The last day in Madrid. We had had just about enough of the drizzle though everything else was good. Its a great kind of city to visit because not only is it world class and quite large (around 6 million) it feels utterly and specifically Spanish. Not that you’d expect it to feel German but that it was rare to hear another language or see people who didn’t seem to be from there.
Above is the Plaza Mayor. Though its not evident from the photograph, the building fully engirds the square with narrow streets fanning out in all directions (as below). The ground floors are mostly shops and restaurants, with residences and offices above.
I’ve always liked how Antonioni‘s camera followed his characters as they walked so you had more shots of the backs of their head than the front. Makes things a little more enigmatic. This here was just one of the shots. I never did get comfortable with using a camera without a through lens and the display screen never quite seemed to match the results. So as I was futzing away and wavering, C started laughing because by the time I finally took a shot, a group of 20 Japanese men about 15 feet behind me had taken about a thousand pictures of her. (I think C gives this picture kind of a preRaphaelite look).
Just a glimpse of where we stayed; 1) the entrance from within, 2) the ceiling of the foyer, and 3) the doors of the elevator. Close to various emporia of jamon.
Also walked through the Parque del Retiro, a large green expanse not far from the galleries. There is a small lake in the center (brightly coloured boats for rent), places to sit and eat around it, and buskers. The tree above was near the entrance to the park.
The Atocha train station. Quite a structure as you can see. Nice to spend time in, which you will, if you try to buy a ticket here. Even buying a ticket for the next day took us over one hour. One of the most disorganized places I’ve seen though everything else about taking the train was efficient and simple. This was our gateway to Barcelona.