After my visit with friends in Valencia, Juan took me to the station to catch the train for Madrid. It takes a couple few hours with some interesting countryside to see on the way. Madrid itself held some museum wonders at the Prado and Thyssen Bornemisza that I was interested in seeing. The Prado is quite impressive, but rather daunting too. Do have a visit to the Bornemisza, located very near the Prado for a more spritely experience. About Madrid in particular, it seemed a grand city with many things to see, but they seemed to be digging it up in many places while I was there, which detracted from the experience a bit.
Some parts of the city were noisy with machinery and dusty from the construction going on. I seemed to have the impression that much of the stonework on the ground for walkways, plazas and such was being replaced. I did a fair amount of walking about where I could anyway and the architecture is impressive. Plaza Mayor was a recommended place to see, but the presence of costumed people in the guise of Mickey the Mouse, Whinnie the Pooh, Darth Vader, etc. seemed a bit silly and out of place to me. I guess some might find this entertaining, but I enjoy travel to historic places to get away from those things, so it was not really to my taste. I visited the museums, of course, and these are not to be missed in Madrid. The Prado is grand indeed, if a bit overwhelming. I rather enjoyed the Thyssen Bornemisza more, simply for pleasure.
El Corte Ingles (Enormous store)
It has a fine collection of impressionist, expressionist and surrealist art. A refreshing variety in collection after the 12th - 19th century European art in the Prado, which while impressive, is a bit monotonous and overwhelming. There was a special exhibit on Juaquin Sorolla (Valencian Spanish painter) in a separate wing that was quite good. It's a separate entrance fee for the special exhibits.
I enjoyed spending some time at the Corte de Ingles too. This is a major department store chain in Spain - with stores on a grand scale. I visited one in Valencia, but the one in Madrid was enormous. You can find just about everything under the sun here. I bought a chamelo (domino) set in rembrance of playing this with my friends in Valencia. All in all, although I only spent a couple days in Madrid I was able to have a good sampling of what it has to offer, but I hardly scratched the surface I know. Perhaps I will return another day to see this large and lively city again in it's entirety. I made a special video of my experiences in spain (a slide show to music really) and present it in the last entry of this blog with some commentary on it...
"Every perfect traveller always creates the country where he travels." ~ Nikos Kazantzakis
Madrid Hotels & Accommodations review
Good Hotel Location for the Madrid Art Triangle
This hotel is situated near Plaza de Colon, very near many of the main museums of the so-called art triangle (Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen Bornemisz… read entire review
Madrid Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
The name of this Asian restaurant is appropriate and there is peace and harmony with the decor inside. It is simple and thoughtfully arranged and the … read entire review
Madrid Sights & Attractions review
A Gem of a Museum in Madrid
Part of the so called "Triangle of Art" in Madrid, which also includes the Prado and Reina Sofia Museums, the Thyssen-Bornemisza offers an eclectic co… read entire review