jerry and jean

jerry and jean

Friday, February 28, 2014

The Prado - ART ART ART

Hola!  Spent today day at the Prado Museum of Art.  It was a long walk from our apartment but we just took it easy and enjoyed the cool sunny weather.  We decided to walk down (pretty good sized hill) and taxi back up.  Good plan.
Needless to say, we did not eat here.  The name put us off.
The Prado is one of the world's best Art Galleries.  It contains large collections of Goya, Velazquez, El Greco, and other important painters.  It is large, and it was a full day of walking (I'm seeing a theme here) and walking and walking, but it was worth the work.  Here are a few pictures.

No photos allowed I hear a collective sigh of relief?   Come on, this blog is a cultural lesson too you know.

 Here are the top five paintings in the Museum right off of the internet. Don't forget, to see the image bigger, click on it.

El Greco - Nobleman with his hand on his chest  1560
Very original title

Velazquez - The family of Philip IV - 1656

Goya - The Third of May, 1808 in Madrid -

Goya - the Countess of Chincon - 1800

Hieronymus Bosch - The Garden of Earthly Delights  - 1500
This of course are only 5 of the thousands of paintings in this museum, but some of the ones that the Prado is famous for.  Amazing.

We ate lunch at the museum cafeteria (Jerry's idea).  It was bad....really bad, and cold, and neither of us ate much of it.  I did drink 2 cups of Cafe Latte that were very good.

Took a taxi back to Plaza Mayor and found a sunny spot.  Very windy today, but we were protected.  I had some Sangria and Jerry a beer. I'm really lovin' the Sangria. :-)
Always get a little something with your drink, and not Grumpy Bill's stale
old popcorn.

On the building on our corner

Last night met 3 young people at one of the Tapas bars that spoke English.  Two from the states and one from New Zealand.  They provided a welcome relief from us talking to each other all the time.  If you're out there....hello!

Just got back from dinner on the Tapas street, calle de la Baja.   Getting to be old pros at this after 3 nights.  Started out at Tempranillo again, because I had a craving for the Calamari toast.  It was a little different but just as good.  Then we had a scrambled eggs with vegetables, fish, and mushrooms.  Very different but fabulous.  A new kind of wine tonight, really fine.  So, all of that for what do you think it cost?   4 glasses of wine, 2 pieces of Calamari toast and a big plate of eggs......$24.00.  Amazing!
calle de la Baja - a hoppin' spot

Ham store

 Jerry is always teasing me about not knowing where I am.  As a matter of fact I think he thinks I am just kidding when I don't know where I am. Which I am not.   Last year in Italy I got lost, and couldn't find my way back to the apartment.  So this year I have to carry 50 euros for a cab, a map, an address of the apartment.  Today he is being the geography teacher.  I had to find the calle de la Baja by myself leading him.  I really had no clue, and had to get my map out of my pocket several times (it's only a few blocks away).  Then at the restaurant we had to have a map lesson with sausage casings. This man is sick.
The little short one is our street and the one on the far right is calle de la Baja.

After Tempranillo we went to Casa Goya in honor of the Prado today.  It was much quieter.  Had a glass of wine and I LED THE WAY HOME!!!!! and we got here.  So there!

Tomorrow we go to more art museums and the train station to get a ticket to Valencia.  Need to go to bed earlier tonight.  We are like babies with our days and nights mixed up.

Madrid Day 2

Well, this is the third time I have written this post, and I hope the last.  Each time I get 3/4th of the way done I somehow delete it.  Could it be the wine I have drunk tonight?

We had a stressful, exhausting, and fun time last night trying to figure out Tapas and how to order/eat/pay/ etc. for it.  It appears in the guidebooks easy to do. Not so for two hicks from Iowa.  We left the apartment about 8:30 PM to find a street named Calle de la Baja, which from all reports is "the" Tapas street in our area.  A little known fact, but true, is that Madrid has more bars  per capita than anywhere else in the world.  Anyway.  we took off, found the street, and became paralyzed. We looked:  Too Spanish, too crowded, too complicated, too...too.  Anyway, Jerry wasn't comfortable.  We ended up at Tragatapas.  Not note worthy but fine for us.  Some pictures:

They carve the ham right there.

calle de la Baja

Garlic Shrimp with peppers
jambon (ham) and bread

Easy menu, just point and pay.  Went back to the apartment and slept like babies.  

Next morning we got up and went to the market.  I had heard about Chocolate and churro, which is supposedly hot chocolate but not American hot chocolate.  It is like melted Dove bars.  Then you dip little fried pieces of doughnut in it.  How could that be bad?  It wasn't. 
Artichokes are in season.  5/1 euro

While at the market we saw these men filleting fish with this gigantic knife.  Jerry was impressed.

After sustenance, we started our big walk.  We started at the Palacio Real, which is the Spanish Royal palace until 1937.  The guy that built it, Felipe V, was really French, and wanted something to rival Versailles.  It came close.

Then we walked.  And walked, and walked.  About 5 miles we figured.  We saw the statue of Don Quixote and Pancho (I was immediately reminded of Jack Young and Joe Vap), we saw shopping streets, fountains, mimes (lots of fun, you don't know they are not statues until you come close to them).  We walked for about 5 hours.

I was pooped so we stopped in Plaza Mayor and had a Sangria and a beer.  Sangria might just be my new love, after Kir cocktails.  Came home and DIED!  Slept like the dead for 2 hours.

Jerry had been researching TAPAS restaurants and we took off.  Went to one called Tempranillo which was really a wine bar with food.  Very nice there.  They were helpful.  We had a toast (big crunchy bread) with Calamari and other wonderful things, and then a shrimp toast with Ratatouille.  Very good and great wine.  We wandered down the street to Casa Lucas and had another kind of wine and another Tapas with a quail egg on top.  It was so cute, looked like a robin egg.  

We were proud of ourselves for "doing" Tapas and felt like maybe we can do it again.  It is a little intimidating, but we had great waiters who were obviously taking pity on us.  

We came home and talked with the kids and went to bed.  There.  I finally got this post done.  Something was haywire and I have retyped this 4 times.  :-)  Only for you dear readers!  Adios.