March 20, 2006
Madrid impressions

I'm just back from a couple of days in Madrid. Although it was raining, it's a nice city to visit, and here are my thoughts, bullet-pointed - as you'd expect from a consultant :-)

  • The Reina Sofia modern art museum is right up there with The Big modern art museums. Picasso's Guernica; a couple of IKBs - all the top stuff you expect to find at an international modern art collection, plus surprise of the day: a very cool wooden bookshelf, complete with wooden 'books'. No photography allowed, and I don't find it online, but head for the last couple of rooms on the 4th floor if you're there...
  • Spanish people love the lottery. There are lottery-ticket sales people on ever street corner, some even sporting hand-held credit card readers
  • Kukuxumusu shops! I googled on my mobile and found these shops when walking around town.
  • The Prado is nice too - bit more heavy than the Reina Sofia, but worth going just to see The Garden of Earthly Delight by Bosch. Mad, mental, beautiful, certainly painted 500 years ahead of its time (1504! wild!).
  • There's a nice street of wine bars near the La Latina metro stop.
  • Damn fine Argentinian beef (flown in from Argentina?) can be had for a reasonable price at La Vaca Argentina next to the Opera
  • There are more beggars on the streets here than in London. Almost at Rotterdam-level (where aggressive beggars are a staple sight in the city). Madrid beggars just walk around with a cup on the Metro or are handicapped and sit on a corner.

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