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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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October 22, 2015

The rest of my Thursday

turned out to be pretty nice really.

I got back to the hotel around 3 or so, hooked up my camera and played my Simpsons Tapped Out long enough to get tasks done that needed doing.  I am woefully behind though and will probably miss out on the final prize of 20 donuts.  But I think probably the trip will be worth it.  Which reminds me to tell Chris and January I watched two episodes of The Simpsons in Spanish at the BCN airport and that was sure a hoot! :)

Probably going on 6:00 or thereabouts,  I had had enough of that and decided I would head for the Prado and see how long the line was.  It was pretty insanely long as my pictures of not the whole line but up to where it turned a corner will attest.  First one is from tail end of line to as far as the camera would show, the second is from about where first one stopped and up to the corner they have to go around.



So nixed the idea of visiting and decided to walk on and try and find that church, maybe looking in at the Prado on the way back and see if the line had tapered off leaving me at least enough time to go in (with a free ticket, get a map, etc.)  So I walked and walked and just took pictures of anything pretty whether I knew why it was there or not (mostly not).  Madrid would never be a favorite city for me but I have to say, it is filled with gorgeous buildings, plazas, fountains, statues, etc., but it is so full of pedestrians and so full of traffic that it’s kind of hard to enjoy it all.  However the Prado Museum and my hotel are on the Paseo del Prado and part of that is insanely busy and life threatening but it’s divided and the other half goes closer to the Prado but still leaves room for pretty parks and walkways so that’s where I went to check out the line and that’s where I kept walking until it ran out.  I'll just post them in a batch and if I know anything about one or two, say so.

A statue of Velazquez in front of the Prado.  He was the leading artist in King Phillip IV's court and the bulk of the Prado's permanent collection was bequeathed to Madrid by King Phillip.
The pediment (is it a pediment if it's straight across like this?) at the top of the beautiful columned front of the museum.   It is a beautiful building and huge lengthwise.  The front has niches every so many feet and there are lovely lady statues in each one.

This is not my hotel believe it or not. :)  They have so many of these pretty white buildings at least in what part of the city I've seen.
This is a monument to Madrid's day of terror - March 11 - when terrorists in simultaneous bombings attacked the computer train system, killing 191 and injuring 1800 people.  It's a simple but lovely monument in a peaceful setting.

Don't know anything about the next two - just pretty.



 These are pictures of a very big white building - I thought it was two until I got to the corner and discovered it just wraps around the corner.  Absolutely gorgeous I thought.  If you look hard near the top of the center tower, there is a huge banner saying "Refugees Welcome" and I think probably they were gearing up for a large demonstration against that sentiment when I was there.  Lots and lots of police (I think they must be one of the larger employers in the city, by the way) and the signs looked and the voices sounded angry.  When I walked back later, it was fuller and nosier and by the time I walked home there was a slowly circling helicopter above.  Pretty building though, right?

 Have to have trees now and then and these were huge!
And this was the pretty church that I had seen just the two towers of on my morning's fruitless walk.  I kept my eyes peeled for it cause I knew basically that it was somewhere back of the Prado but I didn't spy it until I had started back down on the opposite side of the two wide streets.  And it was the Prado.  In fact, if you go around that corner that the people in line had to go around, there's like a courtyard and at the back of it are stairs right up to the church.  It's quite plain inside but it is pretty and not so overwhelming as so many of the cathedrals.  I got tickled at myself because I was working very hard at getting decent pictures of all the stained glass windows cause they were nice and pretty and I love stained glass.  At about the fifth one, I realized that they were painted glass with leading and felt kind of silly.  

 This is a mystery that maybe someone like Chris can figure out.  It is actually a charcoal grey post - one on either side of the church staircase and above that first emblem is a crown, then the emblem that has VII, then the 1832 or maybe that's a 9 and then strangely enough the word "Edge" and underneath that "London".  What does it all mean???  I don't know.

My final three pictures are the back of the Prado and since there was no way I could get the whole thing in one photo, I took three(!) to get it all.  The back is pretty too with the red brick and white "trimmings".  I am looking forward to visiting it tomorrow and I will not be waiting for the 6:00 pm free ticket time.  Just pay my nicely reduced senior price of 7E and go in the morning.


 And the moon over the Prado...

So that's it for Thursday.  I had dinner at the hotel restaurant and was disappointed that it wasn't as good as last night but one should probably not go to a restaurant twice in a row.  I had started working on the pictures for this post and decided that for the first time (except when I was roasting in the heat of Paris) I would go to an American chain - Starbucks!  Hiked up there, had a chocolate muffin and a cup of tea and finished the pictures and now am back finishing up the post.  So I guess I'll say buenas noches to all!

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