If It’s Monday, it Must (still) be Madrid

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(I’m at home in Quakertown, writing the final blogs in the early morning, post-jet lag hours.)

Now that we are in our final day of this 3-week jaunt, we feel like there’s a lot we want to squeeze in.  I got up early and walked 2 minutes to Teatro Real, the opera house, for a 9:30 am behind the scenes tour.  It was all in Spanish!  But, hey, beauty is beauty regardless of the spoken word.

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The opera house itself is more modern than the other two I’ve recently visited. . .la Fenice in Venice and Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires.  Actually, I feel totally spoiled and if I were a travel snob, I would say that “Yes, I can say that in my recent travels, I found Teatro Colon to be superior to the other two.”  But I am not a travel snob so I will not say that.

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The world “underneath” or in some cases “above” the stage was staggering.  The number of costumes, workrooms, rehearsal rooms, dressing rooms, and waiting rooms was astounding.  I think in a former life I was a costume-maker; I really felt a kinship to the fabrics, trims, buttons, and threads.

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Don met me in the gift shop when the tour ended, and we proceeded to the palace, right across the park in “our” neighborhood.

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OK, so the line was long and we did not have “skip-the-line” tickets, so we queued up like all the other tourists.  But we used our time taking turns going into the Almundena Cathedral which is beside the palace.  Stunning!

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I’ve never seen a ceiling like this one.  And Wikipedia doesn’t give a lot of information about it, so I will just appreciate its beauty and be grateful to the artisans who created it.

Now, the Palace.  Again. . .stunning.  No photos were allowed in many rooms, but I did manage to ogle at the chandeliers, which were among the most grand I’ve ever seen.  And I snapped a few pics, never being sure if that was legal or not.

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Our stomachs were rumbling at this point, so we set off to find food.  But not just any food at just any old place.  We were in search of the oldest restaurant in the world.

Next blog. . .

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