Friday, July 8, 2011

Back on the Continent - Madrid

With Portugal and the UK behind me, I have now made my way to Spain. I write this post from Pamplona, where I have come for a not-so-secret reason involving creatures of the bovine persuasion. I did get a few days in Madrid, though, so here's what happened there.

I met up with my friend Ariel and we hit up the Parque del Retiro. And almost everything else.

I went to the palace. I look really skinny in this picture.

I went into the cathedral. Unlike the palace, it was free.

It was colorful.

I walked around the busy Plaza del Sol.

 I got punched by a mime.

I found a market that tempted me to choose things from the bottom of the pile.

 I walked around downtown and took pictures of awesome buildings.

I went to the Prado. I freaking love the Prado. 

I didn't really know what was there, so I just walked around for the first while. I stumbled upon three of my favorite paintings of all time: Bosch's "The Garden of Earthly Delights," Baldung's "Three Stages of Man and Death," and Goya's "Saturn Devouring his Child." I spent about twenty minutes (each) just staring at them. They also had a whole hall full of huge Rubens paintings. And, of course, they don't allow photography. But the ekphrastic poetry-producing inspiration had no end. Other works that I loved and/or was familiar with:

  • Patinir's "Crossing the Styx"
  • Brueghel (the Elder, I believe)'s "The Triumph of Death"
  • Raphael's "Madonna of the Fish," which I wasn't familiar with but had incredible color
  • Ribera's "Jacob's Dream"
  • Velzquez's "Las Meninas"

 Then I went to the Reina Sofia museum, to see Picasso.

"Guernica" is much larger than I had imagined.

You're not allowed to take pictures of the good Picasso (bloody pirates), but I tried sneaking one despite the two very mean-looking, probably-single women acting as sentries. As you can see above, I didn't get much done, but I did get a good chunk of the dying man. Great painting.

"Object to be Destroyed" I don't get it, but me and my Union Jack shirt are fans.

This is an excellent shot of my beard.

I went to the archaeological museum. This is the best-known Iberian sculpture, "The Lady of Elche."
Yeah, I hadn't heard of it either.

I also found a sweet restaurant. I want one.

I also found a lion.

So, yeah, that's Madrid. I wasn't there for too long, and I probably won't get back there other than the day I bus my way in and out on the way to Barcelona. But, no matter which way you cut it, the spot where I stayed was to die for:


Lissa Chandler said...

You are the only person I know who would get punched by a mime. Hope you're having a great time!

P.S. Nice beard.

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