I'm just back to the SF Bay area after a 9 day stay in Madrid. First
off, Madrid's public transit system is TERRIFIC. Get this, a 10 ride
ticket on the Metro is only 5 Euros. This gets you almost everywhere
that the system runs, which is mostly everywhere in Madrid. 50 cents
a ride, wow! So my son & I were carless for 9 days. Of course, Madrid
itself has plenty of cars, and while drivers were more polite than I
expected, there were a # of scary encounters with cars and
pedestrians in close proximity on the narrow city streets.
Both Madrid and Segovia have large carfree areas. In Madrid, the main
downtown area of the Puerta del Sol is carfree for an area of about 6
square blocks. Crowded with people at all times, really a fun place
to hang out.
Segovia is an ancient walled city about 60 miles north of Madrid. We
traveled there on the train (9 trains in each direction per day) for
only 9 Euros round-trip! A beautiful ride. We walked from the train
station up to the old part of town (about 30 minutes). When we
finally got to the old town, it was a wonderful thing to see the
signs saying no entry to autos. A large part of the central part of
the walled city of Segovia is also carfree.
It was weird coming back to the SF Bay Area where public transit is a