Yesterday was our last day in Madrid. We decided to spend this day - or most of this day - doing what most of the Madrileños - the people of Madrid - seemed to be doing, strolling the streets of the city.
When we left our hostel at around 9 am the streets around Puerta del Sol were quiet,
...but by early afternoon the streets were once again filled with people,
...and the street performers and amazing floating mimes had returned.
We walked around Old Madrid,
....and along the Gran Via,
...the theater section of which bears a resemblance to Broadway.
We visited the beautiful Cathedral de la Almudena, full of light
...and having only small bars.
We saw the final item on our "wish-to-see" list, the Museum of the History of Madrid.
This museum chronicled Madrid's history from the 16th through 19th centuries, mostly through the art of the times.
As we perused the paintings I reminded Tom that I've never been much of a fan of classical art. Realism doesn't appeal to me. It doesn't spark my imagination.
But then Tom reminded me that Realism was how people captured the images of their time before photography. As soon as he said that a light bulb went off in my head - Yes! I thought, realistic paintings are a form of history.
At that moment, after kicking around the planet for all these decades, I think I finally got classical art. In any case, I spent the rest of our museum visit appreciating the paintings.
Except that at one point it occurred to me that the artists could have represented.a scene however they wished without precise regard to reality.
For example, did this scene representing an outdoor social gathering really represent what a such a social event would have looked like, or only as the artist wanted to present it?
Is this as honest a depiction of Madrid's Plaza Mayor in the 18th Century,
...as is my photograph of the Plaza Mayor in the 21st Century?
But now that I think about it, I suppose a clever photographer can present as biased a view of reality as a painter.
And so, for that matter, can a clever writer.
By the way, if anyone read in the news about a Communist Party demonstration in Puerta del Sol, Madrid last night, we were there.
Not participating, just watching.
Today Tom and I return home from beautiful, wonderful Spain after two months and will be crossing the ocean, God willing, as most of you are reading this.
If anyone wishes to know what the best part off our trip was, I can say, unequivocally, the best part was the people: the wonderful pilgrims we met on the Camino, the kind, hard-working, Spaniards, always friendly, always, above all, helpful,
So this is the last post of "...And Lighten Your Pack". But if anyone would like to continue reading the various and sundry observations of this traveler just visiting the planet - as we all are - my regular daily blog, Ailantha, at www.ailantha.com should be up and running again soon, maybe tomorrow or maybe in a few days. But soon.
I thank you all from my heart for reading my writing. I hope you enjoyed. 8)
A romantic comedy of errors.
Lots and lots of errors.
"Equal And Opposite Reactions"
by Patti Liszkay
Buy it on Kindle:
or in print:
The Book Loft
of German Village,
Or check it out at the Columbus Metropolitan Library