There are two big traffic roundabouts on the Paseo del Prado, each with a fountain. One is Cybeles and the other is Neptune. It is actually pretty hard to get a decent photo because you can't get very close due to the traffic. Here is Neptune from behind:
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Here is a nifty building I saw walking along the Carrera de San Jeronimo:
This is the facade of the Real Conservatorio Superior de Música de Madrid, which faces on the same square as the Reina Sofía:
Just half a block from there is an excellent music store for guitarists with all those things that the Union Musical Española no longer bothers with: music scores, for example.
The proprietor, Angel, is a very nice fellow and I actually bought a couple of Brouwer scores and a new CD of a guitar concerto of his.
I didn't relate what I did on my last day. The first day I went to the Prado I bought a two day ticket as it seemed a good saving. So on Thursday, after their new Hieronymus Bosch exhibit had begun, I went back to use that second day and see the Bosch. Alas, there were big lineups. This is just to buy a ticket and it extended for the equivalent of two or three blocks:
Then you had to line up to actually enter the exhibit. I figured I was ahead of the game, so I just went to that second line. And encountered a museum employee who informed me that if I wanted to access the Bosch exhibit, I would have to buy a special ticket, which they might have told me. So I just glared at her and said "adios"! Standing in line for several hours is not my idea of a good time. Besides, I saw their Bosch years ago (I told myself). On the other hand, despite the best efforts of Jesse Jackson back in the 80s, ("hey, hey, ho, ho, Western Civ has got to go") which were pretty successful in US colleges, apparently there are lots of people who still believe that there is such a thing as Western Civilization and are prepared to stand in line all day just to look at some samples.
But I decided otherwise, at least on this occasion so, after fortifying myself with a second light breakfast:
I decided to check out another museum, quite highly recommended in some guide books: the Museo de América. It did involve a 15 minute cab ride as it is a lot further out. Nice building:
This museum is devoted to artifacts from the former Spanish empire and includes both pre-Columbian and colonial artworks. The building itself is spectacular with this extraordinary boveda ceiling:
I took a lot of photos, but because of the glass cases, they didn't turn out very clear. Here is gold jewelry from what is now part of Panama:
Just to show the variety, here is a Tinglit carving from the Pacific Northwest:
And they have one of the very few remaining Aztec codices, the Codex Tudela, a 16th century pictorial codex:
Not to mention one of the earliest depictions of the Virgin of Guadalupe, this is from the mid-18th century:
The admission was only 3 Euros, which made up a bit for the two taxi fares, there and back.
What would be a good musical envoi? Nothing pre-Columbian as, despite what they tell you, we have absolutely no idea what pre-Columbian music sounded like. But how about something Latin American? This is my recording of Carora, a vals venezolano by Antonio Lauro: