On our last night in Europe we took a long stroll to do some shopping and have a final taste of cafe culture. We ended up back in Pigalle. This is “supposed” to be a red light district, but I think it’s more like a caricature of a red light district. To start, there aren’t any “ladies”. And the only traffic is from tourists in rented Benzes or in Norwegian Grey Line buses. This is also where Moulin Rouge is at, as well as a few other similar places with floor shows. We didn’t set out to come here, but it was a good place to end up because of the cafes and the show on the road.
This image was taken outside a cute little park in Madrid. In the park is the Temple of Debod, a real Egyptian temple given to the Spanish government in thanks for helping to catalog the artifacts in the Nile valley above the Aswan dam before it was flooded. The temple is amazing in this setting, perched on the top of the highest hill in Madrid, adjacent to the Palacio Real (the Spanish White House).
The cafe was extremely chill, and it’s also where we first discovered the joys of the Cuba Libre (rum and coke) made with Havana Club. We both wanted something cold since it was so hot, but we also wanted to get our groove on. Beer didn’t sound nice at the time, and it didn’t seem like the right environment for Jerez. Then I remembered that we could get Cuban rum here legally! This instantly became the default drink for the remainder of the trip, even after we got back to France.
After we checked into our hotel (more on that over the next few days), the first order of business was lunch. Our hotel is on a square that is filled with cafes. We had our first real meal of tapas, and were happy as clams (marinated in olive oil, of course!). The next stop was El Museo Nacional, Centro de Arte: The Reina Sophia.
In one word: Wow!
Granted, this museum is only for 20th Century art, but it was absolutely my favorite so far (Liz still has Picasso, Paris, on her ballot). The famous pieces are:
- Picasso’s Guernica
- Dali’s Woman at a Window
- Picasso’s Woman in Blue
I bought a portfolio of the entire canvas at a 1:1 ratio…it’s a box with 600 sheets. Problem is they’re printed front and back, so I would’ve needed to buy 2 copies to assemble my own. Esta bien.
Her calves have the most amazing lighting effect. It is indescribable.
He disavowed this painting because it didn’t win a National competition; only came in Runner-up.