Let's just keep the Spain train of pictures going, shall we? Our first full day in Madrid, Bennet and Missy were off with their official tour group most of the day for a trip to Toledo (Holy Toledo, Batman! I couldn't resist) so Lee and I wandered around on our own for a bit. Did you know there's an Egyptian temple in the middle of Madrid?
This is the Temple of Debod. In the 1960s, lots of ancient Egyptian temples and monuments along the Nile were in danger of flooding from the Aswan Dam, so an international group of archaeologists worked to remove the buildings from their original sites and save them from destruction. The countries who helped out the most were gifted with temples, so there's this one in Spain and that's also why there's an Egyptian temple in New York.
Note to self: don't wear a shirt that is almost the same color as your jacket. It's bugging me in the pics :p
It's free to go in the temple, though they have some guard dudes who mostly make sure that there aren't too many people in there at one time, 'cause it's pretty small inside. Lots of hieroglyphs, though they're a bit hard to see in the pics.
You could press buttons to illuminate the hieroglyphs on the walls but I don't think it necessarily helped with taking the pictures.
On one of the upper floors, they've got a scale model of what the whole temple complex looked like on its original site. The inner part of the temple was the oldest, from the second century BC, and further bits and pieces and decorations were added for another four centuries so it was completed under Roman emperors.
Another model (sorry this picture is pretty terrible) of the Nile and where the temples originally stood along its banks.
So we left the Temple of Debod and kept on truckin' around Madrid. I have no idea where we were or what this statue is, but thank Lee for a nice picture.
Couldn't figure out which one I liked best :)
And here is the Royal Palace of Madrid.
This is actually the side of it, which faces a large plaza where we saw a dude making giant bubbles, to the delight of several children.
I took about a dozen pictures of the group trying to make sure I got a good one.
Looks like fun, but I wouldn't want to get bubble soap all over me. Guess I really am a grown-up. (Sort of.)
And there's the front of the palace. We did a tour of it but of course you're not allowed to take pictures inside. It was okay, parts of it were pretty impressive, but after a while it kind of feels like they're beating you over the head with gold leaf and statues, ya know?
Lee's picture of a cool lamppost in the courtyard.
After we left the palace, we saw this aggressively purple building, so I got Lee to take a picture of it for me.
We ended up eating a snack at this place. It's a pretty big building and it's full of little stalls, mostly food, with about everything under the sun--several sushi places (ick), lots of tapas, frozen yogurt, candies, cakes, and on and on. It was really crowded too, but the food was good.
And here is Madrid's Plaza Mayor. And out front of the buildings are a couple characters I'm sure were not authorized by Nickelodeon or Disney--Sponge Bob and an Americana Mickey Mouse. Seems like there were some other weird ones too but I don't remember what exactly now. This was like six weeks ago, I've slept since then.
And there's a closeup of the one building. Kind of interesting...but I don't think I'd like to have my house decorated like that.
Well, Lee and I have to go get ready for a fancy-dancy dinner at Parliament. (Yeah, we're going to Parliament!) So I'd better go try to make myself presentable. Adios, amigos!
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