Monday, October 12, Day 30 of our holiday!
Today is Dia de la Hispanidad, Spain’s National Holiday to celebrate Columbus’s discovery of America in 1492. There is a Military Parade this morning but it is a bit too early for us, so instead we go to the Palacio Real (Royal Palace) which is supposed to be free today. However, when we arrive it is all cordoned off and there are lots of police and crowds of people everywhere.We decide that we should wait around and see what is going to happen. Turns out that King Felipe IV is to arrive at the palace, and after about an hour Bob thinks we should move closer to an entrance that is guarded by mounted soldiers. Good thing we did because a couple minutes later a cavalcade of cars, and lots of police arrive and so does the King. Only problem is we are still quite far away and the cars drive up and turn into the palace very quickly. We both try to take a picture and I mange to get this one which shows the King’s car but not much else. Oh well…. We do get to see the mounted troops return from the parade and they are magnificent.We find a spot to eat in the park across from the palace, accompanied by a guitar player singing in English. It was quite nice hearing something we could actually understand. I’ve only managed to learn a few Spanish words: I keep thinking of French words instead of the Spanish ones I have been trying to learn. They just don’t seem to stick in my mind.We decide to walk to the Reina Sophia museum, only we get lost, repeatedly! Bob is using a new map app on the phone and either the app or Bob is not working well because we find ourselves walking in the wrong direction more than once. We do walk past some interesting buildings…
And then there are the interesting street performers trying to make a bit of money. If people walked too close to this one, a head jumped out and scared them.
- We end up right back where we started after walking in a big circle so we head for a Metro station near Plaza Mayor, and encounter hordes of people.The subway takes us very close to the Museum, but do you think we can find it? After some more walking in circles, as it seems to be that sort of a day, we finally spot the museum entrance tucked between two buildings. We are here to see PIcasso’s famous painting ‘Guernica’. I sneak this photo from afar and through a doorway, just to say I was here.
The painting is very powerful. It doesn’t reproduce well at post card or even book page size as the brushstrokes, textures, lines and subtleties of the paint and drawing just don’t show up. I was surprised by how much I liked this painting as it never appealed to me before. Here we are posing beside a couple sculptures we liked. A Picasso for me…and a Jacques Lipchitz for Bob. He liked this one even before he knew it was a sailor with a guitar I just loved this little head, ‘Portrait of my son Jordi’ by an artist named Joan Rebull.The hallways made an optical illusion in this photograph. Depending on how you look at it it is an arched ceiling or a big white cone. Can you see it?
We take the glass elevators up to the fourth floor just to check oiut the views, then down and we head for home. Can you find Bob?