Many locals comment on the crisp blue skies of Madrid´s skyline. Our CIEE students enjoy this view close up with one of the multiple (optional) cultural activities that goes on the city´s cable car. The popular transportation mode with a guided CIEE visit to the Casa de Campo Park is a popular past time for U.S. college students.
Participants learn that this engineering invention stems from the nineteenth century, by one of Spain´s important city architects called Antonio Palacios—responsible for the iconic temple entrance to Gran Vía metro station— and who proposed creating a funicular that would connect the downtown city center to the Casa de Campo fields. The project of eighty cabler cars "flying" over Madrid finally materialized under the Franco dictatorship in 1969. CIEE students sign up for this social group event and picnic via the program newsletter and enjoy the two-hour exploration.
Several CIEE students often comment on how exciting it is to feel your cabin climbing higher and higher and watch the Madrid skyline spreading out beneath you before your very own eyes. A bonus is the recorded commentary that provides you with information about each place as you travel over it. Soon you’ll see the historic, green Oeste park – site of the heaviest Spanish civil war battles and casualties and that is now filled with roses and trees beneath your feet.
Other cool landmarks are clear to see once you fly over the Príncipe Pío train station, one of the most important transport hubs in Madrid. It’s easy to spot the legendary Madrid skyline all around you, including sights such as the newly refurbished and skater-friendly Plaza de España, the impressive Paseo de la Castellana skyscrapers, the 2nd largest Royal Palace in Europe, and the city´s iconic Almudena cathedral.