We played tennis yesterday at the courts in the Parque de la Elipa over on the east side of town. (I still haven't gotten into the habit of taking my camera with me everywhere so no foto except for the one above courtesy of Google Earth - red boundary added by yours truly.) The park is home to a pretty large municipal sports complex with fields/courts for hockey, raquetball, baseball (does anyone play that here??), soccer, and tennis, plus a couple of swimming pools and, of course, the ever present cafeteria for those not interested in sport. We had made a reservation for one of the courts online (a nice service offered by the City) and were eager to check things out - having been 4-time-a-week players back in Florida.
Although you can't see it from the Google Earth image, the park site atop a hill and the tennis courts are pretty much arriba de todo. In some directions you see building tops. In others you can't see even that. It feels as though you are on top of the City. And it really does let you escape from the frenetic pace below.
The tennis in itself wasn't the most inspiring. We hadn't played in more than 2 months and we had plenty of things to blame our difficulties on. The court was a different surface (REALLY fast). The air is drier (Yesterday's humidity: Madrid - 43%, South Florida - 86%). The air is lighter (Madrid sits at almost 2000 feet above sea level; South Florida is about 25 feet above sea level).
But in the end, despite our playing tennis as though we'd forgotten what a racquet was, we did manage to have a wonderful time. And we will definitely go back. In fact, we made another online reservation for Monday morning. Maybe I'll take my camera this time.