Saturday, April 19, 2014

MADRID!!!!!! Bigger Than Life!

So we spent 3 days in Madrid, a city we totally love!  There is only one word to describe Madrid: BIG.  Everything is big- big avenues, big buildings, big churches, big palaces, big museums, big plazas,  big parks, big crowds, and big sky- the clouds were amazing.  Madrid is not a cozy little bedroom city like Valencia, or a cuddly city like Barcelona. Madrid is serious!  The people were surprisingly nice for such a big city, though.  Even in crowds, they were well behaved.  And everything we wanted to see was quite close.  We wandered thru the streets everyday just looking at everything- and we would quickly end up in another area we thought was far away.  The down-side: getting a good photograph is hard.

Madrid is known for their art.  Because they were the capital of an empire, they have a lot of it!  The Big 3 museums: Prado, Thyssen, and La Reina, would all take days to go thru.  Luckily, we did them before:-).  So we went on their free times and spent 2 hours in each. Before, we identified which artists we wanted to see.  Sadly, no photography, so no pictures.  At Prado, my all-time favorite is Fra Angelico's "the Annunciation" (  At La Reina, Picasso's "Guernica" is the only piece we spent time on (  Thyssen is a wandering museum of great paintings.

We also met some people that we hung with a bit.  Lenny and Jan, from the foothills of CA were on our cruise.  After the cruise, they went up to Salamanca as Lenny's grandparents immigrated from that area.  They also turned us on to the best restaurant!  Ginger, in a little square off Calle Atocha before Plaza Mayor.  They had the very best Curry Chicken I ever had!  On our walking tour, we met Tinh, from Viet Nam.  We went to the La Reina together.  His ability to understand modern art was amazing.  I tend to think more concrete, so modern art makes no sense to me- but his understanding of it was extremely welcoming.

Anyway- enough blathering on, here are some pictures for you:

the park in front of the Royal Palace- check out the clouds!

 Rich and I in Retiro Park

 Grand Via at sunset

 Communications Building (now a museum)

 Grand Via at street level

 top of a building on Grand Via!

Rich at the Palace

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