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  • Writer's pictureTuananh

Goya & Gaudi

November 22, 2019

Waking up the other morning we decided to swing by La Rollerie, a spot that was packed whether it be morning or in the middle of the night. We filled up with some Desayuno Mexicano, a fluffy omelette, and the best cinnamon bun ever, Desayuno Cinnamon! Then we took a short walk down Carerra de San Jerónim to the iconic - The Prado.

The masterpieces of El Greco, Diego Velázquez and Francisco de Goya (Spanish school), Tiziano (Italian), and Bosco and Rubens (flamenco) were displayed for all to see. Close and personal with Goya’s work have always been a dream of mine, especially his “Black Paintings”, which depicted the darker periods of Spain under Napoleon. Goya was infamous posthumous when his body was shipped from France back to Madrid with “Send Goya, with or without his head”! His work is brilliant and truly deserving to be one of the last of the Old Masters.

The Prado’s massive collection would take days to view in detail, local artists were seen throughout the museum painting copies of various pieces. To break up the silence and all seriousness were Spanish children flooding the museum on a field trip, tidy in their Catholic uniforms and wide opened eyes, we can see that the Spanish exposed their youth to the arts early - Goya, Gaudi, and Flamenco at birth it seems.

Flashback to the legendary Antoni Gaudi when we visited his work at Park Güell, his effort to urbanize Barcelona into a Modernistic society by creating a network of parks, walkways, and houses that looked like pieces of artwork that were continuous with the natural landscape. Gaudi’s work, although very different from Goya, showed how diverse Spanish art truly is and we were only brushing the surface...if that. Keep moving on!

November 23, 2019

What an incredible journey it’s been this year! I got down on one knee and luckily she said yes, we had an incredible time planning our wedding together, feeling the love of our dearest family and friends when we said our vows, and the cherry-on-top was this romantic and epic honeymoon in the Iberian Peninsula. Somebody just pinch me already!

So on the last few days in Madrid, we decided to just wind down our trip. Hitting 20,000+ steps a day and honing every street of every city we came across was a great experience and accomplishment, but we always remembered that it was the time spent together that made it so special and it didn’t really matter where on this jolly green planet we were at.

The Royal Palace of Madrid with its 8,000 rooms each with crystal chandeliers and matching furniture to wallpaper, the glorious courtyard and viewpoints, and those bokehlicious pillars that lined its walls was phenomenal. My favorite was oddly one of their dining rooms where sculpted Chinese figurines and rice fields tastefully decorated the ballroom. This previous Alcazar palace of the Moors was “mysteriously” burnt down to ashes, yet all the valuable artwork had somehow moved itself safely to storage prior to the fire, and from its ashes King Philip of Spain built this royal palace....was the fire an accident or just His Highness flexing his power? You be the judge.

We also got a chance to visit the Buen Ritiro Park at sunset where we visited the Palacio de Cristal (Crystal Palace), a beautiful glass building sitting by a small pond. The Spain’s art and architecture always exude some sort of Romanticism and the Palacio de Cristal was a prime example.

We also didn’t forget to swing by the luxury shopping district of Castellano, very high end with a lovely hint of class. Sadly, no Leica Store in Madrid, but I will make sure to file a complaint about that to the elves. After some delicious mushrooms at Meson Del Champinon for dinner, we got cereal and coffee at Cereal Hunters (the irony!) and then proceeded to watch our sixth and final Flamenco show to cap things off for the evening.

What a splendor of a time we’ve had in Spain and Portugal! The adventure continues like it always does and that’s what makes life’s busy walk so worthwhile. For anyone even reading to this point after three weeks, I congratulate you and thank you for following me on this epic trip. See you folks when we are state side. Hasta Luego, España!!

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