Monday 10 June 2013
The weather was fine on our third day in Madrid, so we decided to spend it at El Retiro, a large formal park in the centre of Madrid that was established by a bloodless Spanish noble who erected a ridiculously large statue in honour of Himself. The park was originally the exclusive domain of the nobility, which serves as a useful reminder of why such forms of political rule should never again be tolerated.
We made our way to a café where Susan planted herself at a table in the sun under an umbrella, and I walked around to ease the pain in my back and get a sense of what points of interest lay in the vicinity. We visited the Crystal Palace, which was originally designed as a greenhouse for exotic plants. We also visited the Museo de Velazquez which was currently exhibiting the work of a modern artist that we had seen earlier in Barcelona. This included a wind tunnel (which proved to be very photogenic) and a teepee that was fashioned from American bank notes and erected on a field of rather smelly bones. Afterwards we lodged ourselves in a cafe where we ate a nice pizza and washed down with beer served in frosted glasses.
After lunch we ventured to the further extremities of the park, which featured a disused zoo, a rose garden, and a display of topiary that looked like the work of Norman Bates. We had another beer in a café on the way home, and when we arrived, I cooked pasta for two.