Saturday, June 4, 2016


This truncated post will be the denouement to my Madrid trip. Yesterday was a 10 hour flight from Madrid to Mexico City and I spend last night in a hotel here at the airport. I learned my lesson the last time! The best thing to do after a ten-hour flight is to simply collapse and get some rest. Oddly enough, last night was the most sleep I have gotten on this trip. The jet-lag to Europe really knocks me out. I think it would take a few weeks for me to fully adjust.

So no exciting photos from yesterday. Well, maybe a couple. The Terminal 4s at Madrid airport is pretty cool:

Click to enlarge
That wavy ceiling seems to be constructed of thousands of wooden slats, but maybe they are plastic or something. They look like wood. The terminal seems to be about a kilometre long with passenger access from one side and the airplanes all on the other side. In this photo the passengers come in from the left and the airplanes are on the right. This is a shot from the same place, but looking in the opposite direction. No CGI here, that's real perspective:

The flight is nearly 6000 miles, but even at over 500 miles an hour it takes nearly ten hours. (Yes, I know that doesn't add up, but it includes taxiing to and from the terminal, ascending to cruising altitude, descending from cruising altitude and that inexplicable 11 minutes in the middle when we were put into time stasis by the alien mothership.) But this time I watched some movies. They had a pretty good selection of everything from Bridget Jones to Harry Potter to James Bond to Deadpool. Ok, yes, I watched the latter because I read some very odd reviews. I see what they mean. It is kind of a anti-hero comic book movie. Sure, they have the usual absurd stunts, but the dialogue is all sardonic and stuff. Plus, more cussin' than a Snoop Doggy Dog video. For me, at least, all was redeemed by having Morena Baccarin play the romantic lead, with whom I fell hopelessly in love when she was in Firefly. May the Fox executives rot in hell forever for cancelling it in the middle of the first season. Sorry, it's just that the Joss Whedon cult of which I am the secretary requires me to say that whenever I mention Firefly. May the Fox executives rot in hell forever for cancelling it in the middle of the first season! Sorry, sorry.

Ok, moving right along. Obviously I am crawfishing all over the place here because I have nothing music related to relate. Well, maybe one thing. Back in North America again (yes, Mexico is still part of North America), I notice that the ubiquitous pop music is back and I suddenly realise that I heard no annoying pop music in any of the restaurants I ate in in Europe. Well, not quite true, but the only places I heard anything were a Burger King (sorry, it was just a moment's inattention) and a chocolate y churros place, both very casual "dining". Any serious eating place, and most restaurants in Europe seem to be serious eating places, there is either no music or the music is so discreet you don't even notice it. Yahoo!

So I will wrap up with a shot from my room of the courtyard here at the Courtyard Marriott here in beautiful downtown Mexico City:

It's not real sunny because I just took that photo a few minutes ago, around 7 am. Sun's not up yet.

Now let's have some travelin' music! This is "Going Up the Country" by Canned Heat:

Wow, the last time I listened to that tune, probably the early 70s, I didn't realise that the flute was pretty much out of tune all the time. Mind you, so is the guitar. Oh, yeah and much of the time, the singer too. It's earthy!!


Marc Puckett said...

Ha! I recognise that tune because one of the local stations (run by the school district? a few adults but mostly the students themselves) airs a program that features a few bars of the song as its 'theme music'-- 'I'm going to someplace where I've never been before...'. Bienvenidos a Norteamerica!

Christine Lacroix said...

I have to say you do take good pictures. Welcome home!

Bryan Townsend said...

Thanks and thanks to you both!

David said...

Bryan welcome back. Although it seems to your readers that you never left. You were always there in the blogosphere where we usually find you. I hope you had a rejuvenating time in Spain. In a world where it seems I find an increasing incidence of coincidence, while you were posting views and photos of the Prado, my wife was reading the book Master of the Prado by Javier Sierra. On her recommendation, it is next on my reading list. Have you read it? You can probably enjoy the luxury of reading it in the original language.

Bryan Townsend said...

Thanks, David! The second day I tried to go to the Prado, I had the distinct impression that half the tourists in Europe were trying to go as well!

I don't know that book, but I will keep an eye out for it.