Four great things about Madrid that I experienced today, a relaxing final day in Spain!
1. Cathedral. Madid's cathedral is very atypical for cathedrals in Spain. For one thing, it was not built in the Middle Ages as every other cathedral that I've seen. It was started in the late 1800's and only completed and dedicated in 1992. It is very contemporary and beautiful in its own special way. The saints that are commemorated are not the typical old saints from Jesus time but are more contemporary ones from the last 200 years. And interestingly, more than half of them are women. The photos can speak for themselves.
2. BorremeoThyssen Art Gallery. The big three in Madrid are the Prado (justifiably heavy on Spanish Art from the Middle Ages through the Renaissance), the Reina Sofia (justifiably heavy on modern Spanish art), and the BorremeoThyssen, very balanced in art from all countries, including the US, from the 1400's through the 20th century. I chose this museum as my next stop of the day. It has been four years since I was here and was not disappointed to reacquaint myself with the works here, except that it seems many of the French Impressionistic painter's works are currently on loan to other museums worldwide. Some photos below, there is to be an upcoming exhibit of American impressionistic paintings, but I was too early for it.
3. Mid day meal. I was impressed by the professional service at the restaurant last night so decided to give it another try. I was not disappointed with either the service or the meal. Food heaven, wow, even better than last night! The first plate was a sopa de marisco (seafood soup) delicately flavored with saffron, giving it the yellow color and exquisite flavor. The second plate was even better, bacalao de la Riojana (white fish in the style of Rioja, with a sauce of onions, sweet peppers, and paprika). Heavenly beyond description. Kathy, this is something we have to try to duplicate!
4. Parque del Buen Retiro. Just as New York has its Central Park, Madrid has its Retiro Park (Park of the Good Rest). It is a huge park in the center of the city, so I walked here to enjoy the warm autumn afternoon and to work off the great food and wine from my meal just before. This is a peaceful oasis in this city, with lush growth, meandering paths, and families and couples enjoying the serenity here. I am writing this post on a park bench while listening to podcasts from the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum in Boston.
Soon, it will be time to pack up, and tomorrow, take the subway to the airport, the flight home and back to real life. It has been a great chance this last month to step back and relax walking many miles each day and enjoying Spain. I can not thank Kathy and Matt enough for making this possible for me.
Interior view of Madrid's cathedral
A sample of a side altar
The sacred chapel, very contemporary
A painting by the American John Sargeant Singer in the Borromeo Thyssen
The balcony view from the hostal. I think it's pretty good
My sopa de marisco (seafood soup), saffron gives it the yellow color
My bacalao a la Riojana, the sauce is onions, sweet peppers and paprika