Tag: madrid (page 1 of 1)

Madrid Part 3

This is my final Madrid Chapter. I have so much more to share, but these are really the highlights. The image above is the staircase in our hotel. The wood was so worn down it dipped, from all the feet that had walked over it for almost 100 years. We went to the Prado They were not the friendliest bunch working at the group ticket office that day and those ladies were extremely difficult about letting us in, even with my confirmation letters. As one of my colleagues said, “The Devil wears Prado!”

However, I got see Las MeninasBosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights (talk about the details you miss in a slide or viewing an image in a book, the colors were almost unimaginable, amazing!) and Fra Angelico’s The Annunciation. For that alone, it was worth all the hassle to get in. Gabriel’s robes were so much pinker than I had ever imagined. The gold glittered around the hem, catching the light in the room. It took my breath away.

We also went on a cable car ride and Goose Girl and Foxy got to see the Temple De Bod. Foxy studied a bit of Egyptian Art, so he is always glad when we gets to see something Egyptian in person, and test his Hieroglyphic skills.

We had lunch at a kitsch little cafe. Our waitress reminded me of an edgier Amelie. She had a great personality and was extremely witty! I ate pastela de pollo. It was heavenly, it was light, it was moorish, it was sweet. The chicken and almonds and apricots and cinnamon all bundled together in phyllo dough, with a sprinkling of powdered sugar on the top, it was devine.

We also went to the Caixia Forum. It was a really interesting building. There was an Architecture exhibition on, they had the prettiest statue of Saint Barbara from a Belgian church and the William Blake exhibition on the second floor had a gem of a Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

We finished our day with a walk back through the park we first started in and off to our hotel. I found this bicycle carved into a stone pavement and just as I was about to snap a picture, a little golden leaf blew onto one of the wheels.

I also spied this snail:

One last shot, taken behind one of the student’s glasses and we were off, bound for home.

Madrid Part 2

Well, in my next installment of Madrid, I thought I would discuss with you, what is possibly the best Gin & Tonic, I have ever had in my life thus far. We went out for an evening drink after one member of our group discovered this great little joint, tucked down a side road.

Making these drinks was a serious business. The ice was toppled in to chill the glass, before it was ceremoniously dumped away, the flick of the lemon rind around the rim of the glass, more ice being added, the lemon rind, a sprig of rosemary, the gin and then the tonic, gloriously poured down the metal swizzle stick. Our bartender was hysterical and put on quite a show for us, we enjoyed it.

We visited the Thyssen Museum and it started to become a joke at how many things we had told the students to see, or things that we wanted to see that were on loan. I didn’t get to see my Edward Hopper as it too was on loan, but tucked in a corner of the downstairs gallery was an Andrew Wyeth and seeing that, made up for the Hopper.

I was very fortunate growing up to have parents that instilled a love of the Arts into myself and my sister. We were also very lucky to have a museum near our home, that had a large collection of Wyeths and my mom would take us to see them during school breaks.

I love Andrew Wyeth, always have, always will. You weren’t allowed to take pictures in this museum, but I did sneak one onto my phone. That is a terrible thing for an Art Historian to do, I know, but I didn’t use flash.

His brushstrokes are so delicate, so powerful, I felt that I could just reach out and touch her sweater. You could feel the fibers and smell the wool.

We also traveled to the very exquisite San Miguel Market. It had exposed beams and iron-work and was filled with an extensive variety of food. One could have lived like a king eating from here. Many stalls were filled with just the “perfect bite”, so you could have made a selection of little tapas to enjoy at one of the tables while you watched the hustle and bustle around you.

Of course, wherever I go, so do Goose Girl and Foxy. This was Goose Girl enjoying the view from the balcony of our hotel. She liked to sleep with the doors open at night, so she could smell the city, feel the breeze ripple over her skin, watch the curtains dance and listen to the traffic below. She was happy there.

I have a few more things to share with you yet, so stay tuned, there is one more day to go…

Madrid Part 1

Well, it has taken me a little bit to get this out. I think that last week, almost killed me, we just have to survive this week and then we are on Fall Break, I am already doing a “Peanut’s” dance just thinking about it!

There is just so much I want to share with you and what I will be sharing, won’t even be the half of it, but here goes:

On our first morning, we took a meandering stroll through the streets of Madrid, before the city really woke and these were some of my finds:

Our first day was spent at the Reina Sofia Museum. I got to see Guernica in person, there were things that I had not noticed before. A slide or an image in a book can only go so far in bringing something to life for your eyes. The details are not always captured. 

I also got to see Picasso’s Woman in Blue (1902) and was very excited about that. Her lips were so red, redder than I had ever imagined, redder than any image had ever shown. But not just red, they were scarlet, they were strawberry, they were peachy, they were a blazing orange. She sat gazing out on the room and all who entered it.

There were so many other things I enjoyed seeing in this museum, here are just two:

After lunch we spent the late afternoon in the Buen Retiro Park, boating around the lake, visiting the Crystal Palace, drawing, photographing and just being.

We walked the students to the Forest of the Departed. It was built to commemorate the 192 victims of the 2004 Atocha Train Station bombings. A tree had been planted for each person who had been killed. It is composed of cyprus and olive trees and it was refined, peaceful and reflective.

It is surrounded by water and the garden winds around in a spiral, swirling around a mini mountain. At the top, very happily eating and obviously very used to people was the most exquisite rabbit. He let me photograph him and even came out from his little thicket to sniff my camera lens.

More to come tomorrow, so stay tuned…