Well, it was raining all night and still raining when we got up this morning but it stopped mid morning so we decided to go check out Pula. We found a parking lot and this is what we see when we get out of our car! An incredible Roman Amphitheatre.
But…I turn around and this is what I see…
The sky is very dark but we go check out the Amphitheatre and hope we don’t get wet. We decide to walk around the amphitheatre today and go inside on a drier day when we might not have to leave because of the rain. There are some great views from the outside.
We take a walk around the central part of the old town and we see some more Roman monuments: the Temple of Augustus, The Roman Twin Gates and and the Triumphal Arch. By now it is raining quite heavily so we make our way back to the car, passing this interesting looking candy shop with huge candies. The banana candies are life size!Of course as soon as we get home the sun tries to peek out, but it doesn’t mange to do so for very long and soon it is raining again.After a late lunch Bob reads and I work on my journal which, of course I am already behind on.
All of Holland was on a severe storm alert so that was why our flight was cancelled yesterday. I decided I was staying home today and catching up on my journal. I love to journal when we travel but with blogging and journalling I sometimes get a bit behind. My blog has been giving me a bit of grief, some of the settings have changed, either I did it unknowingly or the site has been updated. Not sure which, but it is a nuisance, and it has been taking me much longer than it should to do each post. I think I have sorted it out, but then a new challenge arises.
I need good light to photograph my journal pages so I can’t do it when we get home late. A scanner would be so much better but I can’t carry that around with me! When I can I draw on location but I also use my photos as reference when needed.
The view looking down from our third floor window into our neighbour’s yards.I worked on this page wile we waited in a cafe for our entrance time to the Van Gogh Museum.
What can I say, I just loved these little statues!
Somehow I got this page out of order, I labeled it Saturday and then wrote Sunday’s activities on it. White Out is handy in an art kit.
I finally got up the nerve to start sketching on the tram. This always seems intimidating to do but once I start it really isn’t so bad. The young gentleman in the hoodie knew I was drawing him. When we got up to exit the tram I showed him the sketch and he smiled. Most people don’t really seem to mind all that much if they figure out what I am doing. I like to draw with a ballpoint pen, that way I am committed, and there is no erasing.
While Bob went to the Real Madrid Soccer stadium for a tour I went to the public library near Retiro Park to work on my journal.
Madrid soccer club was granted the name Real (meaning Royal) in the 1920’s by the King of Spain. Tuesday was a much better day to tour the soccer stadium as there were no crowds, unlike Bob’s first try on Sunday.The stadium holds over 80,000 fans. The tour is very inter-active, with lots of video screens showing the rich history of the club. Somewhere in this player’s montage is Bob with the European cup. The montage is made up of photos of the day’s visitors.The tour included the top view of the stadium, the pitch, the player’s benches, the locker rooms and the media room. Lots to see in 90 minutes. Soccer equipment has changed a liitle since the 1950’s.We walked through Retiro Park before going home and saw a rather strange art exhibit at the Crystal Palace. There were mammoth bones and a crucifix hanging from the ceiling as well as some letters and other ephemera in boxes and on the walls. The information on the exhibit did little to explain anything. Maybe you can spot the crucifix?The Crystal Palace itself is a beautiful conservatory, but unfortunately it is no longer used for plants, just art exhibits and other functions. I loved the reflections of the trees and the conservatory.
This cute fellow was guarding the pond in front of the conservatory, which had trees growing right in the water. Parks in Madrid are much like parks in Paris, with lots of hard surfaces, plantings of trees, shrubs and flowers and a bit of grass, which you usually are not allowed on. With so many people using the parks it is the only way to maintain grassy areas.Retiro park has a large ‘pleasure’ lake with row boats for rent and a half moon colonnade with a large equestrian statue of Alfonso XII. It was a bit cool today so no boat ride for us. Another view of the park.We exit the park here and catch the metro back to Moncloa Station to catch our bus home. Almost everywhere we look in Madrid there are beautiful buildings. It sure makes the architecture in Edmonton seem rather drab.
It is a 35 or 40 minute bus ride home, but it is quite relaxing and Bob is enjoying the break from driving, and I am happy not to have to navigate. I am finally doing a bit of drawing on the metro and bus
I had planned on going back to the Académie again this afternoon, but ended up sleeping in and it would have been much too rushed. Between missing one night’s sleep while travelling and getting to sleep so late all this week I was overtired. I decided to stay put today and get organized for the coming week.
So I now have a big pot of vegetable chicken soup, a bowl of yummy quinoa, avocado, and veggie salad and another of cooked apples and raisins. I have been eating only anti-inflammatory foods for the last 20 months and it has made quite an improvement in my health. It does present a few challenges while travelling as I am not able to eat gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, corn or peanuts. Sigh, no croissants or pastries for me, but I can enjoy a piece of dark chocolate, so that is my treat.
I had a relaxing day, chatted with my daughter and husband, and figured out the logistics for taking the train to Giverny tomorrow . Giverny is the home of Monet’s studio and gardens, the ones that inspired his famous water lily series of paintings. I thought I better go there while the weather is so nice, so that is where I will be tomorrow.
Here are a couple pictures of some of the sketches I did yesterday. Sure wish I had a scanner…. but these will have to do.
I drew on seven pages in one of my new sketchbooks and hope to have it full by the time I return home.