Authoritarians Ruin Everything

I only had a limited amount of time until the galleries closed in the Reina Sofía. Thus, I was pretty upset that I wasted half an hour on a temporary exhibition devoted to NSK, a Yugoslavian artistic collective more interested in organizational orthodoxy (they proudly called themselves authoritarians) than actually creating meaningful art. At least I saw Guernica up close.

Toledo is deserves to be more than just a ‘daytrip from Madrid.’ Stepping out of the bus station treats you to a view of a towering, fortress-like looming above you. (Fortunately, there are public escalators leading up). The cathedral and a Museum for El Greco are among the many highlights. Just be careful if tensions rise between the side-by-side McDonald’s and Burger King in Plaza Zocodover.

While the Reina Sofía was a bit disappointing, the National Archaeological Museum was a lot of fun. Sandra (very generously) spent an entire late August Saturday afternoon showing me around the parts of Madrid I missed. We marveled at the coin collection (the fakes and imitations were very interesting), saw the city from on top of the El Corte Inglés (a local department store), and sampled tapas in the La Latina neighborhood. It was also also a great opportunity to improve my Spanish. A man on a bus gave me a good expression: “Me dejo entender,” or ‘I make myself understood.’ I’d say my listening skills only match those of a typical politician though.

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