Some thoughts on vacation in Spain

  1. Bidets – how do they work? (answer)
  2. The Prado must be the most humanely scaled major museum in the world.  And being able to see both the original Las Meninas at the Prado and Picasso’s studies of it at the Museo Picasso in Barcelona on the same trip is about as good as it gets. That said, the Reina Sofia is quite boring though I may be reacting to the combination of overly large spaces and antiseptic modern art.
  3. After the clean, efficient and easily accessed Madrid Barajas airport, flying into Newark, getting the car from long-term parking and driving home on the Pulaski Skyway is just sad.
  4. Everyone should go to the Alhambra once, though the strange mix of traditional old Spain and Moroccans and neuvo hippies in the Albaicin in Granada is almost more interesting.

UPDATE 5/13: A late realization that my timing is quite poor – we missed this by one day (h/t lambert):

MADRID — Masses of chanting “indignant” activists poured into the streets across Spain on Saturday in a vast show of strength one year on from igniting a global protest against economic injustice.

Tens of thousands packed Madrid’s central Puerta del Sol square, the emblematic birthplace of their popular movement against inequality, sky-high unemployment and spending cuts that shook the political establishment.

Many had marched to the square for hours in separate columns of protesters from all directions and defied an official warning that they must disperse after 10:00 pm (2000 GMT).

At midnight, as promised, they lifted their arms to the sky and held a minute of silence before chanting; “Yes we can, yes we can,” in a gesture of defiance.

In the early hours of Sunday, several thousand protesters remained in the square, surrounded by numerous police cars parked in nearby streets.

Madrid police estimated that 30,000 people had taken part in the protest during the day. In Barcelona, Spain’s second city, the turnout was 45,000 according to police, and 220,000 according to organisers.


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