Posted by: pilgrims1326 | April 29, 2011

Go …

0530 checked in at LAX – 4/28 … 0830 4/29 in the taxi from Madrid Airport (9 hour time difference).

Checked into our hotel on the Plaza Canovas del Castillo. Collapsed into jet lag coma and missed The Wedding on Spanish TV. Finally pulled ourselves together to go exploring and begin the necessary acclimation to Spanish time. It was coolish (60’s), a little breezy and grey, but refreshing for benumbed travelers.

I do not believe that in the entire history of Spain one morsel of undesirable food has ever been served. There is an inordinate amount of jamon (ham), but the Spanish are very proud of their cuisine, service, and knowledge of wines. Public conversations are quiet and intimate with very little raucous behavior.

We headed across the Paseo del Prado to make a late day visit to the Prado Museum – my favorite in all the world – and it is free. Saw “The Garden of Earthly Delights” by Hieronymous Bosch – a triptych from 1500 – which glowed with amazing color and fantasmagorical creatures. Found my absolute favorite, “Il descentimento” – The Descent from the Cross – more awesome than I remembered and it brought me to tears. John said that seeing this was a good way to begin our journey.

Suddenly it was 8 pm and the staff quietly asked everyone to leave ….and they did! No quibbling, no stalling – everyone simply turned and did as asked.

We ambled for awhile in the twilight and made tomorrow’s plans. Back at the hotel we sat at the tapas bar for a bite and a beverage. This was a great beginning to our sojourn especially since a lovely couple sat down next to us who turned out to be true Buckeyes from Columbus, Ohio – a sign!

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  4. Loved the jamon (ham) comment. We were in Madrid in November and I have never eaten so much ham in my life! Have you had paella yet? The Prado is an amazing museum. You really need a couple of days to explore its depth. I too had my breath taken away when I saw The Garden of Earthly Delights. I really liked the modern new section that houses the gift shop and cafe. Such a stark contrast between the old and new!

  5. My friends and I made the mistake of visiting the Prado on our first day in Spain. My friend had never been to Europe and thought that jet lag was all in the head. We got about half way through the museum before we looked at each other and said. “Okay. enough. Nap time.”

  6. I know who the people are in the picture; what is the name of the church?

  7. Thanks so much great narrative describing you first day of your journey. Looking forward to more when you are not to tired. I recorded the wedding on DVR spent about 3 hrs watching it. She was so beautiful & the music at Westminister was excellent. We keep you in our prayers for a safe return.
    Love K & D.

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