Parque del Buen Retiro en Madrid.
10.05.2007 - 10.05.2007 25 °C
Today I unexpectedly picked up a paper where I had written the suggestions by the great cuban anthropologist Mercedes Sandoval to visit the best places in Madrid & around. I decided to go to the beautiful monastery at San Lorenzo de El Escorial (just an hour away in bus ), so for time reasons I agreed to go and eat with my aunt and her boyfriend. I specified the fact that I wanted something that would fill me up, and surprise surprise, it isn't very hard to get such results around here.
After a delicious Paella, an astonishing Salmon with fruits, and a breathtaking Orange (I mean it, breathtaking–I was really shoving it down), I walked out as soon as I could so that we could get started on our way back home, just so I would walk a little bit –you know to digest.
Well, I realized that it was already 4pm so I decided to go home and pick up my photo equipment, give up on the Escorial plan (they close at 6pm), and instead head down to “El Parque del Buen Retiro”, founded by the King Felipe IV during the late 1600.
What an amazing idea, on top of that I took the risk to bring my tripod along, which I had never done before.
It turned out that the park was big as described, but was far more beautiful than anything written on the piece of paper consulted by me that same morning.
Green all over —and Madrid has a lot of green overall, and the beautiful blue sky helped make this a very relaxing place. Everything slowed down in here, with such a stark contrast of a few feet away, where the noise crashes every single activity attempted.
It is a green labyrinth though, full of false exits played by the stark contrasts of light falling down through the trees' leaves —who themselves are blissfully playing with the gods of wind.
The park has many sculptures planted in it and every single one of them seems to have life of its own and a long long story to tell. The names on the plaques could serve only as small breadcrumbs on a long path to follow in order to unveil a story, maybe the story underlying the gestures in those sculptures.
There is also a great share of fountains, different, with varied range in pressure and length. They are all beautiful, because water, even by itself, is always beautiful.
I passed by a couple of Palacios along the way and due to the growing shadows it was unpractical to capture them at that time; instead I was happy enough snapping a photograph of the lake in front of the Palacio de Cristal (Crystal Palace), where lightning, shadows and reflections all helped a lot.
On my way out a couple of Ukranians were photographing something over a wooden fence..it turned out to be a beautiful minimalistic waterfall that lent itself to be captured in a way I've been looking for in a while.
Unfortunately the whole Alfonso XII's Mausoleum's frontal view is closed to the public due to a big concert on Saturday that they happened to be setting up today. On my final way out I glanced over to the sky and there he was Alfonso XII on his proud horse, riding into the late afternoon sky.
Proud of myself of having broken those “tripod fears” I head back home, snapping a few more pictures by hand; when passing underneath a mirrored ceiling I had to force myself to walk back to it and do what was absolutely predictable..
Well I will be going to Toledo tomorrow in the morning, and will be exploring such an architeral-diverse town.
Hope everyone is better than yesterday,
and definitely enjoying yourselves,