Posted by: pilgrims1326 | April 30, 2011

Day 2 in Madrid

Clock and body time began to merge this morning, so we were out and about by 10 am. The church pictured yesterday is St. Jeronimo de Real which is directly behind the Prado and has been closed to the public for a long time for reconstruction.

We ambled for sometime after a breakfast that avoided jamon. The locals were out to for a Saturday on the boulevards, in the parks and eateries. We saw 2 unique street acts – living statues. One was 2 terra cotta men except for the eyes. The other is 2 women facing each other and colored gray with one supposedly chiseling the other out of stone. Like the guards at Buckingham Palace, it is good sport to try and make them break character. Unfortunately it began to rain and the acts we washed out for the day!

We visited the Naval Museum which turned out to be fascinating – the glory of the Spanish Armada to modern day. King Juan Carlos is a noted yachtsman, so there is some emphasis on the maritime.

One block from our hotel is the exquisite Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum of Art, once the Palace Villahermosa. The vast collection was donated and is chronologically displayed on 4 floors. It is an awesome way to spend a rainy day.

As with the Prado and most great museums, most of the art was commissioned by royalty and wealth. Initially most was religious in theme. A lot or museum collections are donated (can you spell “tax deductions”), but it demonstrates the responsibility of the “haves” to society. Rockefellers, Fords, Smithsons, Thyssens, et al answered the call to sponsor the arts and sciences. Great art, architecture, music, and public service programs can be attributed to their noblesse oblige.

We took a nap break, rested tired feet and then set out in the evening to look for food. Everyone in Madrid was out in the rainy weather for fashionable dining at 9 or 10 pm. We found a small cafe with wine and fresh pasta – sigh – and strolled back to the hotel. We go now to the free WiFi area to google search for an Anglican Church to attend. Until to tomorrow ….

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Responses

  1. I see the twins are still doing their act on the streets of Madrid. Have you seen the roasted corn and chestnuts stands throughout the city? When I lived in Madrid as a little girl (on Via Princessa), I loved going to the stands for roasted chestnuts in the winter and cold horchata in the summer.


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