Hello Fellow Travelers:
Welcome to our world of business information, museums, adventure, birding, botanical gardens, good eating and fine wines. This newsletter provides you with “The Welge Report for Madrid.
Please share it with your friends, customers and associates. You can also access more than 100 cities on our website plus lots of other helpful travel tips at: thewelgereport.com.
Recognition: We extend special thanks to the people who manage and/or own the institutions, museums and restaurants featured in our guides. In some instances we have relied on their descriptions and photos.
Birding Opps: Info for our birding friends. In and near Madrid you can see these species: Citril Finch, Eagle Owl, Red Advadavat, Spanish Imperil Eagle, Vultures, Common Raven, Alpine Swift and pied Wagtail.
Birding in and around Madrid (http://birdwatchingmadrid.blogspot.com/) provides and entertaining report on what and where.
Flevo Birdwatching (http://www.birdsnetherlands.nl/birdingmadrid.htm) says this site is about birds in the Netherlands. It has some great information for Madrid.
John Muddeman aka The Fat Birder (http://fatbirder.com/links_geo/europe/spain_madrid.html) has a comprehensive report for you.
Transportation: Aerocity is a transportation service specializing in door to door passenger transfer from the city to the airport and vice versa.
Note: You should consider purchasing the Madrid Art Walk Pass. It covers your admission and lets you skip the lines for the Prado, Reina Sofia and the Thyssen.
Business Information: Here is help in regard to your business: (http://madrid.usembassy.gov/doing-business-spain.html)
Exchange Rates (http://www.x-rates.com/)
Michael, Margaret & Isabel, Chris & John provided on site evaluations for this report.
Day One: Your first stop is The Museo del Prado – Daily: 10-8, Su: till 7, Paseo del Prado, s/n, 34 913 30 28 00
The Prado has organized three routes for visitors that focus on its masterpieces.
The three routes around the galleries feature major masterpieces of European art such as The Annunciation by Fra Angelico, Christ Washing the Disciples Feet by Tintoretto,The Descent from the Cross by Rogier van der Weyden, The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymous Bosch, and The Three Graces by Rubens.
They also show key works of Spanish art such as Las Meninas by Velázquez, Jacob’s Dream by Ribera and The Third of May; the Executions on Principe Pio by Goya.
The collection currently comprises around 7,600 paintings, 1,000 sculptures, 4,800 prints and 8,200 drawings.
In the Prado’s front yard is the Royal Botanical Garden – Jan, Feb, Nov, Dec: 10-6, Mar, Oct: 10-7, April, Sept: 10-8, May-Aug: 10-9, Plaza de Murillo, 2, 34 91 420 30 17
20 acres of the gardens contain plants from five continents.
30,000 plants and flowers, 1,500 trees, medicinal plants and herbs add to the variety of flora.
The wild roses of many hues and varieties and the classical romantic garden with a duck pond are especially attractive.
Los Chuchis, L & D: Tu-Su, Calle del Amparo, 82, 40.407284 is a comfortable unpretentious spot to enjoy lunch today.
A fun starter is the baked camembert with roasted garlic.
The house favorite is the slow roasted pork over rosemary potatoes and stewed apples or the cod and prawns with coriander and chili sauce. Grilled tuna and vegetable lasagna are popular.
Give the house wine a try. Dessert is their famous London Brick.
The Temple of Debod – Tu-F: 9:45-1:45, 4:15-6:15, Sa,Su: 9:30-8, Calle Ferraz, 1, 34 913 66 74 15 is an ancient Egyptian Temple that was rebuilt in Madrid.
The 2nd Century BC Egyptian Temple was dedicated to the gods Amon and Isis. The temple originally was in Debod in the Nile Valley near Aswan.
Due to the construction of the Aswan Dam in 1960 many archaeological sites were in danger. As thanks for Spain’s aid in saving the sacred buildings of Abu Simbel, Egypt donated this temple to Spain.
In 1969 it was dismantled and reconstructed in Madrid opening in 1972.
