Art in Madrid’s Streets

Posted on February 17, 2015. Filed under: Art, Spain | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Madrid street art 1

Yes, you are just walking along in Madrid and wham!  There happens to be some monumental piece of art right there.  Why not put an enormous lizard made out of CDs on the side of a building?  I wonder how they talked the people in those rooms to give up their windows.  Or why not install a bronze frog the size of a small house on the sidewalk? Madrid street art 2

Madrid street art 3Here we are on Calle del Arenal, a huge pedestrian corridor that hosts many live art performances.  Madrid loses its stuffy capital city ambiance when you walk the streets and observe the creativity that permeates this place.

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Tapas in Madrid

Posted on November 23, 2014. Filed under: Spain | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

madrid tapas

A real delight in Madrid is to drop into any bar and order a drink.  Before you know it a small plate of something gets delivered as well.  It is the little freebie each place sends you as a little thank you for stopping in and also maybe a little advertising of the food available on the menu.

DSC06896Some places offered just a few little bullet-shaped crackers and chorizo sausage slices.  This seemed the default tapa, offered when the good stuff wasn’t ready yet, or perhaps at the less food-oriented places.  Several places gave us this standard.  But many others had elaborate little plates with pasta and interesting sauces or baccalao salt cod deep fried and luscious or something with a variety of silky beans with toast.  We often handled lunch easily this way by hopping from bar to bar and sampling the tapa of the day at each.  One way I kept my head about me with the alcohol was to have the Spanish specialty of beer cut in half with lemonade.  I love this light, refreshing drink!

Madrid’s little tapas bars are just a delight.  The area right near the Prado, where we stayed, is full of fun and friendly little joints in which to poke around.  If you find yourself there make time for it.


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Tour du Mont Blanc

Posted on March 5, 2013. Filed under: Exercise, France, Italy, Switzerland, Tour du Mont Blanc, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Travel - Tour du Mont BlancToday I just want to remember.  Last September I completed the Tour du Mont Blanc, a 105 mile hiking trail that circles Mont Blanc, the tallest peak in the European Alps.  The trail goes through France, Italy and Switzerland.  Sometimes the walk ends in a town with some options for accomodation and other times it ends high up in the mountains with only 1 refuge where you better have a reservation or they turn you away.  These 14 days were some of the most visually beautiful I’d ever experienced.  They were also some of the most physically demanding.  I carried all my necessities on my back, about 20 pounds including water.  With this pack I was prepared for any weather from snow and ice to scorching sun.  Thankfully the weather was sublime with only 1 day of rain.  I put the word completed in italics above because it is really because of this day of rain that I didn’t technically walk all 105 miles.  That day of unending downpour we rode in a bus to the next town.  I was on vacation afterall!

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