro covers over 125 acres and is a green oasis in the heart of Madrid.
We rode through leaf strewn paths, past ancient statues, fountains and ponds. The crisp air and turning leaves marked the fall season. After stopping for gelato we then entered into the beautiful Rosaleda, a stunning rose garden with over 4000 rose bushes created in 1915. I was drawn then to get off my bike and sit on the bench awhile taking it all in, the splash of the fountain, the aroma of the roses, the vivid color contrasts, and the dance of the leaves and petals fluttering in the breeze. How many lovers have strolled through this garden before us? I can almost picture gentlemen courting their ladies, parasols in hand and carriages nearby…My heart fills, I breathe in deeply and smile, thankful for this moment.
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