Sunday, 21 February 2010

19 February 2010 - Madrid

Today was dry which was good since it was our last full day in Madrid and we planned on putting in a full day.

We swung by La Kitchen, the restaurant we ate at the previous evening just to take a photo of the outside. It's the non descript lower floor of this building.

First stop for breakfast was at Cafe el Espejo with Andrew’s favourite jamon, queso y huevo. I opted for hard bread with tomato paste and Iberian ham. Lovely. Our breakfast was almost interrupted by some filming that was taking place inside the cafe. It looked like an author doing a photo shoot for her new book.

Headed out and Andrew couldn’t resist another photo of that strange caravan that was parked up outside.

The centre of Madrid is always like a building site apparently. Seems the builders were having a laugh with these 2 boulders.

Now that we were fed our first trip of the day was to Tiffany’s for some shopping. Tried on a few rings and settled on the Tiffany atlas design band. Chuffed to bits with it and so was Andrew’s wallet as I managed to avoid the huge diamond and sapphire collections. Here's a picture of me sporting said new ring.

Now take note Stirling Council. The Spanish authorities go out of their way to disguise some of their more functional structures. In this picture you can actually see these rather nifty figure of 8 grit bins which double up as little seats too. So much better than our awful looking yellow plastic tubs!

We had the chance to take photos of some of the large sculptures found amongst the underpasses. This one here is made of bronze and it's called Proali and it is by Marcel Marti. Made in 1984.

This sculpture reminded me of a giant penguin but it wasn't. It's made of bronze too and is by Joan Miro and was made in 1975 and is called Mere Ubu. Must be worth a fortune.

Not all sculptures have nice rounded lines to them as you will see with this one.

And what do you do with a huge lump of concrete below an underpass? Why string it up on metal rods of course!!

And another sculpture. This one is called Toros ibericos and is by Alberto Sanchez. It was made in 1958 - 1960.

This sculpture consisted of 2 large objects which fitted together although I wouldn't want to try and place them together; they were huge.

Having tackled the 3 big art galleries in Madrid, today we were heading to 2 smaller ones. Museo Sorolla is a combined gallery and museum dedicated to the life of Joaquin Sorollo. The artist died around 1925 and this collection was given to the people of Madrid by his widow.

The entrance to the gallery is through a lovely Andulusian style courtyard garden. With tiled paths, little fountains and trimmed hedges it was really a very peaceful setting.

The main room inside the gallery was where the artist lived and worked. It resembled a giant Dutch barn with the double height walls filled with the artist’s paintings. Furniture including his desk and bed stood inside the room and gave you an insight into how the artist lived and worked in this, his studio.

What a tiny bed.

The room off this was a lounge with a semi circular glazed conservatory area. Looking up you could see the splendid tiffany chandaliers. Now that’s something I’d be quite happy to have in my house.

What a lovely area this would have been for sitting reading a book or painting.

You then head up a lovely staircase made from iroko wood to the upstairs gallery. Again filled with the artist’s work.

A final stroll out through the courtyard gardens before heading to our next port of call.

The second gallery of the day was Museo Lazaro Galdiano. He was a business man and publisher who died in 1947 and he too dedicated his vast collection to the people of Madrid. The collection covers 4 floors and comprises not only paintings but ceramics, glass, jewellery, armoury and my favourite........ large tapestries. Amber’s classic endorsement of this gallery was “it’s not rubbish like the others”.

We continued our walk northwards passed the Natural History Museum.

And how funny is this sculpture in the middle of the road? And funnier still if you wave at it tall jets of water shoot up into the air!!!

I just made that up about the jets of water!!!

Back on our walk and we headed up past Real Madrid’s football stadium – Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

We passed this government building. Looked a bit military.

We were heading northwards to see 2 iconic buildings in Madrid, the sloping towers of the Puerto de Europa. It was only afterwards that we checked and we had actually walked over 5 miles to get to these towers!! They are located at the end of Paseo de la Castellana. It’s an area likely to develop in years to come since the plan is to make this area one of Europe’s major commercial centres. It used to be Real Madrid’s training ground but they sold it because they were short of cash.

Four giant skyscrapers are already under construction in this area and the one you see in the pictures is by the architect Norman Foster and it reaches some 250m into the sky. I liked that one.

Still more sculptures were there to be discovered on our walk. This one had very limited appeal, just lumps of melted metal squashed together.

And as we headed back down our 5 miles we passed the footie stadium again.

Even some of the older, existing buildings in Madrid looked amazing. How tall is this one?

I thought this sculpture looked half finished. It was as if the artist had carved the head and an arm then gave up!

When traffic halts at the lights you sometimes see the street entertainers out trying to make some money by waving and throwing flags about.

But the best flag was this enormous one which was a gift to Madrid.

And remember the picture of the hotel that reminded me of a giant wedding cake? Well it looks even more like a big cake when it is lit up.

1 comment:

Pamela said...

Amber is quite the trooper to cover all that distance. What a beautiful city to walk around in.