16 May 2010 – Madrid, Great art and good chocolate

And now we are on our own.

We had a wonderful buffet breakfast again, under the colorful

Breakfast under the dome

translucent dome of the Rotunda.  It looked like we weren’t going to get the San Ginas for chocolate and churros, so I spooned some chocolate into a wine glass and dipped my churros in that.  Not bad, bad, but not the same as at San Ginas, I am sure.

Our first order of business was to take our laundry, except for shirts, to the laudromat, which we were advised would be unattended on Sunday.  Fortunately, that was not true, and we were able to leave it there to be washed, dried, and folded.

We then headed for the Sophia Museum, which is the city’s modern art museum, built specifically to house Guernica which had been returned from the Museum of Modern Art in New York, held there as demanded by Picasso until Franco was no longer in power.

There were exhibits on the 4th and 2nd floor.  We met a couple from our tour group who told

Picasso

us  there was nothing much on the 4th floor, so we chose to do it first and save the best for last.  We walked and walked though a long twisting series of stark white rooms obviously destined to house future exhibits.

Miro

It seemed strange that the exhibit was so far away.  At the end we were rewarded three Picassos and two wonderful Miros, and some other works.  They were a treat.

Inside a piece of art

On the way back, going through these white passages, it seemed to me like we were inside some gigantic piece of art.  I wonder if anybody else has had that sensation.

The second floor was a rectangular passageway, Gothic facing the patio and standard museum space in the passages,

Magritte

with with various themes along the way to Guernica, on the far side.  I  certainly couldn’t begin to name all the artists, but there were some wonderful works by Picasso, Dali, Pollock, and especially Miro, who I have finally come to realize is my favorite.

Dali sculpture

We did see Picasso’s Guernica which memorialized and protested the merciless bombing in 1937 of civilians in that town by Hitler’s air force with Franco’s encouragement during the Spanish civil war.

The Museo Thysen Bornemisa was right across  the street from our hotel.  It had two permanent collections and a traveling Monet exhibit.  The main exhibit  was a Duke’s private collection and was wonderfully organized historically showing the evolution of artistic approaches.  His wife, Carmen also collected art but it was not as impressive.  Monet’s work was shown alongside his contemporaries and others, and was quite interesting.

It was then time for business, and I headed for the Corte Ingles, a department store to see if I could get a cap like they wear in Ronda, but they were all too small.  I was able to buy a suitcase to replace mine which had a broken handle and two missing wheels.  I stopped at the laundry on the way back, and was able to use my new luggage for the nicely folded clothes.  It worked out quite well.

We then headed La Paella at Calle Riena 33, which was excellent. It’s baked  and they bring it out to show it to you before  they serve it onto plates.

Chocolate and Churros as San Ginas

For dessert we did get to San Ginas on  Calle Colorenos for Chocolate and Churros after all.   It wasn’t that far, but I’m afraid our driver took us for a 6.20 Euro ride and even then left us two blocks from the place.   It was pretty good, very sweet.  Actually, the chocolate was very close to plain old hot fudge, and I had been anticipating something unique, not so thick, and more like some kind of thick hot chocolate with some kind of special flavoring.  I think I had been oversold on how special it was.

After that, home we went.

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