Saturday, November 6, 2010

Marvelous Madrid

“Marie-Therese Durand-Ruel Sewing” by Renoir
Le Prado Museo
I am having a marvelous visit to Madrid, Spain. Today, I stayed back at the guesthouse while my fellow travelers went into downtown Madrid. The small town I am staying in outside of Madrid is worth an explore as well, and I hope to do so after a morning nap. I continue to fight a cold/flu that has not completely left my body. It is so nice to be tucked under European comforters in a loving home filled with the smell of fresh muffins, coffee and bacon. (Remember, bacon is taboo in Morocco.)

Yesterday, I bought a ticket, along with my girlfriends, to ride a red tourist bus that has one of those rooftops where you can ride and see the whole city. The cool thing is that you can get on and off those buses all day long. So, for 17,50 E, I had transportation all day long throughout Madrid. 

I got on the bus in a plaza de Sol, pronounced platha de Sol due to the Spanish accent, and got off the tourist bus at Le Prado Museo. I got right in line for the Renoir exhibition, and was standing before beauty before I knew it. I so enjoy the light and brushstrokes of a Renoir. He was influenced by both the Italian masters and his impressionist buddies, so his style is one of my very favorites. 

I also saw some amazing Rubens oil paintings that were totally packed out in a couple of large rooms in the Prado. I had lunch at the museum and thought of my friends Cindy and Amy and how they would have just loved my time at the Prado. They would have loved the beautiful light bouncing off the flowers in the Renoirs. One girl he painted was sewing, but the light tones that were touching her face seemed to be coming from her sewing! Just breath-taking. (See the painting at the beginning of this blog post - “Marie-Therese Durand-Ruel Sewing” by Renoir. It is fabulous seeing it in person!)

After buying a few things to share with my students and grandchildren, I headed for my tourist bus. Grabbing a spot on the roof of one of them, I plugged in my headset and heard the history of this part of Spain. What a fight the Muslims and Christians had for this neck of the woods! In the end, Carlos and the Catholics won out, and the muslims were pushed back. Beautiful cathedrals are interspersed throughout the city.

One thing that was really, really nice for me was to be able to see both men and women out and about. Also, I could look at men and vice versa, and nothing weird happened. It was pleasant not to have to avert my eyes as I always do in Morocco. On my bus rooftop, I took lots of photos just like a typical tourist, them spotted H and M below my rooftop seat.

I dashed down the bus stairs, as I had heard H and M was thee place for cheap, good winter clothes. Since I was hoping to take Saturday off from the tourist scene, I knew this was my one day to buy the winter jacket, sweaters and boots I needed in Morocco. Boy, did I. I got socks and a Hello Kitty fuzzy bathrobe as well. My daughters would love my pink, happy bathrobe! I am relaxing in it right now!

After stocking up for the winter in North Africa with no central heat, I got back on yet another red tourist bus and relaxed for an hour seeing all the sights again from the rooftop. I ended my ride back at the Prado. My friends were waiting for me there, and we all went to dinner: tapas and Spanish wine. 

One of the many fountains in Madrid.
We ended the evening back at the Prado because it is free after 6 PM, and my friends had not been in to see beauty. After a mad dash to metro trains and buses, we arrived safely back at our beautiful guesthouse. What a marvelous day in Madrid!

Cathedral in Madrid

To see a slide show of the paintings I saw in Madrid, you can go here:


  1. Sounds like so much fun, Mom! I hope you feel completely better soon!

  2. Isn't travel the most wonderful thing? Yes, there are the valleys; poor WCs , contaminated water, Being so different than those around you, but then you visit the Prado, history and beauty and the experience of being the presence of inspired art and artists. And of course, H and M, duvets, friendly hosts. blessings in your travels. love a

  3. Yes, Al, it was worth the hassle to be/get here. The beauty in Europe can really be amazing. No H and M or anything like it in Morocco. :-) I now have a coat and boots, so feel ready for the fall.

  4. oh wow! gorgeous, marcia! definitely jealous... but taking notes for (hopefully) my own travels there soon :)