We started our day with a visit to the vast Sunday Flea Market known as El Rastro, which has been around for about the last 500 years, in one form or another. Like other markets of this type, it was colorful, lively, and elbow-to-elbow with shoppers looking for a good deal.
We hit the museum circuit once again today with a visit to the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, the last of the “Big 3” on our list. Approximately 800 works from the collection of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Family are presented in the Palace of Villahermosa. Nearly every art movement in Europe over the past 500 years seems to be represented, from Renaissance to Baroque to Rococo to Neoclassicism to Fauvism to Realism to Surrealism, etc. Some examples of what we saw include: in the area of Rococo, François Boucher’s, La Toilette; in the area of Fauvism, Maurice de Vlamnick’s, Blue Vase with Flowers; in the area of Realism, Edward Hopper’s melancholy & lonely, Hotel Room.
Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas
We hopped onto the Metro and disembarked at the Ventas Station to check out Madrid’s beautiful Neo-Mudéjar style bullfighting ring, and to maybe see some bulls or a bullfight. The bullfighting season runs from March to October, so we thought that maybe the timing was in our favor for getting tickets. The place was teeming with people celebrating the Feria de San Isidro, which runs from May to June, and celebrates Madrid’s patron saint, Saint Isidro. During this fiesta, there are bullfights every day and tickets can be hard to come by. We stood in line for a while, only to find out that the bullfight was completely sold out, with lots of other hopeful spectators canvassing the crowd for available tickets. I’m not sure that I was all that disappointed in missing the bullfight, but I think it could be quite fun and interesting to experience the pomp and pageantry of something so beloved by so many Spaniards.