At The Cerralbo Museum – Tu-Sa: 9:30-3, Th: 5-8, Su:10-3, c / Ventura Rodríguez, 17, 00 34 915 47 36 46 you’ll see an interesting collection plus an overview of daily life in Madrid.
Don Enrique de Aguilera y Gamboa, XVII Marquis of Cerralbo assembled a collection of paintings, sculptures, ceramics, glass, tapestries, furniture, coins, medals, drawings, prints, clocks, weapons, armor, and artifacts for your evaluation.
Pandelujo – L & D: Daily, Jorge Juan, 20011-34-91-436-1100 has surprises for you.
Cousin Chris recommends starting with the Penelope pizza.
Then the seared red tuna Tataki with an almond garlic sauce or the grilled scallops with a potato puree. Another specialty is the chilled lobster with tomato salsa and vanilla.
Your wine is the rose cava and dessert is a platter of 20 seasonal fruits.
Day Two: At Cafe Federal – B,L,D: Daily, Plaza de las Comendadoras, 9, 34 915 32 84 24 you’ll gain sustenance for a busy day.
Farm fresh ingredients ensure a healthy start. Begin with a green smoothie, then the Greek yogurt, baked eggs with spinach or the smoked salmon on toast are special.
The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía – W-M: 10-9, Su: till 7, Santa Isabel, 52, 34 91 774 10 00 is a must see.
The museum focuses on contemporary and modern art. Two of the floors are devoted to temporary exhibits, while the other two are for the permanent collection of abstract, pop, and the minimal art movements.
The highlight is the 20th century’s uber famous painting, Picasso’s “Guernica”.
Besides “Guernica” you’ll see Picasso’s “Woman in Blue” plus pieces by Miró (Portrait II) and Dali (Landscape at Cadaques).
The Royal Basilica of San Francisco el Grande –Tu-F: 11-12:30, 4-6:30, Sa: 11-11:30, Plaza de San Francisco, s/n, 34 913 65 38 00
King Carlos III authorized construction in 1760. The most significant areas are the three chapels adjoining the circular church.
The San Bernardino de Siena chapel has a self portrait by Goya with San Bernadino who is shown preaching.
Zurbaran and Alonso Cano have works in other chapels. The frescoes covering the dome and the ceilings were created in Germany, as were the stained-glass windows.
One of the most popular tapas bars in Madrid is the Meson de Champion – L & D: Daily, C/ Cava de San Miguel, 17, 34 915 59 67 90
Obviously the specialty is mushrooms with several different fillings. The favorite is chorizo. Other offerings include fried peppers, cheese plates and Iberico ham. The piano player gets everyone involved.
The Royal Palace – Oct-Mar: M-Sa: 9:30-5, Su: 9-2, April-Sept: M-Sa: 9-6, Su: 9-3, Calle Bailén, s/n, 34 914 54 87 00
The Royal Palace was built on the site of the Alcazar (a 9th century Muslim structure) by King Felipe V and several other monarchs. Frescos adorn the interior by Tieopolo and other leading artists of that period.
The Palace has a Royal Armory and a Royal Pharmacy.
On the West side of the Palace is the Plaza de Oriente which has the Central Garden, the Cabo Noval Garden and the Lepanto Garden. The gardens are separated by statues of the Gothic Kings.
CaixaForum – Daily: 10-8, Paseo del Prado, 36, 91 330 73 00 designed by Herzog and De Meuron is Madrid’s latest cultural and architectural star.
The vertical garden by the French botanist Patrick Blanc has 15,000 plants from 250 species.
The museum’s permanent collection has 700 pieces by artists from the 1980s to the present that include photography, painting and multimedia shows.
Madrid is the only place where you can dine in the oldest restaurant in the world. That’s at El Sobrino de Botin – L & D: Daily, Calle Cuchilleros, 17, 34 913 66 42 17
Hors d’Oeuvres are Iberian ham, anchovies and red peppers, black sausage or smoked salmon. Cousin Chris suggests a glass of the Mont-Ferrant Garnasha Rosado cava.
