Hi, I’m one of the guides you see every day mounted on the segway with a line of tourists behind me.
Today I want to tell you a little more about how segway rental can reveal things you did not know and even imagine about Madrid.
Madrid is a very old city, and as such, it has a stories baggage and unknown places that guides show to visitors. It´s said that if you know more about things, you enjoy them more, and I think this is true.
Here I leave a short review of some of the many curiosities we have in Madrid. I hope you enjoy it and don´t forget to take a segway tour with us when visiting the capital of Spain.
WHICH IS THE ORIGIN OF THE MADRID “TAPAS”?
It is not confirmed actually but it is said that King Alfonso XIII, being in Cadiz, ordered something to drink, and the bar man covered his cup with a slice of ham to prevent the sand from entering into his cup. The king liked so much the gesture that brought this tradition to Madrid. Others say that the doctor recommended King Alfonso X to accompany the wine with food, since he himself suffered stomach pains because of how much he drank.
DID YOU KNOW THAT THE PEREZ MOUSE HOUSE IS IN MADRID?
The history of this mouse has also the king Alfonso XIII as the starring! When the king was a child, the writer Luis Coloma wrote the story of the Perez Mouse to him, because of the monarch tooth fall. Coloma writes that the Perez family home was a Huntley cookies box, that was in the basement of the Prast Pastry, at No. 8th Arenal St. in Madrid. Today the Pérez Mouse Museum is on the 1st floor.
WHICH IS THE ORIGIN OF THE PHRASE “FROM MADRID TO HEAVEN?
It is said that the author was the Blessed Mariana of Jesus. This co-patron of Madrid is buried in the Mercedarias Church in 15th Valverde Street, and each April 17th, their incorrupt remains are exposed to her devotees. Yes, it’s a morbid tradition, but everyone to his own taste. Others say that the phrase is actually “In Madrid, the sky,” because in medieval times the only beautiful thing in Madrid was its sky. But nobody really knows its origin.
WHAT IS THE CHOTIS MADRILEÑO?
The chotis is the typical dance of Madrid. But in fact the word comes from the German word Schottisch (Scottish), which was a German polka danced in the center of Europe and it is said it came from Scotland.
DID YOU KNOW THAT MADRID HAS A PET CEMETERY?
Yes, and it’s fascinating. It’s called the Ultimate Park and it is in the Arganda del Rey district. There are cemeteries for animals in many countries, and Madrid has its own. It´s worth seeing how people care for their faithful companions graves, almost more than with humans. Some 4,000 pets are buried here. Rates range from 90 euros to 5,000 euros graves. These lined with Italian marble.
DID YOU KNOW THAT MADRID WAS A TEMPLARS AND MASONS MEETING PLACE?
There are many traces in Madrid of these two orders. The Bolsa Chapel, for example, is said to be one of them. Now it has been converted into a very chic restaurant. It is located on Calle de la Bolsa, also known as the Woodshed because the wood that was used for the Inquisition burnings was piled there. In the Middle Ages this chapel was the Chapel of Santa Cruz, associated with the Templar Knights.
Years later this chapel was the first Masonic lodge meeting place. Many streets in Madrid make also reference to people associated with the Masonic Lodge: Antonio Machado, Argüelles, Echegaray, Goya, Ortega y Gasset… Another statue associated with this lodge is the Baldomero Espartero in the Parque del Retiro.