Picture of Snowy white Julia at Colombus Square


Post No. 11,236

Date uploaded in London – 3 SEPTEMBER 2022         

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Picture of Prado Art Museum

We were in Madrid in the last week of August 2022. Thank God there was no rain in Spain. The day we left Madrid, capital of Spain, it started raining. We stayed in Novotel Hotel in Central Madrid which was good and decent. They cleaned the room every day and changed the towels. The breakfast had a variety of food, but not much for strict vegetarians like me. Pancakes, croissant, and everything has egg. I took some oily rice and started eating it commenting ‘tasty, yummy’, but one of family members said it may be chicken broth and not oil. I left the plate and took another one. Vegetarians have less choice in western countries. They charge a huge amount for our breakfast; at least 15 pounds per head.

Another warning about so called vegetarian restaurants in Western countries. We went to a “Vegetarian” restaurant; as usual the waiter placed the Menu cards/booklets on our table. One of our family members quickly went through the book and got surprised to see the last page, where pictures/emblems of crab, fish, sea shells etc were shown. The person warned all of us before ordering. For them even chicken is vegetarian, leave alone the egg.

Vegan restaurants are worse than the so called Veggys. They serve leaves and bread and charge you too much. More over Vegan concept is Anti Hindu. Vedic Rishis/saints used only Madhuparka to honour the visitors. From Vedic days we have been using Milk and Honey. There was no Vegan concept in ancient India. It is for sick people who have intolerance to milk.

Let me come back to Madrid; Prado Museum in Madrid has valuable paintings of famous painters; but for a Londoner like me , it was not anything important. We have more famous paintings in London galleries. For children it was “boring”. So we skipped Prado museum. Someone told me the Archaeological museum has something to link India and Spain. Unfortunately, I was the only one in our team interested in it. It was “boring” for others; so we skipped it.

Like every European city, Madrid has City Coach Tours with running commentaries in various languages. It was a hop on and hop off bus. You can get down at any point and take another coach at an interval.  Spain is a place where you will see  NO ‘NO’ NO English boards or signs. So better learn a few Spanish words before going to Spain. Spanish fanatics!

There are two different tours, but the ticket is valid for both the tours. We could not board many coaches because we were in six in number with children and a Pram (buggy). So the drivers said ‘Next coach, next coach’. We got some places in the third coach. Third time lucky.

We covered bla, bla, bla, bla. Sorry I will say it in Spanish- Museo del Prado, Puerta de Alcala, Barrio de Salamanca, Plaza de Colon, Plaza de Cibeles, Gran Via 14, Gran Via 30, Gran Via 54, Plaza de Espana, Princesa Esqu. Alberto Aguilera, Plaza de Moncola, Teleferico, Templo de Debod, Puerta de San Vicente, Puente de Segovia, Paseo Pontonese- Madrid Rio, Puente de Toledo, Puerta de Toledo, Granvia des Franscisco,C/Atocha 116, Jardin Botanico, Museo del Prado (circle complete)

Did you understand anything? No, No, No

Neither did I.

We must start a charity to teach English to Spanish people. Even the leaflet they gave us on the coach only has these names. But if you google each name, you will get something in English.

We went to Chinese, Italian and Spanish restaurants. Each time we googled the things we wanted and showed the mobile phone or I pad screen to them. They understood it! Most importantly we googled No Fish, No egg, No meat; V R Vegetarians.

When I was in Lisbon, Capital of Portugal,  a few years ago, I went to Hare Krishna Restaurant, where you get pure veggy food. Madrid also has one Hare Krishna restaurant. But our tight schedule didn’t allow us to visit it; moreover, it was closed for two days every week. So please check before you go.

El Retiro Park

On the first day of visit to Madrid we visited El Retiro park with lot of statues, fountains and a big lake with rowing boats. One can walk leisurely for miles and miles and enjoy fresh air.

If one stays in Madrid for a few days the best way to go about is to buy Metro train tickets and visit each place by train. If one has a Metro map and important locations or land marks it will be easy.

We travelled by Metro trains for two days to visit Royal Palace and shopping centres. (I wrote about Royal Palace visit yesterday)

We did mini shopping near by our hotel. Novotel Hotel in central Madrid is near Retiro station.


Now to the point. What did we see during our coach tour?

One place was very visible with a huge snowy white statue.

Julia, Snowy White Statue in Columbus Square

Plaza de Colón (which is Spanish for Columbus – you can see him there, on top of his pillar) is an important junction in the centre of Madrid. This monument dates from 1892.

Julia, the serene, towering snowy-white head by Spanish sculptor Juame Plensa, at 12m tall dwarfing Columbus, is equally beautiful no matter where you view her from.

In front of Colón are the Gardens of Discovery where you will see, a statue of Admiral Blas de Lezo, scourge of the British Navy. He defeated the British Navy 300 years ago. He was known as the “half-man” as his wounds resulted in him losing an eye, an arm and a leg. He perceived his wounds and physical limitations as medals, refusing to wear an eye patch to hide his blind eye Spanish and not English is spoken in South America except Brazil, where Portuguese is spoken. Both these countries plundered the world like the English.

(I saw these statues only from the Coach and took pictures with my I Pad)_

Prado Museum

The Prado Museum is one of the most visited sites in the world, and is considered one of the greatest art museums in the world. The numerous works by Francisco Goya, the single most extensively represented artist, as well as by Hieronymus BoschEl GrecoPeter Paul RubensTitian, and Diego Velázquez, are some of the highlights of the collection. Velázquez and his keen eye and sensibility were also responsible for bringing much of the museum’s fine collection of Italian masters to Spain, now one of the largest outside Italy.

The collection currently comprises around 8,200 drawings, 7,600 paintings, 4,800 prints, and 1,000 sculptures, in addition to many other works of art and historic documents. As of 2012, the museum displayed about 1,300 works in the main buildings, while around 3,100 works were on temporary loan to various museums and official institutions. The remainder were in storage

(I saluted the museum through the window of my coach)

The Royal Botanic Garden in Madrid houses over 5,000 different types of flowers and plants, and is one of the capital’s most enjoyable green lungs next to the Prado Museum.


Templo de Debod

This is an ancient temple of Egypt, dismantled and rebuilt in the centre of Madrid. When Aswan dam was built across the River Nile, many monuments were facing danger of going under the water. UNESCO saved them by appealing to several countries. And Egypt donated this temple to Spain in 1968.


Puerta de Toledo

This triumphal archway, located between the districts of La Latina and Embajadores, was erected to commemorate the arrival of King Ferdinand VII ‘El Deseado’ in Madrid


Puerta de Alcala

This is one of the most well-known monuments in Madrid. Built between 1769 and 1778 under the orders of King Carlos III, it was designed by Francisco Sabatini and erected as a triumphal arch to celebrate the arrival of the monarch at the capital.


Plaza de Espana

Right in the centre of the square is the monument to Miguel de Cervantes, created at the same time as the square itself.

In front of the statue of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, a pond of rectangular form is located that forms one of the best known views of the 

If there is no rain in Spain, your trip will shine without any pain.

Picture of Retiro Park


Tags- Madrid Tour, Spanish, Vegan, Veggy, Novotel hotel, Prado Museum

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