Sunday, May 27, 2007


We visited three cities in Spain -- Madrid, Toledo and Barcelona. Toledo was very unique -- a very small and picturesque medieval town overwhelmed by visitors -- but the contrast between Madrid and Barcelona reminded me very much of Rome and Florence, which we visited a couple of years ago. The former from each pairing was official and urban and grand, while the latter was funky, breezy and artsy. I enjoyed visiting both, but if I was going to choose one to live in, it'd be Florence or Barcelona.

I didn't get to take a whole lot of pictures in Madrid. We spent a lot of time in museums, where photography wasn't allowed. This first image is the Royal Palace of Madrid, which has more rooms than Versailles, even though it's a bit smaller. I wish I'd had more time to spend in the garden, but alas, with the Prado, Sofia and Thyssen demanding our attention, we just didn't have the time.

We left Madrid on a high-speed train to Barcelona, which gave us the opportunity to see the inside of Madrid's Atocha train station, which is breathtaking -- and well humidified!


Keera said...

Safe to say that it's a jungle in that train station. ;-) How was security?

Not being able to photograph is the downside of museums. The souvenier shop doesn't quite compensate, because it's something about standing in person in a room or before a work of art - but a camera can't capture that, either, only remind.

alice said...

It's interesting that you should mention security, and it WAS tight -- as I'm sure you recall (I assume that's why you asked), Madrid was devastated by a series of train bombings in 2004. It's the only train station I've ever visited that had something close to airport-level security.

And you're right about museum photos. They'll never be great photography, but I do like having the reminders.

Keera said...

The bombing kind got my attention because a co-worker's daughter was living outside Madrid at the time, and because I am American. I was sorry for the Spaniards being singled out and hurt like that after volunteering to help the US. They didn't deserve that.