Monday, June 17, 2013

Day 6 in Madrid, Museo Del Prado

My day started around 9:30 am, I got up, made my way downstairs for the hostel’s free toast and orange juice breakfast, then went back upstairs to relax, and make plans for the day.  I knew I was going to the Prado for the free hours between 6pm and 8 pm; I also planned to go to the train station and buy a ticket to Lisbon.  Other than that, I did not have many plans, decided to stay at the hostel until late afternoon.

I asked the woman working at reception for directions to the Prado from our hostel.  I was in the area yesterday, but we took the metro halfway there, and I did not know the best route to take on foot from the hostel.  The woman at reception gave me directions and pointed out sightseeing spots I could see on my walk.  I left the hostel at 4 pm for a leisurely stroll to the Prado, the woman at reception said it would take about 20 minutes.  My walk probably took longer, I stopped to take pictures and look at the sights along the way.

Madrid is full of Plazas, there seems to be one every few blocks, on my way to the Prado, the first Plaza I went through was Plaza de Colon.  Plaza de Colon is not listed as a must see in Madrid or one of the top sights, but it does have some interesting thing, returning to the hostel, I crossed the street and saw a sculpture of a full-figured woman lying on her side gazing into a mirror.  The area seems to be an art center, I guessed this from the sign I read in Spanish on the building at the center of the Plaza. 

Plaza de Colon 

Statue in Plaza de Colon
Lynnae near Plaza de Colon

The next plaza I encountered was Plaza de Cibeles, my hostel describes this plaza as “the most happy” corner of Madrid, where sports celebrations take place at Fuente de la Cibeles, a fountain in the middle of the plaza.  Palacio de Buena Vista is also located just off the plaza. 

Lynnae in Plaza de Cibeles
From Plaza de Cibeles, I continued my walk towards the Prado, I still had over an hour before the museum’s free hours began.  There was a nice walking path beginning after Plaza de Cibeles to the Prado, running through the middle of the street, separating both sides of traffic.  The walkway had a lot of trees and fountains, museums line both sides of the street along this path.

Walking path on way to Prado 
Near the Prado I saw what looked like an Egyptian Obelisk, behind a gate.  I went back and took pictures, I looked it up later, it was the Monumento dos de Mayo, the monument to the fallen.  From the monument I made my way to the Prado.  There was already a line, I got in it and read my Kindle while I waited about a half hour for the free hours to begin.

Monument to the Fallen 

I had been warned the Prado was overwhelming, so I was prepared. When we entered, I went to information to pick up the guide to the Museum.   There was a part of the pamphlet that included the “masterpieces”, I saw some of those, made note of what I knew I wanted to see today, and started exploring the museum.  I knew I could not see the entire museum in one trip. I wanted to see some of the Spanish artists, Francisco Goya and DiegoVelasquez.  I saw these, and many other painting.  I enjoyed looking at Goya’s Black paintings.  The two paintings I enjoyed most were the 2nd  of May and 3rd of May paintings. 

Lynnae at Prado near Velasquez Statue
After the Prado, I was exhausted, just like the day before after spending hours in the Reina Sofia.  However, I had one more thing to do, buy a train ticket to Lisbon.  I went to the train station and waited over an hour to book my reservation.  I got number 279 from the machine, they were on around number 110, I waited because I wanted to get the reservation booked and knew I did not want to go back to the station tomorrow.  There were no beds available in the Train Hotel, so I will be in seat for the 9 hour ride to Lisbon. 
I walked slowly back to my hostel, it was still light outside, at almost 9pm.  I stopped at a restaurant called the Wok on my way back to the hostel and got a Vietnamese noodle dish, I do not have to eat Spanish food every day. I ate my noodles when I got back to the hostel and had a quiet evening. 

Day 6 in Madrid Photo Album

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