Morocco to Madrid 25: Royal Madrid

I want everybody to realize that, if I had wanted to, I could have probably jacked up the hit count by calling this “Real Madrid”, since Real = Royal, but since I have no long-term interest in football…

Anyway, moving on.

Sundays in Spain are typically slower, as Spain remains one of the Western countries that continues to be mostly shut on that day.  So, we experienced a bit of a quieter day, mixed in with some oddness from things that were supposed to be on display or open.

Our first stop was the Palacio Real de Madrid (aka Royal Palace) which, outside and inside, looks like just about any beautiful royal palace.  It’s not quite a Versailles, more of a Buckingham, which is still high praise to be sure.  Once you get past the main staircase, you can’t take any pictures, and that’s a shame because there were some gorgeous rooms.  The gala dining room was beyond beautiful, with a giant fresco of the Spanish Monarchs receiving Colombus covering the ceiling.  The throne room had black and gold marble statues, there was a plaster room, several rooms that were meant for “lunch” that were just covered in material I’d be terrified to spill food on.  Beautiful place to visit AND there was a temporary exhibit with both Caravaggio and Bernini, my two favourite Renaissance artists!  So a good first stop.

After wandering through the Plaza de Orient and its statues and fountains, we took refuge in a Starbucks for a bit before trying to see a couple of sites nearby.  The first one was supposed to be an El Greco painting of Jesus chasing the moneylenders out of the temple, in the Church of Gines, but apparently they only put that painting on display on certain days, and today wasn’t that day.  The nearby Monasterio de Descalzas Real was open, but was “at capacity” for the day, which was badly explained by a note on the wall that basically said “we can decide we’ve had too many people for the day for any reason.”  Sure it’s deeper than that, but oh well.

We carried on, checking out some of Madrid’s unique architecture, buying some baby souvenirs and stopping for what would be our final 100 Montaditos feast.  We attempted another gallery, which was closed for “August”, so no dice there, so having wandering around and seen pretty buildings for a bit, we headed back to the flat for a siesta.  Then, a nice dinner in Huertas at La Finca de Susana before getting to bed relatively early.

Tomorrow, the museums and galleries of Madrid are closed, so we’re headed someplace nearby, where the main attractions are neither galleries, not museums.

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