Monthly Archives: June 2011

[Catching Up] Madrid: Day Three

(I can’t believe I’m still writing about April…)
On my last day in Madrid I was all by myself (my amiga was on the plane to Barcelona) and had a lot of activities to fit in.

I started early and headed to the Museo de la Reina Sofia for the Sunday morning free entry. The Reina Sofia is a gallery of modern art and its most famous piece is Picasso’s Guernica, his large, black and white, cubist depiction of the bombing of the Basque town of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. It is a very striking piece, taking up almost a whole wall. Even in the cubist style (which I confess I don’t really ‘get’) the anguish and pain on the faces is very real and very scary.

My next stop was the Museo de Sorolla, a gallery of paintings by Spanish artist Joaquín Sorolla. As it was a nice day and because I am pig-headed, I decided I could walk there and save myself the Metro fare. The gallery is in the painter’s house, which he designed in an Andalusian-style with a lovely patio garden. The artworks are displayed inside the house, including in his studio. I love his wonderfully bright and light paintings and highly recommend that everyone checks them out.

By this point my art quota had been well and truly met for the weekend so I skipped the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, the third major gallery in the capital (behind the Prado and Reina Sofia). Instead I went to the Parque del Retiro, a great big open park with plenty of grass, trees and even a pond for boating. I ate an ice cream and soaked up the sun.

Lollipop trees


Boating

One smooth train ride that evening and I was back in Oviedo, in the rain.

TTFN.

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Filed under Madrid, Spain, Travel

Sunday session of sol y sídra

On my last weekend in Oviedo, after Kyle had joined me, we went out on a beautiful, sunny Sunday for a bottle of Asturias’s specialty: sídra.

Sídra is an alcoholic apple cider that requires a very particular manner of pouring and drinking. The cider is still, rather than sparkling, so to aerate it a small amount must be poured into a glass from a large height, hitting the inside of the glass on the way down, and then drunk quickly like a shot. The pouring is a skill, but the bartenders in Asturias have it down to such a fine art that they barely even look at what they are doing, and can pour with three glasses in hand.


I have to admit I am not a huge fan of the flavour, and I am terribly bad at drinking it all down in one go. Still, it is refreshing on a sunny day (although I found there were only about three of those during the whole of May) and it is an important part of the regional identity. Plus, it is super cheap: two bottles (which equals about six of the small glasses per bottle) for €5.20.

TTFN.

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Filed under Asturias, Oviedo, Spain