I spent the holidays with Puck and family in Oklahoma–arriving December 24th and coming back to Madrid January 1st. A week with Puck was the best present possible, and it was wonderful to start the new year together. We enjoyed our time with our families, especially with our pup Shakti and with our darling nieces and nephew. Thanks to the Internet, we even had a chance to see our Australian nephew. Among my treasured Christmas presents is a lovely ring that my niece Brenna bought for me.

Today, I was surprised when I opened the curtains and saw snow on the ground. I grabbed my camera and walked around the neighborhood. Snow is fairly rare in Madrid, and this was the heaviest snowfall in the last 10 years. The flakes were large and fluffy and had covered the untread ground in white. Madrileños and tourists had come out to enjoy the snow–throwing snowballs, making snowmen and taking photos.

The Plaza de Oriente sits next to the Royal Palace (Palacio Real) and has gardens bordered by statues of past Spanish kings. In the center is the fountain you see with a statue of Phillip IV, and on the other side of the plaza is the Royal Theater.

The Plaza de Oriente sits next to the Royal Palace (Palacio Real) and has gardens bordered by statues of past Spanish kings. In the center is the fountain you see with a statue of Phillip IV, and on the other side of the plaza is the Royal Theater.

The Royal Palace (Palacio Real) was built in the 1700s by the Bourbons and is still used for some official functions. The front gates of the palace open to a large courtyard, and you can see the Spanish flag flying.

The Royal Palace was built in the 1700s by the Bourbons and is still used for some official functions. The front gates of the palace open to a large courtyard, and you can see the Spanish flag flying.

Facing the Royal Palace is Almudena Cathedral which took almost a century to build and was completed in 1993.

Facing the Royal Palace is Almudena Cathedral which took almost a century to build and was completed in 1993.

The parks and plazas were decorated with snow sculptures, and I’ve included several of them below to share:

This ice princess was enjoying a day in the Plaza de Oriente with her favorite doll.

This ice princess was enjoying a day in the Plaza de Oriente with her favorite doll.

Not far from the ice princess was this fellow with a cigar in his mouth and two snowmen in progress in the background.

Not far from the ice princess was this fellow with a cigar in his mouth and two snowmen in progress in the background.

A tiny snow sculpture was even on the cathedral.

A tiny snow sculpture was even on the cathedral.

A family of snow bunnies was hopping through the Jardines de Sabatini park behind the palace.

A family of snow bunnies was hopping through the Jardines de Sabatini park behind the palace.

And another snow rabbit was sitting on a bench.

And another snow rabbit was sitting on a bench.

This snow cat watched the visitors pass by its bench.

This snow cat watched the visitors pass by its bench.

Asnd thi snow turtle was also lazing around in the park. Snowbathing perhaps?

And this snow turtle was also lazing around in the park. Snowbathing perhaps?

This little fella with a large orange nose was ready to greet the dogs running in the park.

This little fella with a large orange nose was ready to greet the dogs running in the park.

A snowman family posed for photos in front of a street by the Plaza de España.

A snowman family posed for photos in front of a street by the Plaza de España.

While there were many more snowmen of all shapes and sizes, the above were some of my favorites. On my way home, I passed through the Plaza de España which is just a couple of blocks from my house.

The Plaza de España is beautiful as the lights turn on, and the snow continues to fall.

The Plaza de España is beautiful as the lights turn on, and the snow continues to fall.

There is a lovely fountain with two statues of women on it in the plaza.

There is a lovely fountain with two statues of women on it in the plaza.

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