Left Manchester on the 12.03.16 at 17:20 and landed at Aeropuerto Madrid Barajas at 21:00 local time. Made it to the first of two “Airbnb” domiciles to accommodate us just east of the city and a short subway ride away from the  centre. I was looking forward to the forthcoming ten day stay with relish. The prospect of viewing art work, sculptures and architecture redolent of the height of Spanish hegemony was intriguing.

The Royal Palace

The Royal Palace

A variety of architectural styles and periods.

A variety of architectural styles and periods.

After taking a “City bus Tour” to orient oneself around the city, (well worth seventeen euro fee) the remainder of the first full day was spent just meandering around the squares, shops, markets and taking in the architectural treats of the “built environment”. A “must see” on my list was the Prado Art Gallery, where I was looking to see classical and neo classical works by El Greco(1541-1614, Jose Antonio Zapata (1763-1837), Diego Velazquez (1638) and Pedro de Mena (1628-1688). Unfortunately, one is prohibited from taking pictures inside the Prado but just seeing the works was a thrill.

On a subsequent day I had resolved to go to the “la Rein Sofi” gallery for modern and contemporary art. Here I would be able to see works by Picasso, Miro, and Salvador Dali.

Dali

Dali

The first surrealist exhibition was held in the Gallery Pierre Paris in 1925. This brought together artists such as Max Ernst,Jean Arp,Andre Masson, Paul Klee, Pablo Picasso and Joan Miro. There was an intense exchange of views in a feverishly artistic climate at the time which conspired to create the movement.

"Shout" by Fernando Zobel. 1961

“Shout” by Fernando Zobel. 1961

Had a novel experience by taking a tour on a Segway two wheeled central city tour. What a great experience! After some tuition, one quickly becomes adept and grows with confidence in managing and steering the vehicle with some aplomb. Before one realises, mastery  a new modality of city transportation is acquired.
I love the ambiance, and vibe in Madrid. The subway is really easy to navigate and access to various parts of the city is easy. The cultural offerings are wonderful and there is a vibrant night life.

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