November 2, 2008


Cool detail of a platform of a column I saw.

Well I am back from Madrid and now enjoying my second to last day here in Spain. I have a small list of things I need to get done before leaving (souvenir shopping, getting in touch with Verizon so I have a working cell phone when my plane lands, throwing away all of the brochures and ticket stubs from all of my sightseeing that I of coursed either stashed in my bag or in my night table drawers, doing a little laundry, and of course the most major chore is for tomorrow (no, not eating as much jamón as possible): packing up all of my belongings. It is strange to me that this journey is almost over but more on those musings tomorrow. For now, I would like to share my “captures” of Madrid.

Arriving in Madrid at a little bit after 10am on Sunday morning (though I swear there was a hurricane in Barcelona when we left and I questioned the sanity of the pilot for taking off only 20 minutes late rather than at least 4 hours later), I made my way to the metro, transferred twice, and then came aboveground about 45 minutes later and walked 5 minutes to the Reina Sofia art museum (free on Sundays from 10:30 – 2:30; pictured above in the second photo). The first thing that happened when I came up out of the metro station was that I noticed it was EXTREMELY cold; as in northeast in November cold. To answer your question, no I did not bring a heavy jacket with me to Spain and so I was wearing all possible layers of clothing possible (and ended up having to buy some gloves at H&M the next day). The second thing that happened upon exiting the metro station was that I was asked for directions by some tourists. I find this remarkable but then again, I guess I blend in with the locals pretty well.

So after not being able to help tourists and realizing it was about 39 degrees (or about 5 degrees C I think…), I entered the warm art museum, dropped my bag at the coatcheck and made my way up to the start of the permanent collection on the 2nd floor. Before coming I really had no idea what to expect though had heard it was more on the modern side with artists of the 20th century. It turned out to be an incredible art-viewing experience with (in my opinion) perfect curation and order as well as an amazing collection from some highly talented (in my opinion) Spanish artists from the early to mid-20th century; Dalí, Miró, and Picasso were all very well represented. What this particular museum boasts as the best and most viewed of it’s collection is Picasso’s Guernica which I had remembered visually from art history class in college but not what the major history behind it was; the fact that it was to bring attention to the atrocities of the Spanish Civil War that were going on at the time to the rest of the world. There was a whole alcove/room dedicated to the painting (since it is huge), as well as the scale model for Spain at the 1937 World’s Fair held in Paris, where the painting first made its debut, showing that it was the first piece of art people saw when walking into the exhibition.

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