Allyson Johnson

Pieces of my Mind

Archive for the month “August, 2013”

Temporary Break:More Mountains

I’m in Boulder Colorado on my way to a women’s fitness camp in the Rockies. In principle I will return purged of toxins, physically toned, and mentally refreshed.  I may also be without internet connection (which might be mentally refreshing in itself, now I think of it.)

So hang on for my final blogs on Spain, with a focus on Madrid.  

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Freeway-Free in Spain: People and Public Art

There’s something about a statue, especially if it is reasonably representational, that makes people want to interact with it.  Here are some that we ogled, sat on, cuddled with during our trek in Spain.  Can you identify where we were?
Ware the Plague or the Inquisition - CacerasThe Goddes Ceres - Caceras Storks frozen in bronze - Caceras Pisarro AKA Cortez - Trujillo Paso Doble Dancers - Caceras Native son - Toledo P1000990web On the Pilgrim Road - Burgos Grandparents? Burgos Madrid Icon The Fallen Angel - Park de Buen Retiro, MadridT

Freeway-Free in Spain: Burgos

Burgos CathedralWe had a ladies day in Burgos, with Jen and her five-year-old daughter Lucia having a couple of small shopping errands to do in the  City .  After the errands, Jen led us through the flamboyantly baroque cathedra. The cathedral is such a beautiful building that I forgot that I don’t care for Baroque – they had just finished a mammoth cleaning and restoration project and everything was as bright and gleaming as you might imagine the Pearly Gates to be in your best dreams.

The Crossing - over the grave of El CidThe carved apertures in the domes look like fine lacework, letting the sun shine in on the Crossing where El Cid and his wife Dona Eximee are buried, and on the effigies of the High Constable and his wife in the Constable’s Chapel.

(I remember sweating over the Corneille classic in  high School French IV.  (For those of you who don’t read French, the Charlton Heston/Sophia Loren version was pretty good, too.)Sr. & Sra. High Constable - Castile

We were hungry after and asked a friendly-faced woman passing by if she could recommend a local place for lunch.  She directed us around the corner to La Favorita! The entry was jammed with folks waiting, but thanks to a good-hearted waitress and  Lucia’s soulfully hungry eyes we were soon seated and served with some of the best plates of goodies we have had in Spain so far.  About halfway through Jen’s eyes widened and she pointed out a tall balding man with glasses standing at the bar – “That’s the President of the province of Castile y Leon!”  It was about then that we noticed the Michelin stars on the door.  Despite the trendy crowd and the power clientele, the bill was extremely reasonable- tapas is definitely the way to go in Spain!Lunchtime, La Favorita, Burgos

After some separate R & R time we met the family for chocolate and churros at the local bar/chocolate shop.  “Hot chocolate” here is a thick hot rich goop like a pudding which you eat with a spoon or by dipping the churros into it.  Sinfully good.  Afterward I hiked up to the castle on the hill by myself to catch the sunset.  Very nice in the evening light, but when I turned to look for the mountains toward the north east I saw only a wall of gray moving toward me. By the time I turned for a last look at the valley the snow was already whirling around me in big soft flakes.El Castillo, Aguilar de Campoo

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