Posts Tagged ‘Dali’

Day 38: Madrid

Posted: August 25, 2014 in Madrid, Travel
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Day 38: Madrid

Our last day of the trip 😦

We all woke up very tired this morning. The room was really hot last night (until I figured out how to work their air conditioning system – then it was too cold for Marie and Caitlin) and I couldn’t sleep… And the noise from the square and in the hotel (Saturday night is definitely party night in Madrid) was too much for the ear plugs… Then around 6am we were rudely woken to shouted insults and angry swearing then the sound of police sirens… And the beds were too hard…When I went out on the balcony to check what it was all about there were 6-8 cops there and it appeared they’d broken up a fairly large fight… What was surprising was there must have been 150 people milling around in the square (many looked like they were just heading home from the bars).

Bleary eyes and aching bodies notwithstanding, we started our last day in Madrid early with a trip to El Rastro – the largest flea market in Spain (and one of the largest in Europe). It was a shopper’s paradise and Caitlin and Marie did some damage to their pocketbooks. Apparently there’s a limit of 3500 stalls scattered over an area encompassing about 10 square city blocks. Parts of it are a decent quality tourist market (lots of scarves, patchwork pants, etc.) with decent enough prices… The rest is true flea market with lots of antiques and odds and ends and DVDs, etc. There were lots of cool, funky things for sale but we’re pretty limited on the amount of stuff we can bring back and the packs are pretty full as it is… So lots of looking but no buying for us. Marie may also significantly damaged the image of Canadians in Spain forever in one stall… Her “who is this Renaldo guy anyways and what does he play” caused the guy to cough and sputter like he was having a seizure.

The guidebooks mentioned this place would be a zoo by 11am so we got there early (just after 9am) when a lot of the sellers were just getting set up and it was pretty quiet (lots of police around – presumably to check the sellers’ licences). By 11am it was wall to wall shoppers. We stuck it out until around 12:30 then grabbed a bucket of cold Radlers (those yummy low alcohol content, beer based drinks I mentioned in an earlier post) and some tapas for lunch… Then it was off to the Museo Reina Sofia – home to Picasso’s famous painting Guernica – considered the most important Spanish painting and one of the most valuable pieces of art in the world – and a bunch of Dali’s and other modern artists’ works. Turns out admission is free after 1:30 (good timing for us) but they close some of the exhibits so we weren’t able to see all of the art (Marie cried inconsolably at this turn of events) but did get to see the biggies.

Then it was back to the Plaza del Sol area to shop for some souvenirs… At one point I discovered a chain restaurant called 100 Motaditos (or something like that) where they serve pints of beer for 1.50 euros (about $2.25 cnd) and all the tapas are 1 euro… I made myself comfortable while Caitlin and Marie finished their souvenir shopping… Then it was over to the more swanky shopping area to check out a store called “Lefties” that we’d discovered earlier in our wanders… Marie and Caitlin did some back to school shopping (and stretched the limits of our packing space to their very max) and then we headed back to our stomping grounds for a final dinner in Madrid.

We settled on the place next door to the restaurant we’d eaten at the previous two nights (you can only take completely indifferent service so many times). They had a fixed menu where you got 4 tapas and a main plus bread and dessert for 16.5 euros (reasonably priced for Madrid). The food was good, the sangria was good and the shots of Madronos liquor they gave us for free (not sure if that was intentional or not but they weren’t on the bill) were also good… By this point it was almost 11 and we still had to pack for tomorrow so it was back to the hotel room (a whopping 20’ away from our seats) and off to bed.

Hard to believe that 38 days have gone by… although, we’ve been traveling for so long now and seen so many countries and cities that we’ve all kind of forgotten the first days of the trip…

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The picture above is called “Girl at the Window” or something along those lines. It is by Salvadore Dali (as is the picture below which is more along the lines of what he’s famous for)… I include this picture because it is quite noteworthy… Mainly because it is one of the few (as in quite possibly none) pieces of modern art Marie has ever said “I like that” in response to… She likes it so much she bought a copy of it to put in her office…

 

 

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