Thursday, September 24, 2009

Last weekend

Once a year in Madrid, there is a night called La Noche en blanco, or the Night in White, where the major streets are shut down to traffic, art vendors and musicians flood the streets and the restaurants and some shops stay open all night.  The streets were packed with people.  One of the coolest things I saw was a five story house/complex that had a whitewashed wall.  A video was being projected onto the entire side of the complex and showed little mini movies of what the people in each room was doing. 

 The photos came out yellow, but all the balloons were white and the whole of Plaza Mayor was brightly lit.

There were bands and mini parades all over the place.

This was lunch the next day with some friends outside of The Rastro - Madrid's Sunday Market

Fellow TEFLer Cassidy

And Johanna

The shrimp were actual little shrimps - legs, heads, shells and all.  I asked, "how do you eat this?"  Cassidy replied, "well you start by pinching off the head..."  I have to admit, I was really grossed out.  I mean, the head really did just ooze off with a little pinching pressure.  I didn't eat very many.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Plaza Mayor

This is one of the main tourist sites of Madrid.  During the Inquisition, public executions were held here.  It is by far the largest plaza I had been in thus far, and its vastness seems even greater after walking through smaller, winding streets.  I plan to go back and try to get better pictures abother day.  Being there at twilight was very pretty, but only one side of the square came out in the photographs.  Here is the best one I have now - more to come later.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mas Madrid

Sorry for the delay.  I temporarily misplaced my SD card adapter and couldn't get the photos from my camera onto my computer.

An afternoon in the parque
I'm not sure what this building is used for, but I was impressed by it.
Ministry of Agriculture
Interesting contrasts all over the place...
Another example, what appears to be a charming European tower.
Now in context (so maybe sometimes the contrast of old and new isn't very appealing).
There are these massive, symbolic gates all over the place leading in/out of the city.
Detail of the figures atop the gate.
In one of the more social parts of town, the dramatic statues are not taken so seriously.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Sunday, September 6, 2009

More Madrid

One week in and I'm already falling behind on my photos.  Here are a few from the past few days...

 I really like all the little fountains here.  The statues are so interesting.
 View from the top of the Reine Sofia Modern Art Museum
 Yoga in the park to shake off the stress we all share of not knowing what will happen over the next few months.  Felt really good.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I know this picture really doesn't reveal anything about what I'm doing or where I am, but it's really hot here, so I couldn't resist taking photos of something cool and refreshing. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A typical street in Madrid

Most of the city is made up of these winding, alley-like roads that peel off from the larger streets.  Its very different from the grid pattern in the states, but I kind of like it because you can never see whats coming next.  In terms of just wandering around, it makes things interesting to follow these paths and suddenly open up into a plaza or fountain or playground.  This particular street was filled with eateries where I had drinks and tapas with some other people in the TEFL class.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Madrid - Templo de Debod

This temple was originally in Egypt near the Nile.  The construction of a dam back in the 60's threated it and other sites.  A UN group - including Spain - worked against the destruction of such a rich historical site.  According to the literature, as a gift of gratitude for saving the site, the temple was given to Spain and it was rebuilt in Madrid.  Sounds to me like Egypt said, "Here you want it so bad, take it and let us build our damn dam..."