Friday, 7 November 2008

Walking Tour of Madrid

We enjoyed having Clark & Renee Mason with us once more on our second visa trip to Madrid. Since the blog posted August 15 has pictures of Madrid from our first visit, I will feature in this posting some of the new things we did this time. We also repeated some of the things we enjoyed on our first visit - going to the temple, seeing the young missionaries and President & Sister Hill at the MTC, walking through Retiro Park, seeing the paintings and sculptures in the Prado Museum, and walking around looking at the different architecture of the buildings and monuments. Our sightseeing trip to Segovia on Tuesday was really enjoyable, and my previous blog highlights that experience with quite a few pictures.

We had enjoyed taking a tour of the Royal Palace in August, but the Cathedral of Almudena, which is just across the courtyard from the Palace, was closed the day we were there; so on this trip we took a tour of the Cathedral.

A view of the Royal Palace
as seen from the top of the Cathedral

The Cathedral of Almudena
is adjacent to the Royal Palace.

Inside the Cathedral of Almudena

The Cathedral of Almudena is 104 meters long and 76 meters wide. It contains 13 chapels, 3 altars, and a huge dome 20 meters in diameter. In its various stages it took about 100 years to complete, and it was consecrated in 1993 by Pope John Paul.

Cathedral of Almudena

Narene standing by one of the numerous
satues around the top of the Cathedral of Almudena.
The statues are of the Apostles and other
disciples from the Bible.

Walking around at the top of the Cathedral
offered a good view of the city.

Another view from the top of the Almudena Cathedral.

The Virgin of Almudena, the patron saint of Madrid,
in a side altar in the Cathedral.

One of the numerous side alcoves in the
Cathedral of Almudena.

This was my favorite alcove.

One of the doors to the Cathedral.

We went to the Prada again on Monday evening from 6:00 to 8:00 and used the brochure they provide to locate the famous paintings by Raphael, El Greco, Velazquez, Van Dyck, Rembrandt, Goya, and more. We had intended to get tickets to see the Rembrandt exhibition, but we must have been in the wrong line.

This picture was taken as we
walked back to the Hotel Convencion
after our visit to the Prada Museum.

On Wednesday we went to a free museum the lady at the information center had told us about. It was in an interesting modern building with an accompanying wall of vegetation without earth.

Caixa Forum's wall of vegetation

This "garden" is 24 meters high on a vertical wall and consists of 460 square meters with 15,000 plants from 250 different species. It is a wall of vegetation that lives without soil and only needs water and nutrients.

Caixa Forum Social and Cultural Outreach Projects

We enjoyed seeing the Etruscan exhibit at the Caixa Forum. The building itself was interesting and unusual. Here is a picture of the spiraling stairs.

Narene walking up the winding stairs in the
Caixa Forum.

Golden plates with inscriptions in
Etruscan and Phoenician, around 500 B.C.,
was one of the exhibits in the
Caixa Forum.

We enjoyed walking through Retiro Park.
This picture was taken by the Crystal Palace.

Crystal Palace in Retiro Park

Retiro Park

Retiro Park

Retiro Park

Retiro Park

Retiro Park

Retiro Park

Water wheel in Retiro Park

Atocha Railway Station.

Plaza Mayor

King Philip III memorial in Plaza Mayor

Clark & Sam waiting in Plaza Mayor
while Renee & Narene looked through the shops.

The green hat in front is for money paid
to have a picture taken with "her"
on Plaza Mayor.

This WC is very different from those we see in Moscow.

The following photos are a sample of the different buildings and architecture we saw on our walking tour of Madrid.

Apartment building in Madrid

Picture taken from the station where
we took the train to Segovia.

Minesterio de Agricultura

Chariot statues on top of this building.

Palace of Communication

Bank of Spain

Clark, Narene, Renee, and Sam
standing in front of an olive tree.

Looking out the window of the MTC down on
the grounds of the LDS Temple where these men
were planting petunias.

Saving the best to last: The LDS Temple

Our next and last visa renewal trip will be the end of January.

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