Spain: Madrid – One End to the Other in the Pouring Rain

Dry cured Spanish ham in the "Ham Museum"It’s pouring rain. Buckets and buckets are falling from the sky! Perfect day to walk around the city of Madrid!

We stopped in the Museo de Jamon for lunch. Ham is a mainstay of the Spanish diet. This amazing store is absolutely covered in hams! Dry cured hams, various sausages and cuts. Ham is quintessential Spain, a staple. With a long history of Jewish and Muslim culture, when all were forced into Christianity, they were once required to hang legs of pork by their doors to demonstrate a faithful conversion. We learned that the best ham is from pigs fed on acorns (bellota ham), the most expensive fancy acorn fed ham was 105 Euros per kilogram! (like $70/lb!!)

Deb in a rainy Plaza Mayor
Plaza Mayor is a central plaza in the city. The ground floors contain shops and restaurants and the stories above are residences with apparently 237 balconies. This large plaza has been historically used for large markets and even bullfights.

I was having difficulty finding a place to purchase my “Madrid yarn” for my souvenir yarn to make a scarf. We were directed to this store tucked into one corner of the Plaza Mayor. Inside was this shop filled with little old ladies and yarn of every type. All the yarn was label in prices of Euros/kilo. We accidentally asked for one kilo of yarn, Eeep! All I really need is one skein as we watched the woman load the scale with skein after skein.Deb holding up the Temple

In the ever increasing pouring rain, we walked past the Royal Palace and its adjacent Sabatini Royal Gardens. Umbrellas in hand made for some entertaining photos around the fountains and puddles. We decided we would stop in for some cafe con leche while we dried out a bit and waited for the rain to clear.

On one end of the city is the Temple of Debod, this is an Egyptian temple that was moved from Egypt to Spain when the Aswan dam was constructed. It was donated to Spain as thanks for the Spanish governments involvement. We were able to get some shots in during a brief respite from the rain.

We still had some time before we needed to get to the airport so we stopped in the Thyssen Art Museum. This is a large private collection come public museum. It contains more modern art than the Prado. There was only one Lichtenstein on display, a favorite painter of Mark’s. I’m more fond of the Impressionists and Cubists myself. But we don’t need to go into a “what is art” silly debate here. We like what we like and that’s that.

We didn’t get to a bull fight, it’s something we didn’t think about until we saw there were fights every night we were there, but they were all sold out. That’s on the list of what to do next time in Spain :)