Sep 272012

Last week, I shared several photographs of my first afternoon in Girona, Spain that I hope gave you a flavor of the city. For this week’s Travel Photo Thursday, I’m posting snapshots from Madrid taken during my brief, but eventful time there. I had only one day to get a taste of the city, but it was a day full of diverse experiences, the most memorable being one that I actually did not photograph. I’ll explain below.

Snapshots from Madrid

You’ve probably heard about the anti-austerity demonstrations that have been taking place in Madrid this week. The last three photos above were taken early in the afternoon as protestors first gathered prior to a march. Later in the evening, things took a violent turn as police and protestors clashed. My personal experience that I did not capture on film was at Atocha Station where Mr. TWS and I went late at night to purchase tickets for Barcelona the next morning. We didn’t get our tickets, but we witnessed some protestors running throughout the station from police, who arrived well-armed in full riot gear. It was a little unnerving as they hurried past us. We rather quickly made our way out of the station, keenly aware of the volatile situation.

There’s still a lot of reporting to catch up on about my trip, so stay tuned!

  53 Responses to “Snapshots from Madrid”

  1. Wow Cathy, great that you took photos of the demonstration in Madrid, I’ve been reading they got really big!

  2. Beautiful and fun! I have only spent time on the eastern part of Spain but would love to visit Madrid. Did you feel like there was a lot to see or a day was good?

    • I think a couple of days would be good if you want to check out a few museums and have some quality exploration time. I only visited the Museo Nationale del Prado, but there are many fine museums there.

  3. I loved your Madrid selection. We were there earlier this year but I did not see the big head statue. It is enormous. There was a huge visible police presence in Madrid when we were there as well. There were riots just before we got there.

    • Although we were obviously aware of the demonstrations and violence, we were really taken by surprise at the train station that night. Didn’t expect it at all.

  4. Creepy head sculpture!

    • There are actually two head sculptures at the Atocha Station, but I liked this picture of just one the best. Yeah, a little creepy.

  5. Fabulous photos of Madrid. It’s not really one of my favourite cities but maybe I should give it another chance!

    • Thanks. If I compare my time in Madrid to that in Barcelona, Barcelona wins hands-down. But I think I need to spend more time there. That’s a hint for the Madrid tourist board . 😉

  6. I would have been unnerved as well. There’s no telling which way crowds will move.
    You got some lovely shots of Madrid though. Can’t wait to see what you show us of Barcelona.

  7. I’m always glad to get photos of Madrid, because when we were there, I dropped my camera and put it out of action. Never have traveled since without two cameras!

    • That’s a bummer about the camera, Vera. I sometimes just find myself without an SD card in the camera or a dead battery. 🙁

  8. One of my absolute favourite cities! Enjoy Spain =)

    • I really need to see more of Madrid sometime. I’d like to experience more non-touristy places like El Rosario that you see in a photo above. Wonderful, authentic dinner there.

  9. Beautiful! Madrid is one of my favorite European cities! We were there three years ago and all these street scenes brought back wonderful memories. There were protests in Puerta del Sol during our visit too. I love that baby statue – we didn’t see that one.

    • It’s interesting about the comments from people who have been in Madrid during protests of one kind of another. These are people who feel passionately about their causes.

  10. Hey Cathy! I love Spain, it seems to have so much to offer. I particularly like the shot of the street art – always like that kind of thing 😀

    • Thanks, Laurence. I liked that, too. I just wish I could tell you more about it. It was something I spotted, but couldn’t quite determine the meaning.

  11. The giant baby face sculpture is a fascinating piece of art work. Hope you’re enjoying Madrid.

    • It really is interesting. Just got more information on the sculpture and the second one at the same location. The installation is called “Day and Night” by artist Antonio Lopez. The sculpture you can’t see is the baby head with eyes open.

