Travel Notes 12: Royal

A series of daily entries on being abroad for sixty days


Madrid, Spain

Royalty is so exclusive that you can’t help but be awed at the grandeur and opulence that adorns spaces made for kings, queens, princes and princesses.

Rooms often number in the thousands, corridors extend like tunnels and ceilings feature art and sculptures that literally defy gravity.

The Palacio Real is a space that fits all of these descriptions. Not quite as ostentatious and over the top as Versailles; it is still very impressive and regal. I spend time admiring the glittering insides as well as the grandiose exteriors.

The day’s sunny disposition prompts a walk through the connecting park to the Jardin de Ramon Ortiz (the rose gardens) and Egyptian Temple of Debod.

The Museo Thysseb Bornemizma has a wonderful private collection of art, also belonging to a royal family. The portfolio of acquistions mostly consist of plein air landscapes and classical portraits. Unfortunately the sheer quantity of the same amount of subject matter wears thin on me as does the aesthetic similarities of what is on display.

I wind up walking past a Spanish Movie theatre that is playing English films with subtitles in Spanish. I find something I want to see in A Monster Calls, based on the haunting young adult novel by Patrick Ness.

The movie is brilliant, faithful to its source material and undeniably heartbreaking. I sit next to a man who is crying for the last thirty minutes of the film. There are tears in my eyes too.


Notes from Friday, 14 October, 2016