Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Fantastic Day in Madrid

Because we did a good job last year on our first visit to Madrid, we were able to just hone in on a few selected sights during this visit.

First up Monday was the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid's modern art museum highlighting artistic endeavors since 1900.

We were overwhelmed with the depth of the work here and our planned two hour visit lasted over five hours. In this enlightened museum, we were allowed to take pictures but could not use flash, I can live with this!

There was so much interesting artwork but I've limited myself to only blogging three pieces that stood out for me.

O.K., make it nine.

"House with Palm Tree"
by Loan Miró, 1918

"Portrait of Sonia de Klarmey,
Countess of Pradére"
by Hermeneglid Anglada-Camarasa, 1913

"Christ of Blood"
by Ignacio Zuloaga, 1911

by Alfonso Ponce de León, 1936

"Madrid 1937 - Black Airplanes"
by Horacio Ferrer, 1937

A large portion of this museum is dedicated to the seminal event of 20th Century Spanish history, the Spanish Civil War which was fought between 1936 and 1939.

There were paintings, propaganda posters and photographs that brought these dark pages of Iberian history to life.

The fear and anger displayed in this painting by the four adult women during this air raid is amazing.

by Pablo Picasso, 1937

Perhaps Picasso's most famous work, it was done in just one month after the Nazi and Italian Air Forces combined attack on the Spanish town of Guernica on April 27, 1937, with a saturation bombing attack on a market day killing hundreds of civilians and leveling the town.

When it went on display at the Paris Art Fair in 1937 it created quite a stir against Fascism. Generalissimo Franco was the beneficiary of this attack and his forces would eventually win the Spanish Civil War. Picasso swore never to go back to his native Spain as long as Franco was in power. Picasso never did return to Spain as Franco outlived him.

This painting was shown in the United States until Franco died in 1975. It now hangs proudly here in Madrid.

by George Contreras, 2009

"Fitz's Speed City Towing Company"
Unknown Artist, 1989

"Laurie's Friends"
by George Contreras, 2009

So ended a VERY interesting day at a VERY unusual museum.

Hungry, we decided to nosh at a few stops as we walked. We figured that if we shared we could taste a lot of Madrid. These were two of our favorites.

Museo del Jamon

Great ham, what else, bocadillos here. These are small, delicious sandwiches.

Casa del Abuelo

Grilled shrimp, YUM!

The Plaza Mayor

I bought a boina here. A boina is a traditional Spanish beret that my Abuelo always wore.

Madrid's Las Ventas Plaza de Toros

When you get the call to fight in a corrida in this venue, you have made it as a bull fighter.

Victory is just coming out alive at the end of the corrida!

A matador giving thanks


This Asturian style restaurant is located next door to our Madrid hotel and it was GOOD!

Queso de Cabrales

This was our third order of queso de Cabrales this week and DEFINITELY the best.

If it were aged for two more hours, it would have had to been re-classified as penicillin!


Sidra is an alcoholic beverage made from apples and is the drink of Asturias. The best part of this drink is the required way that waiters must pour it for you seen here.

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