Making Memories in Madrid

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Day dawned early as I just could not sleep! I added a cool poem I ran across to our group chat and lo and behold, it exposed another non sleeper! Things get going slow in Spain so mostly we plotted and planned for a bit and ultimately three of us headed out for a walk and breakfast. The temperature was WONDERFUL and it was really great to just wander. Desayuno (breakfast) was definitely nothing to write home about. I basically had a fried egg, ham and cheese sandwich. But it did have a cute little hole punched out of it with the egg yolk peeking out…

And speaking of cute – our Airbnb is cool and quirky enough to be considered such! We are in a classic historical building with a small, ornate iron clad elevator and beautiful stained glass on several floors. We have a skinny main room that leads to a dining room with a nice view of the iconically embellished old building across the street. Then radiating off the main room starting at the front door is a kitchen, a bedroom and just before the dining room, a hallway with two bedrooms down on the left and four bedrooms over on the right! Two of the bedrooms have one double bed, all the others have two beds, mostly doubles. Each bedroom has a bathroom!! The decor is inviting and comfortable with leather couches and some cheery art. My bedroom off the kitchen has a pattern etched into the glass doors around the shower and also around the separate toilet and sink room! It is a great spot for our large group!

A highlight of the day was our visit to the Prado Museum!!!! And there were no lines as people are just starting to get out to enjoy tourism activities since the Pandemic hit in March of 2020. Masks are still required.

From the Prado Museum website: “The Prado Museum opened on November 10, 1819. The building designed by Juan de Villanueva was originally conceived as a house of science but, encouraged by his wife Maria Isabel of Braganza, King Ferdinand VII finally decided to use it as a museum, to store the royal paintings. Years of private donations and acquisitions led to a notable expansion of its collection. At the start of the Spanish Civil War, the artworks were moved to the basement and sandbagged to protect them against possible bombings. Then, following the recommendations of the League of Nations, they were moved to Valencia and finally evacuated to the Geneva headquarters of the LoN. When the Second World War broke out shortly after, the collection was returned to Madrid.

The museum reopened its doors on 6 June 2020 with an exhibition entitled Reunited, which comprises the majority of the museum’s most iconic artworks. The gallery is also enhanced with a professional monitor that presents an animated sequence of surprising details of the works, some shown up to 12 times their original size.”

We spent a couple hours there and even though there was so much more to see it just became too overwhelming!! Many of the pieces were massive in size and all were incredibly detailed and overall astounding!

We picked up some appetizer fixings for our group meal on the way back and stopped for a sangria before ducking out of the nearly 100° heat. Unfortunately the temperature really discouraged much gallivanting about and the next highlight for me was joining in a rousing game of Avalon, a Wayfinding Academy standard. The majority went out for tapas – this pilgrim chose to catch up on sleep! Tomorrow we bus to Oviedo.

I’ll leave you with an interesting observation of mine – the majority of dogs I saw in Madrid were huskies!! I sure felt sorry for them in the heat!

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