Friday, May 26, 2017


I set out to wander in the direction of the Flamenco Club, but did not actually wander into it until the evening.
I wandered down past Plaza Mayor to the Palace. On the way were plenty of interesting city sights and more than plenty of people. 
May 1 is a holiday and everyone was walking the streets. I am not certain they were going anywhere, but we were all packed elbow to elbow on the main streets.
From my hotel I walked to Jacentro Benavente, the Plaza where the woman's large legs protrude out the window and into the wind three stories up. 

I turned left and went down Calle Atoche and the Calle Toledo finding myself at the Plaza Cebada.

Then I am a little confused by my notes, but I ended near the Museum San Isidro, at Plaza del Hmiladero and Puerta de Mores with some indication of Moors.

I went to Carretara de San Francisco and to Calle Bailen. Then I started to see larger buildings and ended up at the Basilica de San Francisco el Grande and following signs to the Palace.
Near the Palace was the Cathedral Almudena

and a crypt.
which was free but asked a donation of 1 euro. This was really something to see.
Inside were burial places in little nooks like I remember in the Cathedral at Toledo. The nooks would be dark, but light up if a person approached.
In addition, many people had been buried in the floor of the Crypto and had large stone reminders, part of the floor.
All of these had been buried in the 21st Century and most very recently. This must be a new Crypt. In the nooks were older dates, but nothing much before this century if any at all.
The crypts were incredibly ornate with painting, stain glass windows, tile work, plaster reliefs and all sorts of artistically sculpted bits. All were gated with high, large iron gates.
In the center was a chapel. Adult Jesus was on the alter with Mary and Baby to the left and another hallowed fellow to the right. Jesus was not suffering here on the cross, but dressed in clothes and blessing us.  I thought it an unusal display.
To the right of the alter was an antique boy in plaster holding a bank for money for the poor and a table of candles and printed prayers.
I could not take photos because I had left the battery of the camera charging in the bathroom.
In another part of the walk there was a particularly interesting painting of virgin and child in an unusual style.
Image de Nuestra Senora de la Flor de Lic
(The photo in the above link was taken in that cathedral)

There were also some fine murals of angels and trumpets and cherubs.
I rarely see God depicted, but in one of the nooks he was there on his throne with angels to his left and right. Then below were some winged angels and an unusal depiction of an ox plowing. Mary was standing in front holding a light and Joseph was kneeling.
 I liked this one very much.

I walked down to the Royal Palace, seeing it first from a distance in a small park and then being right in front of it.
Very unusual musicians were on the route. There was one fellow playing the harp and I listened to his rendition of "Amazing Grace." There was another playing more modern stuff on the accordian. A third had a collection of glasses and moved his hands along the rims to make an eirie music. That was quite unique.
The Palace was closed. The king had not heard that I was there and did not come to greet me. I loved the courtyard lights, large street lights arching out from black supports,(pole shaped but more ornate and detailed) All of it was decorated with gold.
I walked back in the direction of Plaza Mayor through sections that were much less populated. I passes a monument to Diego Velazques 1599 to 1660. in Plaza Ramales.
Somewhere near Calle Mayor I stopped for the first food of the day. I was pretty hungry. It was a fish place and that is all they served. No potatoes. They had no salsa picante.
I ate a mixture of fried calamares and bacalao, and a fish smaller than sardines, All was tasty, but I paid too much for a glass of wine that was just okay.
The meal was expensive at 20 euros. The service was fast and difficult.
I passed Ex Como Sr. Marques Porta of Archetect Don Pedronado Robera in Plaza de Las Descalzas

This is Marques Viudo de Pontejos in Plaza de las Descalzas.  I think it is near the CafĂ©. He decided that the starting point for all roads was to be the Km 0 at Puerta del Sol. He also organized the numbering of the houses and finished the Paseo de la Castellana.

In that same square in this entrance to I think a cloister, but I am unsure.  I liked the the hotel and got rid of the hot coat I had been wearing. I fixed the battery in the camera and took a good long nap.
At about 6 PM I headed out again, and this time I did find the Flamenco place for tomorrow.

I had asked the girl in the office for help finding the Flamenco dance and she sent me toward another I had read about. It seemed her directions were clear, but I did not find the street de la Cruz that she mentioned coming off Plaza de Sol.
I did wander down Calle Mayor and off that track seeing a good bit of interesting places.

Down Called Hileres I stumbled on La Cueva de Lola where Flamenco is played. I drew a small map so that I can easily find it again.

Along the route I had picked up a free map of Madrid but I can't find the Prado on it. So strange. I can find the 19th century house I may visit tomorrow if I am not too tired of the Thyssen, if in fact I ever find it and the Prado. 
It is good to have the map, but so strange that the Prado does not seem to appear on it. It is small but I can make out most of it. The one in the Lonely Planet book was too small to read.

On the way back I stopped at a crowed Museo de Ham, a large shop with all sorts of meats. There are a few of them scattered around Madrid.

I had to take a number and wait. I ordered a kilo of chorizo vela rosa and then stopped the fellow as he sliced it.
It looked great in the window and tasted great. it sold for only 8 euros a kilo, very cheap.
I even managed to take a bit of what I did not finish in the week home with me in a bag of lunch food I took for the plane.
Just up the street I stopped and bought some cherries and a banana and a bottle of Frontera agua mineral con gas. Nice taste.

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