Thursday, May 13, 2010


We were pretty jetlagged when we were in Madrid, and probably didn't get quite as much out of this fabulous city as we might have.  But I loved Madrid - the food was incredible, the plazas vast, clean and entertaining, and the Prado was a delight. 

We had tapas one night with some friends living in Madrid, visiting their two favorite neighborhood places, and every plate was better than the last.  We visited the Mercado de San Miguel for appetizers one evening (where we bought just a bite of caviar at one booth, a couple bite size pieces of different types of cheese at another, and a few paper thin slices of jamon at a third) and had breakfast there again the next morning because we liked it so much.

Perhaps costumed street performers with the express purpose of "surprising" and then posing with tourists for pictures is found throughout Europe these days, but until I wandered the plazas of Madrid (Plaza Mayor, Plaza del Sol or Puerto del Sol) I hadn't seen a table set up with three heads, only one of them real, and/or three men dressed like Neanderthals, all waiting to grab the attention of unsuspecting tourists with movement or loud noises or bad jokes. 

Finally, I am not always a fan of huge museums but I am glad I didn't let that stop me from visiting the Prado.  We didn't explore every room, but made a point of seeking out the Goyas, the El Grecos,  and the Velazquez, especially "Las Meninas", considered by some to be the most perfect painting ever painted.  It was also very cool to see Hieronymus Bosch's "The Garden of Earthly Delights" live, after having seen posters and pictures and a variety of other reproductions of it  more than enough times.

Madrid is fantastic, and I hope to go back some day.  Bucket list!

No comments:

Post a Comment