Wednesday, 9 September 2009

The Real Palace

Madrid's Royal Palace

I finally did what I have been promising to do for weeks and went to a museum on a Wednesday! This is a great day to go because if you are an EU citizen there are some places that you can visit for free on Wednesdays, one of them being the Palacio Real, which is usually 8 euros.

I had a job interview first in Inglesia which went well and I have another promise of work. This seems to be the way things go, with everyone interviewing and putting teachers on their books ready for when contracts come up. This one is for teaching in the public sector eg government, civil servants, health and the Post Office. The rate is not high but if I can get some short contracts to top up my main hours, I shall be very happy. The bonus of this kind of work is that it is all from material they supply so preparation is minimised but it does need to be within sensible travelling distance too.

Getting into the palace was surprisingly simple; a flash of my passport and a zip through the scanner and I was free to explore the beautiful and totally ostentatious state rooms. I was stunned by some of the decor. One room was completely decorated with porcelain, designed so well that the joins were hidden by leaves and branches. The throne room oozed with red and gilt and the chandeliers and frescos were stunning. Lots to go back to look at again when I take future visitors from home!

In the cafeteria, I was amused by the behaviour of some English folk. They were like curious birds, bobbing their beaky heads into the food displays to work out what they could actually eat. "Do you serve tea?" I heard a pale blonde enquire - the brave younger sister in a family who were relieved to discover that tea could indeed be acquired for the sum of 2 euros and 10 cents. I spend too much time sitting at cafe and bar counters watching people make such transactions. I like to sit on a high stool with my feet firmly planted on a rail and my notebook at the ready. I like to pretend that I have real work to do as I write notes for my blog and plan my ideal teaching timetable over again. I like to watch the drops on a chilled beer pump slide and listen to the woosh of coffee expressing. As the chatter of staff and customers surrounded me, punctuated by the clink of china cups on saucers, I noticed a profusion of aspidistras and potted palms and the rare sight of two collared clergymen in deep conversation. A portrait of the current King smiles benevolently above the alcohol stocked shelves and I drank up my cafe con leche and slipped out into the sunsoaked streets and headed for the metro home .


  1. Very evocative, especially about the cafés!!!
    Like the picture at top right, but I was always under the impression it was a cherry tree!

  2. No it is definitely a strawberry tree and I can never remember the reason for it being the symbol of Madrid. Will have to investigate ..

  3. Timeslips as you leap from past to present tense and back again. But I agree with Em's first line.


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