Picture of the Week

6 January 2019

Week 52: Christmas and a day in Madrid with Monica

Filed under: — Administrator @ 08:36

The last week of the year was mostly about celebrating the Christmas holiday with our Spanish friends, and a day trip to Madrid I made with my daughter.

52_1
I started the 24th with a visit to the beach to see the sunrise. It seemed fitting to start the Christmas Eve day in this manner, and anyway I needed to go to the bakery. The view of the sea and sky was nice:
DSF6139

52_2
But sometimes it is good to turn around and look at the buildings and other features illuminated by the rising sun:
DSF6143

52_3
I then decided to drive up to Busot, one of my usual cycling routes, to take some pictures of the landscape with longer lenses than what I have available when I go there on bicycle:
DSF6151

52_4
DSF6158

52_5
The equipment allowed me to photograph Busot in a different way than usually, a closer view:
DSF6157

52_6
And this would be me, a couple of hours later:
DSF6159

52_7
In the afternoon, I decided to drive to the centre of Alicante to have a look at the Christmas decorations and to have a beer at my favourite bar. But first, I stopped at the park to visit the pet memorial tree and think a little bit about my beloved departed Cheeta and Taco:
DSF6166

52_8
DSF6164

52_9
The low afternoon sun made the leaves look pretty:
DSF6165

52_10
In the centre there was a market on the main pedestrian drag:
DSF6169

52_11
I went to Malatesta for a Tripel Karmeliet from tap, one of this world’s great pleasures for a beer lover like me. The selection is what keeps bringing me back:
DSF6173

52_12
Then it was Christmas Eve, and we got together with our friends for good food, wine and conversation:
DSF6192

52_13
DSF6179

52_14
DSF6191

52_15
My wife’s contribution to the dinner was this dessert–an ice cream cone coated with melted white chocolate and filled with turrón ice cream, on top of a chocolate cup filled with lemon sorbet and passion fruit. Decorated with edible candies:
DSF6195

52_16
The host, Cani, performing an important task:
DSF6198

52_17
We spent Christmas morning at home with Monica. Sadly, this year our son (who lives in the New Jersey suburbs of NYC) could not be with us. So it was just the three of us, but we still did the usual gift exchange:
DSF6200

52_18
DSF6206

52_19
Later on Christmas Day, we went back to our friends, to take part in the classic Spanish “winter morning after” meal, the cocido. We sat outside and nibbled first:
R005010

52_20
Assumpta serves the broth. The cocido is a simple meal of a hearty soup with vegetables and meat, with the ingredients served separately. Wikipedia has a short explanation:
R005015

52_21
The basis for the cocido is the broth:
R005016

52_22
The vegetables:
R005017

52_23
The meat. Traditionally, one eats the broth first, then the vegetables and then the meat, but some people (me included) prefer to add the vegetables and meat to the broth:
R005021

52_24
At the table:
R005019

52_25
Cani and Nereyda have two dogs; the big one was always there, the small one belonged to Nereyda’s mother who died a couple of years ago, so the little old doggie now lives with Nereyda:
R005011

52_26
I spent Boxing Day on my bicycle in my usual mountain playground. The light over Busot and the mountains was particularly nice that day:
R005022

52_27
The next day I did some shopping, and I stumbled onto this large amusement fair on the outskirts of the city. It seemed, though, that the attractions were not particularly well visited, at least not while I was there in the late afternoon:
R005031

52_28
The rides did look nice against the late afternoon sky:
R005034

52_29
R005036

52_30
On Friday, Monica and I took the high-speed train to Madrid to spend the day there, mainly to visit the two great art museums, the Prado and the Museo Reina Sofía. The train departed at 7:15 am, so I had brought breakfast for Monica and bought her coffee at the station:
R005037

52_31
A bit after 9:30 we arrived at Madrid’s Atocha station and walked to the Prado. As always, I was on the lookout for amusing/interesting details, such as this poster:
DSF3456

52_32
The Prado opens at 10, and there was a long queue to buy tickets. But because I am a member of the “amigos del Prado” association, I could skip the queue (and also get in for free):
DSF3459

52_33
One of highlights of a visit to the Prado is the incredible triptych by Hieronymus Bosch, The Garden of Earthly Delights. Monica looked at it for a long time:
R005039

52_34
Monica was not the only one looking at Bosch’s magnificent painting. It is without question the most popular piece at the Prado:
DSF3469

52_35
After spending around 3 hours at the Prado, we made our way towards a Cuban restaurant called La Negra Tomasa where we were going to have lunch:
DSF3482

52_36
The menu at La Negra Tomasa contains all the traditional Cuban dishes, which are very similar to the Puerto Rican food we know from our visits to my wife’s family on the island. Here yucca, avocado and black beans and rice:
DSF3484

52_37
In the foreground is my main dish, ropa vieja (literally “old clothes”, a traditional dish of shredded beef):
DSF3485

52_38
Afterwards, we walked towards Sol from where we were going to take the metro. On the way we passed some kind of Christmas event being put on by the city of Madrid:
DSF3488

52_39
Plaza del Sol is the closest Madrid has to a central square:
DSF3492

52_40
Santas taking a break:
DSF3490

52_41
We took the metro to Retiro, a beautiful large park near the Atocha station and the Prado. The weather was nice, albeit on the cool side:
DSF3504

52_42
Our last stop in Madrid was the Museo Reina Sofía. In contrast to the Prado, which contains mainly art from the Renaissance onwards, the Reina Sofía’s principal focus is modern art. The main attraction is Picasso’s Guernica (no photos allowed from that part of the museum) but we spent a couple of hours looking at an exhibition about the artistic life in Paris during the two decades following World War II, when the city was re-establishing itself as the main arts centre on the European continent. Monica was very interested in all aspects of the exhibition:
R005043

52_43
Taking notes, the modern way:
DSF3515

We arrived back in Alicante around midnight, tired but satisfied with our day in Madrid. More Madrid images can be seen here.

52_44
The next day, I was out on my bicycle once again, this time to Jijona. On the way I passed this large vegetable farm, just about the only agriculture in the immediate vicinity of Alicante:
R005044

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress