Today I’m ready for another Photowalk. Best in the mornings, then brunch, then siesta? It’s amazing how days somehow fall into some kind of routine.



Free hours at the Museum are late afternoons or early evenings anyway. (Cheapskate!) But I can’t wait. When I saw that the Museo de Prado has some Hermitage artworks on exhibit, I immediately bought a ticket so I can have more time to leisurely view the collections. Spent all of 2 hours viewing the Prado collections and another 2 hours for a quick lunch in the Museum Cafeteria and the Hermitage exhibits.






No photographs allowed inside. But I’m happy. Truly, the Prado is Madrid’s pride. The immense hoard of Spanish treasures, along with those of Flemish, Dutch, Italian masters feed the soul. My favorites are Goya’s “The Naked Maja” , Rubens “Adoration of the Magi” and “Three Graces”, El Bosco’s “The Garden of Delights” and Van der Weyden’s “Descent from the Cross”. I also liked Velasquez’ Meninas and Crucified Christ. The Hermitage Collection is an added bonus. I have been to the Hermitage in St. Petersburg back in 2004 and promptly concluded that Catherine the Great is the greatest shopper, collector and hoarder of them all. I’m no art connoisseur but I enjoyed my time at the Museum.






How I wish Juan Luna’s painting of “The Battle of Lepanto” is also hanging here rather than in Madrid’s Senado. I have yet to figure out how to view this masterpiece, but I’m determined not to leave Madrid without seeing it. (I actually did. Check out my blog on it) It also gives one immense pride to see Juan Luna’s “Death of Cleopatra” hanging side by side with Spanish Masters. Unfortunately, the 2nd time I visited the Prado to view this Luna painting once more, it was no longer there. When I checked with the Information Desk, I was informed it was put on storage. 😦







As i walked out of Prado, I turned green with envy of the guests staying in the adjacent Ritz Hotel. Such a lovely edificio! And in the best location too! One day. One day soon. I shook off the envy and instead dropped in on nearby San Jeronimo Church before rounding up the corner to view the Plaza de la Cibeles. One thing I love about Madrid is the many rotundas, gloriettas, museos, plazas, monuments, fountains and gardens they have. This city, both cosmopolitan and “old world” at the same time, makes each day a photowalk day.






I was tempted to walk back to Puerta del Sol from the corner where Banco Espana stood and where I can get a glimpse of Cybele, the Greek fertility goddess, looking smug seated on a chariot pulled by 2 lions. Naaah. Not today. No rush. Today is strictly Museum Day. Prado Day. Thyssen and the rest can wait another day.








Can’t resist including this excerpt from Rizal’s impromptu speech at a dinner in honor of Luna and Hidalgo at the Hotel Ingles:



“Luna and Hidalgo are as much Spanish glories as they are Filipino. Just as they were born in the Philippines, they could have been born in Spain, because genius has no country, genius blossoms everywhere, genius is like the light, the air, it is the heritage of all”