Tennis, a Bullfight, Monuments and More in Madrid
Tennis in Madrid is exciting and inexpensive, depending on what you want to see. For about $16 each, we had all day tickets in a stadium where we saw two quarterfinals events. Center court seats are a bit more. In the men's singles, John Isner(USA), the tallest player in men's tennis, beat Uruguay's excitable Pable Cuevas 7-6, 6-7, 7-6, with tiebreakers in each set! It was very exciting. We also watched the women's doubles quarter final. Nine hours of tennis!
Bullfighting(la corrida de toros), one of the oldest sports in Spain, can be controversial. We wanted to experience the event and purchased tickets for good seats. We went early to have a bite to eat and a cocktail. At the Taberna La Tienta, we found a corner table, ordered and watched the Madrilenos drinking gin and tonic cocktails. We invited a group to share our table and had a blast with them. They were headed to the bullfight and showed us the ropes!
Festival of San Isidro
Signs all over Madrid announced the festival of San Isidro, the patron saint of Madrid. I was very excited about going to the parade and festival. Too anxious for what we saw. Perhaps, if I had an emotional connection to Madrid or the festival, it would be better. Although I loved seeing the girls, boys, men and women in their costumes, the crowd was overwhelming and the parade either never started or never arrived where we were posted. We left early and strolled back to our neighborhood, enjoying the beautiful streets and other festival sights.
Monuments, Museums and More
Madrid shows off its splendid history on almost every street. Very old buildings--from Roman times to medieval to Renaissance and splendid 21st Century buildings as well. We had an afternoon snack at the top of a 17th century building with a great view. We visited many museums, including the Museo Arqueologico de Nacional (Archaeological Museum), an amazing collection, beautifully presented and curated. The next set of pictures is a collection of museums, art, flea market Barbie Dolls, food markets, and daily walking views. Check out the men on the park bench dishing the dirt.
Las Meninas by Velazquez is a very famous painting in the Museo Prado. For a spring/summer celebration. the city of Madrid created 80 Meninas statues and invited artists to paint them with their interpretation of the life in Madrid. As a farewell to Madrid, here are some of the Meninas that we encountered. It was usually hard to get a picture, because everyone wanted a picture with the girls. Follow the link to see more cool meninas!
Hasta Luego, we are off to more adventures!