Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Madrid - food, art and pickpockets

Four days in sunny Madrid with my mates Big Ken and the Thane of Fife (Ronnie) were packed with visits to Galleries, huge meals, lots of wine and some larking around in the park.

On the first night, and night in madrid means after midnight, we managed to prevent a pickpocket from stealing an elderly couple's purse. he had his hand inside her bag when I grabbed both the bag and pickpocket. the woman swung round and though I was attacking her. I had to explain that it was the guy I was holding that was the thief. By this time a crowd had gathered but she eventualy thanked us and we gt a ripple of applause from the crowd.

This was my third visit to Madrid this year and second to the Prado and Thyssen galleries. The Prado with has the world's best selections of Velasquez, Goya and El Greco. But everything else is well represented. Lunch was an Asturian meal of prawns, fried stuffed red peppers, prawns, bacalo and Asturian stew - stuffed like peasants.

Having been to Egypt several times in the last few years we were keen to walk to the Temple of Debod, one of only four temples outside of Egypt, theothers being in Turin, new York, Leiden and . It's in the middle of a small but lovely park. In the early 2nd centuryBC Adikhalamani, king of the country of Meroe started its construction by building a small chapel dedicated to the gods Amon and Isis. Afterwards, different kings of the Ptolmeic dynasty added new chambers around the original nucleus. The Roman emperors Augustus, Tiberius and perhaps Hadrian , completed its construction and decoration.

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