Thursday, July 26, 2012


I ran off to Madrid on Monday. It takes only 2 hours and 45 minutes on the speedy train and so I figured since I'm already in Spain, I may as well see the Big City. I actually know someone in Madrid. We met at Esalen a few years ago and I sent her an email when I decided to book the trip not knowing if she'd remember me. She did, but she was going on vacation that same day. There is SO much to do in Madrid, but since I was going solo, I decided to make it a museum trip.

This sculpture greeted me outside the train station - random baby face.

Took one of those 'hop on, hop off' tours to orient myself in the city. This notice was posted on the ticket booth. I did end up seeing protests, but later on in the trip.

The infamous Prado museum. Got in free thanks to the Otis card. Stayed almost 5 hours.

There were many artists set up all around the museum, painting copies of the paintings. Not sure if I was allowed to take pictures, but I snuck this one.  Some observations while at the Prado:

1. An overwhelming number of artists are named "Max"
2. One of the many renderings of Jesus portrayed him with an outie. It made me laugh out loud.
3. Goya's portrait of King Ferdinand could easily be a portrait of Quentin Tarintino.

Next, I went across the street to the Thyssen-Bornemisza, another wonderful museum. This housed everything from Goya to Dali, and I loved seeing all the traditional, classical paintings along with the Dada and Surrealists. It really made me realize what a bold, thrilling departure surrealism was. Up until then, it was all Jesus all the time! There was also a wonderful Edward Hopper exhibit at this museum.

Outdoor bookstore.

If I had to pick favorites, I think it would be the Reina Sofia, the modern art museum, housed in an old hospital. Absolutely stunning. Miro, Calder, Dali, Magritte, Picasso (Picasso's Guernica is there. It is spectacular).

Room full of Juan Gris paintings. Loved.

I took the speedy train home 2 days later. Madrid's train station is a beautiful atrium, replete with turtle pond - look closely:

While in Madrid I received an email from my cousin Adam that he and a friend were backpacking through Europe and were going to be in Barcelona, so when I arrived back from Madrid I met them for dinner before heading back the comforts of El Bruc. We had a fun dinner! Took the last bus back and collapsed on my bed in a heap of exhaustion. I forgot to mention how HOT Madrid was. Heat like I've never experienced.
The weekend there is a festival on the property that is supposed to last for 3-days. We're not quite sure how it's all going to play out as it's being hosted by the actual owners of this place (not the proprieters - still can't spell that). Whatever it is, I'm sure it will inspire more stories!

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