Thursday, May 27, 2010

"To learn something new, take the path that you took yesterday." John Burroughs

I decided to stay in Madrid this last week instead of travel to the North. At first I was worried that I would regret staying when I haven't seen the area of Galicia yet, but then I told myself that there is so much I probably still haven't seen in Madrid. So many people try to fit as much as they can see in a short amount of time, just to say "Oh, I've been there." Every time I traveled for a weekend, I was wishing I could have stayed longer. Obviously, if you are a busy person (or restricted by stupid school attendance rules) I think you should go even for a couple days rather than not go at all. But when you can, I feel that really getting to know a place is something special, and rare. I want to come back from Madrid and truely feel like it was my second home. I've been taking this time to really research what I haven't seen yet....with great success!

Here are some of my findings:

Mercado San Miguel
Very similar to the Ferry Building's indoor Market. I bought some bread, cheese, and fresh watermelon slices for lunch. It was really cool. They have a bunch of different tapa plate options at the different booths, plus sweets, fruits, wines, cheeses, and a variety of other delicious foods to buy for later or eat then. I wish I knew about this before when people were visiting! It's a great place to go for tapas and wine, and traditional Spanish desserts.

Fish heads...ugh.

Calle Alcalá
I already knew about this street, it's right off Sol, but today they had posters for an exhibit called "VivaAfrica," I believe. The images were really colorful and I had been going to different photography exhibits all day, so it fit in perfectly with my day!

I have gotten pretty good at this whole "not being able to see the screen" thing!

Azotea del Círculo de Bellas Artes
This roof has always had access to it because of it's great views of Madrid. I only heard about it because they were having a photo exhibit ontop of it. So I went for the exhibit and the view. The exhibit wasn't my type of photography so much, but the view was great!

The famous Gran Via Metropolis building.
One of the few pictures I really liked; view of Madrid infront of a view of Madrid :)
This is a picture of Callao at night
The exhibit

The Caixa Forum
This regularly holds exhibits, I just never knew. I found out about it because they were hosting an exhibit of the winning photography collections from the FotoPres 2009 competition. It is all pictures of photojournalism, and right up my alley. It was absolutely amazing and shocking all at the same time. Some collections were incredibly sad, but others were less gruesome. In an small room, they have the photographers talking about each of their collections. I remember one of them saying something about how it is unfortunate, because, in his opinion, we can not really do too much to save the world. My favorite, and most touching, was the collection of the 1st place winner, Emilio Morenatti, titled "Gender Violence in Pakistan." The pictures were incredibly sad, but the background stories that accompanied them made them all the more touching. All of the pictures were portraits of women attacked by acid for some awful reason, such as they didn't want to marry someone, they divorced someone, they are getting an education, or their family is in a fued with other family members. Many of these women are blind, and some even are completely without faces for absolutely no reason. Many of these women have brought charges against their attackers, but to no avail.

These pictures aren't pretty, I warn you.

I can't remember every single story, but I believe this women was burnt because she didn't want to marry someone.
These first two are probably the least gruesome of the exhibit, some weren't fortunate enough to have a single operation in order to restore some kind of normalcy.
The most touching photograph to me was the girl in the red, behind him. She is completely without a face and looks like a skeleton. Her father threw acid on her when she was 5 years old because he didn't want another woman in the family. Then the father fled, the mother remarried and abandoned the girl to live with her aunt. She is completely blind and has never left her house since she was burned.
(p.s. these aren't my photographs, I had to get them offline because you can't take photos inside the exhibit.)

So these have been my adventures so far. There is a Tapas Fair this weekend and one of my friends is still here she just nannies during the week so finally we can hang out this weekend. Hope you enjoyed the photos!


  1. Thanks for the blog! If you want to keep up with your Spanish online or on your iPhone a good service is ( Buen viaje!

  2. Very interesting Al, see you soon,looking forward to more pictures upon your return,Oh your car misses you!Dad

  3. Glad you decided to stay in Madrid! Looks like u are using your timely wisely. Wish we could have gone to the Mercado San Miguel. Looks fun. Yes u are getting very good at using your camera. Maybe we won't have to get u a new one after all:) That can become your "thing" Love u! Can't wait for next week.

  4. I went to that market!! I loved it!


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