Fish choices are baby eels, baby squid and grilled prawns. Their signature dishes are roasted suckling pig or baby lamb. Another favorite is the Rioja style roasted veal.
The ’02 Gran Albina Vendimia is your wine and dessert is the hot apple tart or their homemade flan.
Day Three: The Café de Oriente - Plaza de Ote, 2, 34 915 413 974 is your breakfast place.
Their freshly squeezed orange juice is a must as is the café con leche. The bread with crushed tomato and olive oil or the sweet ham and Spanish cheese on freshly made bread are a good way to start the day.
The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum – Tu-Su: 10-7, Paseo del Prado, 8, 34 902 76 05 11 offers you an overview of art from the 13th century to the late 20th century.
Not only does this museum have a great story line, it has captivating art. Some of the artists from the medieval area are Van Eyck, Holbein, Rubins and Rembrandt.
Post impressionists include Degas, Van Gogh and Cezanne and from the 20th century you’ll see Picasso, Miro, Dali, Pollock and Hopper.
Cousin Michael says “don’t miss the Thyssen”.
The Sorolla Museum – Tu-Sa: 9:30-8, Su: 10-3 Calle General Martínez Campos, 37, 34 913 10 15 84 provides a one-person art collection.
Sorolla is one of the world’s great unknown artists. You will see his different stylistic and thematic periods including his impressionist landscapes.
Sculptures, ceramics and jewelry are also on display.
Cousins Margaret and Michael strongly recommend Casa Salvador – L: Daily, D: Tu-Sa, C / Barbieri 12, 34) 91 521 45 24 for its rich history and traditional menu.
Starters include: Fish soup, cod fritters, Iberico ham or sautéed chorizo.
Their signature dish is oxtail shank stew with carrots, peas, mushrooms and a baked potato. Their steaks are very popular.
Your wine is the Vina Real Plata and the flan with caramel is dessert.
The National Archaeological Museum of Spain – Tu-Sa: 9:30-8, Su: 9:30-3, Calle de Serrano, 13, 34 915 77 79 12
The permanent collection offers a journey through the history of Spain from prehistoric times to the 19th century that includes Egyptian sarcophagi and mummies, Hispano-Roman decorative art, Arab archaeology and Mudéjar stonework and ceramics.
One of its most highly-prized treasures is the bust of the Lady of Elche, a wealthy 5th century BC Iberian woman whose headgear is a precurser to the mantillas of traditional Spanish dress.
It’s time for our traditional market sojourn. The Mercado de San Miguel – M,Tu,W,Su: 10-Midnight, Th,F,Sa: 10-2, Plaza San Miguel s/n, 34 915 42 49 36 is the last iron market hall in Madrid.
The Mercado is a gourmet tapas bar featuring 30 vendors selling tapas, hams, olives, baked goods, beer, wine and cookbooks.
Tonight is another classic dining experience at Viridiana – L & D: Daily, Juan de Mena 14, 34 91 531 10 39
Cousin John likes to start with the partridge soup, black truffles and oyster mushrooms or the wild salmon, artichokes, asparagus and a sorrel sauce. Enjoy a glass of the Castillo Perelada Brut Cava with either.
The main is hake with asparagus tips, peas and sautéed peppers or the game birds with duck foie gras, black truffles and Mahon cheese.
The ’07 Pago de los Capellans Tinto Reserva is a good match. Dessert is bitter chocolate panna cotta infused in fig leaves sauced with a coconut rum Martinique.
Your lagniappe is the flamenco show at La Corral de la Moreria – Check for show times that best fit your schedule. c/Moonish, 17, 34 913 658 446
The Corral de la Morería’s “cuadro flamenco” or flamenco troupe is a group of 8 well known, prestigious artists (2 guitar players, 2 singers or “cantaores” and 4 flamenco dancers), who perform a show that lasts approximately one hour.
Until next time, best wishes and safe travels,
Dick & Dee Welge
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