Red - Column for 6/28

Travels in Spain

Since most of the readers and probably all the contributors to Cant know Sun Ra and myself, I descided to do the easy thing for this column and tell you about our travels.

Madrid: After 22 grueling hours flying and waiting for a flight in London, we arrived in the middle of the night (1:30 am) on last Friday in Madrid. In the taxi to the hotel I noticed to weird thingsfor 2:30 am, it was ...um...(lets see 25 degrees celsius, is 25/5 times 9 plus 32) 77 degrees out and the streets were full of people. Spain would be a great place to be a vampire, the place is empty between 2 and 6 pm when everyone goes home for siesta, and life really starts to pick up again once the sun goes down about 9 to 9:30pm (we did just have the summer solstice). I have seen those temperature signs give readings above 40 degrees (104 degrees if my math is right), but Im not sure I want to believe them. It took us a while to get used to the idea of an afternoon nap, but we have risen to the occation admirably.

The Prado was the highlight of the trip to Madrid. It had an amazing number of very famous paintings. My favorite one to see in the flesh was the Garden of Eathly Delights by Bosch. It was even more twisted than I had remebered. One of the things that made the Boschs work so interesting was that they actually had a whole room of his paintings. All of his work was at least a little ...hmm...off center of the normal. In one of them he was clearly trying to paint a standard holy family in the manger scene, and except for the half-duck-half-something-else animal wandering in the foreground, he almost suceeded.

We also took a tour of the the Royal Palace in Madrid and it had been decorated and redecorated by a series of kings that had more money than taste. It was the chinese room that really got me, it was decorated in the 19th century style that involved the walls being tiled with huge tiles of things like peacocks and vases in bright yellows oranges and gtreens on a bright turquoise background. It was...um...colorful. THere were some pretty rooms they werent always like that but the more recently the room had been redecorated the more likely it was to be painful. The armory was great, riviting even. They had a beautiful collection of both decorative and functional armour.

Mostly we spent the time in Madrid getting adjusted to the time zone ... and the afternoon naps.

We took a day trip to Segovia, which has a truely spectacular castle. The castle was one of those that looks like it should be in a movie, and may have been at some time. They would only let us into a small part of the castle, but that part was incredible. It was classically medieval in look but the ceilings were heavily moorish inspired, and were paneled in carved panels painted and gilded. but saying that really doesnt do them justice.

Well, Im going to quit now. The world is begining to wake up as the heat drops below 30 degrees (86 degrees), and Im getting hungry. Also, I can hear Ra in the next cubical typing with machine gun rapidity so Im going to assume that hes covered all this and more in his space.