Monday, August 15, 2011
I spent this weekend catching up on some touristy things in Madrid...made it to Museo del Prado, Museo Reina Sofia, Plaza Mayor, the Teleferico, and Templo de Debod at sunset.
The Prado and the Reina Sofia were unreal. I spent hours in each, and could go back tomorrow and do it all again. Art History happened to be a class I really loved freshman year in college, so having the opportunity to see so many pieces I studied by Goya and Velazquez at the Prado was amazing. I spent the next day at the Reina Sofia and saw so much work by Dali and Picasso that I didn't even know existed, as well as discovering some other artists that made quite an impression on me. That afternoon/evening was probably one of my favorite days so far.
A few friends and I took the Teleferico (a cable car that goes out of the center of the city) in the late afternoon one day and had some drinks on the terrace and enjoyed the view as the sun was setting. On the way back, we stopped at the Temple of Debod just after the sunset and it was stunning. It's kind of an amazing story - due to the construction of the Aswan dam, it was in danger of being flooded, so it was dismantled in the late 60s, and moved from Egypt by ship and train to Madrid where it was reconstructed brick by brick. (Dad, how proud are you of me right now? haha)
Tomorrow I leave for Bilbao, San Sebastian, and Barcelona before my next volunteer program starts and I need to get myself organized and packed tonight so I'll finish with a quick, amusing (to me) little anecdote - I went to the bus station today to purchase my ticket for tomorrow and I did without a single word of English. The very patient, nice old man at the ticket counter smirked through the whole exchange, and as he handed me my ticket he said "Muy bien" with a wink and the look you would give a child that just recited their ABCs without missing a letter. I'm pretty sure if there wasn't glass between us he might have reached out and patted me on the head.