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Considered by many to be Europe’s finest art museum, I have to be honest and tell you I did not really enjoy the Museo del Prado.

To start, the place was so crowded that you were lucky if you could get anywhere near the paintings. School groups were everywhere and there were kids running and shouting and generally making a lot of noise. And in a marble hall with vaulted ceilings, all that noise becomes very distracting if not downright unbearable.

Secondly, and this is not very Renaissance Girl of me, but the art is just not of the type that I enjoy. Don’t get me wrong – I can appreciate the significance and artistry of the works in the Prado, but I just don’t get into all that religious and iconographic art. There are works spanning the globe, with a focus on Italian Renaissance and the Spanish masters like El Greco and Goya, but the art is all decidedly “middle ages.” If you are a fan of modern art (which I am), I’m not saying you won’t appreciate the Prado, but you might not enjoy it very much.

The Prado does have some good points. I enjoyed the de Goya paintings and would have liked to be able to view them in quiet and away from swarms of school children. And the museum itself is very user-friendly with free checked bags, an audio-guide, and a good mid-priced café.

But if you are looking for engaging, modern (or at least from the last 150 years) art, than the Prado isn’t for you. I would suggest you give Madrid’s modern art museum a try, because that is very, very cool.

November 20, 2015 1 comment
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You’ve heard the saying – the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain. While I can’t speak to that statement, I can speak to my experience, which can only be summed up as – the rain in Spain falls mainly…EVERYWHERE. I mean it. I was in Spain during April and May and it rained for a full 90% of the days I was there. Call it a bad year or maybe I’m the goddess of rain, but the sky opened up pretty much every single day. It even snowed.

Not only was it rainy, it was also unseasonably cold and windy. I had packed for the 80 degree days Spain was seeing prior to my arrival but boy, was I in for a rude awakening. I bought – and the wind promptly destroyed – 3 umbrellas before I just gave up and decided to be wet.

You may wonder where I am going with this. While you could take away from this, “wow, Spain sounds miserable in April and May,” what I am actually trying to say is: expect the unexpected. I hadn’t packed warm clothes or rain gear because I was expecting warmth and sunshine. If you are going on a long trip, plan for all kinds of weather or else you will have to spend your precious travel time either wet, miserable, or buying weather-appropriate clothing.

But most importantly, learn to have a sense of humor. I may be a rain goddess, but I can’t control the weather. And the weather sure tested me, but I WAS IN SPAIN! Who cares if it’s raining, right? Laugh it off and have another sangria. Or 3.

October 18, 2015 0 comment
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