Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Madrid 08-10-08

We went to Mass at a parish recommended by Borja's aunt and mother as being a pretty one. It was pretty and empty! Usually when we arrive at Mass 15 minutes early, there are a few other people, and by 5 to, there are usually quite a few people, and by the time Mass starts, the church is as full as it's going to get. Well, I think all in all there might have been a whole 25 people there, including ourselves! We knew everyone had gone to the beach for the summer, so we should have expected an empty church, but we really weren't prepared for this! All in all, it was a nice Mass even though it was in Spanish, and I really don't know what the homily was about besides the barque of Peter.

After Mass we headed to the ummm royal park, where the Spanish kings used to do their hunting. There's a painting in the Prado of one of the king's hunts, which is absolutely absurd - dogs and horses and stags everywhere as far as the eye can see! My best guess is that they brought in stags for the hunt to ensure that the king was indeed successful. All in all, the painting is rather bloody, and not especially pretty. The park, on the other hand, was quite lovely, and we took plenty of pictures, the first of which is our tour guide, Borja!

Some of the trees were leaning like they might fall over any minute, so I had Andy take a picture. =)

The last photo is of a big rectangular pool of water sitting in front of a big thing holding statues. (as if you couldn't tell) The funny thing is that the pool is not much bigger than what you can see in the photo, but there was actually a tour boat going around the silly thing with people on it! Not only that, there were row teams on it!

Pretty flowers. I guess one of the few flowering plants that can survive the Madrid heat is the rose, so Andy took some pictures of them. =)

Borja was quite excited to take us to see the "statue of Satan", and we were intrigued by the idea of such a "Catholic" country putting up a statue in honor of Satan. As you can see, the statue isn't so much in honor of Satan as the depiction of the unpleasantness of being a fallen angel. He doesn't look happy, and those monster things at the bottom don't look friendly.

Aside from that, I don't know who these statues are of, but if I remember correctly, the horse one was on top of that big thing on the other side of the pool.

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