  12. Enjoyed your pictures- especially the art and giant baby head. I had no idea about the demonstrations- I haven’t watched any news this week. I’m sure it was a bit scary and unnerving at the train station. ;(

    • Thanks! I was moving through Madrid so quickly that I could only snap the photos of the art and sculptures without finding out more about them. Read my reply to the previous comment about the sculpture.

  13. Love the second photo. I wouldn’t want to get caught up in a demonstration either though after the fact it makes a good story.

    • I really wished that I could get a few photos at the station, but it just seemed like something that would get me in trouble — with one side or the other. Definitely a unique experience.

  14. Love that sculpture of a child’s head! Seems like you had a good time despite everything!

  15. Madrid looks much warmer than when I was there in January. I never tired of the architecture. Nice set of shots Cathy.

  16. Love your Madrid pictures – the big head would be neat to see in person. And was that cop yawning in the background on one of your pics? How funny!

    • Yes, I believe the cop is yawning — it’s one of the things I liked about the photo. Kind of the calm before the storm.

  17. I love this city; thanks for your photos! I’m looking forward to going back in November, and hopefully, this time, I’ll get to see a Real Madrid home match at the Bernabeu.

    The big baby head didn’t even faze me; I’ve seen David Cerny’s eyeless babies in Prague 😉

  18. We spent a week in Madrid last year and your photos brought to mind photos I took of several different demonstrations that took place while we were there – and signs of protests we took along the way. I might do a post on the unsettled part of travel one of these days. It certainly opens your mind to what is happening in the world that we don’t see on television. It is interesting to note, however, that in many cases 90% of the place is calm and going about business as usual, but the media reports make one believe that the entire town is burning down. I am envious of your travels in Spain. . .

  19. The giant baby head was pretty strange, but what caught my eye was the tiny, tiny Radisson sign on what I assume was their hotel. Remind me never to book there because I’d never find it with that kind of signage.

    • Glad you noticed that sign. I don’t know what other signage the hotel might have — didn’t check it out, but did think it was fun regardless.

  20. I love Madrid (almost as much as Barcelona.) That giant baby head is creepy!!

    • I read that the artist, Antonio Lopez, modeled the sculpture (and it’s mate with eyes open) on one of his granddaughters.

  21. Great photos. The statue of the babies head is creepy though!

    • Thanks, Adela. I guess art is a very personal thing. I thought it was a little creepy, too, but it really captured my attention — and that of others!

  22. Ooo, the sculpture of the baby’s head is almost frightening! Madrid is one European city that I want to get around to visiting – especially for its museums. 🙂 I spent a bit of time in Barcelona, but ran out of time to check out the capital last time I was there.

  23. Lovely images which capture everyday life nicely.

  24. Love these pics!! I’ve spent so little time in Madrid; I usually stay in the south and in Barcelona. So cool!

  25. Dios mio I love Spain! Despite having been twice in a year, I can’t wait to go back.

  26. Ah, this takes me back to my time in Madrid. It’s one of my favorite cities visited so far. And I remember the Atocha station well! We also saw demonstrations, but none were as volatile as it sounds like they were when you were there. Thanks for sharing!

  27. İt’s always unnerving when you get caught up in situations like that. İt seems to happen to us quite a bit in Turkey. İ think demonstrations follow us. 😉 So sad what is happening in Spain. From a travel perspective, we’ve always wanted to go to Madrid after friends went and returned raving about the food. Great photos.

  28. […] sculptures are located outside of the Atocha Railway Station in Madrid. I know it’s art, but glad I didn’t come across them at […]

  29. Beautiful photos, Cathy. I love Madrid. (That baby’s head is pretty freaky though!)

  30. […] cities, the sea, the food and the people! Many of you have already seen my postcards from Girona, snapshots of Madrid, posts about Barcelona’s “Block of Discord”, Catalonian wine country and more. […]

  31. […] Madrid, thank you for a glimpse of authentic Spanish culture, world-class museums, art and architecture. Museo del Prado, Madrid […]

  32. […] Anti-austerity Protestors in Madrid […]

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