Thursday, July 5, 2012


The past two days I visited two art museums here. One I stumbled upon during my exploration of the area around Puerta del Sol (a plaza who's name literally means Door of the Sun), and the other I went to with my classmates. The first, was called Museo Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando. Yeah, it's a mouthful. It was a lot of classic art and I loved seeing the paintings by Goya that I had studied in my Spanish classes. I spent a few hours just wandering around the galleries taking in all the beauty. It's a different kind of beauty than I'm accustomed to. I am always drawn to the beauty in nature and seeing the "artwork" of the great outdoors, but here in the city there's not a whole lot of that so it's nice to take in a different kind of art, a different beauty.

 (Artwork in San Fernando)

The next museum I visited was el Museo de la Reina Sofia. This one doen't have any of the classics, just the neoclassics and modern works. And guess what piece is there. La Guernica. This piece was painted by Picasso to depict the Civil War in Spain. I've learned about it a lot in all of my classes and I've seen pictures of it, but to see it in person was a shock. It's huge! It takes up an entire wall and it's in one room by itself. There were also about 5 security guards standing around scolding anyone who tried to take a picture or even tried to sit on the floor to rest a bit. I just stood there in awe, hearing the cries of the mothers who's children had died, seeing the sadness on each person's face in the painting and thinking of all the suffering like this that still goes on in the world today. I want to go back to the Reina Sofia again sometime while I'm here because the only thing we really had time to see was La Guernica and some works by Dalí and others by Picasso.

Other than art museums, I've been finding my way around the city quite well, figuring out the buses and Metros, learning new Spanish phrases and words that are unique to Spain and spending time with my new friends here. I also found a great place to run! There's a huge park right behind my host mom's apartment and it has a great view of the city too. And there are birds in the park!! I saw a flock of parrots today! Right now I'm about to go have lunch with my friend, Erica, in a cafe called "Taberna" (Tavern). We went there yesterday for breakfast and it's a place where all the locals go. We want to be regulars there, so we're coming back today. The food is super cheap too!

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