From Segovia we journeyed onto Avila, its narrow alleyways and longest continuous stone wall in Europe. Many protruding balconies and no cars.
After a short drive we arrived to a huge city lined with avenues of trees and wide walking paths. And lots of bustling traffic, mainly one way. After wondering around the Santa Ana Plaza we found our apartment in one of the prettiest surrounded by an buildings array of painted tile work depicting scenes of major Spanish towns.
What a location in the middle of one way streets and plazas. And traffic! At siesta time people are either eating or resting out of the sun. Exciting things happening another protest. This time all the way around the plaza whistles shouting banner
waving. So many food places offering so much.
We did the whole art thing in Madrid. The Prado with the full assault of Masters. Fra Angelico with his vibrant colours illuminated with gold radiated from the composition bought tears to my eyes it was so beautiful. Namely the Annunciation and the Virgin of the Pomegranate. Next fav is Hieronymus Bosch Garden of Earthly Delight repositioned so you can view the triptych more fully. And the table of the Seven Deadly Sins. Either Bosch was tripping of something most probably Ergot poisoning from infected wheat, which bought on hallucinations to most of the population. Vibrant colours and spectacular detail. Other artists we viewed were Titan, Durer, Velazquez, Goya, Raphael, Memling, Brueghal, El Greco, and Caravaggio to name a few.
Prado is a must see as is the collection of Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza the art ranges from The C13 to C20. An eclectic mass of works.
Walked all over Madrid viewing the Cathedral and parks. Location in Santa Ana Plaza perfect.
We stayed in Madrid for a few days before moving onto Cordoba. More one way streets and alleys. Cordoba the home of the Mesquita, a perfect example of the marriage or utilization by various conquering cultures and religions to use buildings and materials from their predecessors, adapting them to their own style. The red and white arches of the Moors, surrounding the central altarpiece of the Catholic church emphasis the contrast in their cultures. Outside in the orange filled courtyard are fountains where the Moors washed before entering. The Minaret has been added to several times over the centuries. Another enticing aspect of Cordoba was the wafts of caramelizing sugar, almonds and pinenuts.