Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day 5 in Madrid

On Sunday we walked and walked and walked. In the morning we went to El Rastro- the biggest flea market in Europe - loads of stuff you wouldn't want but they say you will always find something - the crowds were huge and the market stretched over an enormous area. Not just tourists either.
This is when we came in and we were fascinated with what was happening in this square - discovered they were trading cards - now that IS a long time ago.El Rastro means 'the stain' and apparently that was where Madrid's main meat market was and the name refers to te trail of blood left behind by animals dragged down the hill.
This lady aka the organ grinder was doing a roaring trade and had to keep stopping to clean out her money bowl and transfer her loot to her purse.

Very hard to get through the crowds - if you look you can see the crowds right up  the top of this street.
A matter of pushing and shoving a bit but in the midst of it I did find a lovely little stall and I  didbuy a few bargains - 6 pairs of socks for 6 euros for  one thing.
It was not so much the product which I saw later but the clever packaging and the other gorgeous goodies this girl had - velvet handbags and little bracelets etc - it was a pleasure to look at all the goodies and they were very very busy.

After all that congestion we had lunch at La Pizarra near our apartment which was delightful - the waiter was so very helpful - we had ensalada with goats cheese which I shall have to make back home and an omelette and e brought us a pisto to try.

Then we went off to explore the Museo Del Prado to find entry is free from 5 to 8pm so we lay on the grass along with a few thousand others and enjoyed the sunshine. At 5pm I have never seen such a long queue and we didn't get in until nearly 6pm. Well worth the visit though - got to see some fabulous art including Velazquez and Goya - the paintings you have only ever seen in books come to life.

Off for more explore today.


Heather said...

That market is enormous - it must be quite a social event for the locals. Fascinating to see and learn how things are done in another country. I remember seeing an exhibition of Renoir's work when we were in Guernsey. It added a new dimension seeing the paintings 'in the flesh' - they really came to life.

Margaret said...

I love all the little shops off the street sellers, too. This is one of my favorite markets.

Doreen G said...

I don't think there was much spending going on as everyone had their hands in their pockets.

Robin Mac said...

Oh boy, Bill would have taken one look at the crowds, turned on his heel and said"We are going somewhere else" I'll bet you had a fascinating time though. How wonderful to see Valazquez and Goya paintings in real life. Cheers, Robin

marry grace said...

Stylish, chic and absolutely adorable.
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