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Old 13th May 2009, 09:47 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Los Angeles, California
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Default Changes in the last 15 - 20 years? and Running in Retiro Park

Hello NIS Forum,
It's been 20 years since I was in Madrid. I lived in the city for 1 year. I'm curious. What do you think will be the biggest changes/surprises in store for me when I get there in a week or so! How has the city changed and/or stayed the same? I am very excited and nervous to return since it was one of the greatest experiences of my life at the time.

Also, is it safe for a woman to run alone in Retiro Park? Parque del Oeste?

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Old 13th May 2009, 10:17 PM   #2
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First of all, in daylight hours the park is FULL of women running on their own, I'd say it is totally safe.

Changes to the city? I'd say Madrid has become much more metropolitan in just the 10 years I've been here. What I mean by that is that when I arrived in 98 it felt very provincial, almost pueblo like in some areas, but now the city is infused by the same big-city energy as cities like London.

That's not a bad thing, but it is noticable, to me at least. It's still wonderful though, I don't think you'll be disappointed!
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Old 13th May 2009, 11:29 PM   #3
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I expect you'll find it a lot more expensive than it was, and more culturally diverse (take a walk through Lavapies if you get the chance). Also take a walk around Cortes and up calle Huertas to Plaza Santa Ana, and then on to Plaza Mayor, since that area has been pedestrianised and spruced up quite a bit (as have a few others). The river is being redeveloped and a large chunk of the M30 that was next to it is now underground. 4 huge skyscrapers dominate the skyline to the north, and old industrial areas have been given over to new blocks to flats.
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Old 14th May 2009, 08:15 AM   #4
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It is cleaner and brighter. The houses facades have been cleaned and painted. The pavements are wider and the metro is three times or more the size it was.
That is in addition to everything else they have mention already.
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