I RECENTLY went to Madrid – a huge metropolis of some three million people and a pleasant change from my little town.
There are parks, historic and cultural artifacts, and many places to wander and enjoy the urban energy.
While I was there, however, it rained. All day and all night, it rained.
Instead of meandering through the Retiro and window-shopping along the Gran Vía, we stuck to the museums and other indoor sights.
The Reina Sofia was the first stop on the itinerary and it was fascinating. I usually prefer classic, impressionist, “old” art to the modern art featured in this museum, but everything from the physical structure of the building to the way they arranged the art was excellent. It was incredible to see works from masters like Picasso and Dalí, including the extraordinary “Guernica”.
The first thing we saw when we arrived at The Prado, on the other hand, was a newly restored matching set of Adam and Eve paintings from the 16th century. This museum was more what I usually enjoy – giant alter pieces from the 1300s, brilliant ‘still life’s of fresh fruit from a few hundred years ago and pieces by Spain’s own Goya. It also included perfectly restored sculptures from Roman times.
I hope to go back again to see the outdoor sights, but these two museums alone made the weekend worth it. The visual treasures contained within are absolutely marvelous.