<disclaimer this isn’t for anyone who is easily offended, is too religious, doesn’t like sarcasm and most importantly, lives their life on the politically correct spectrum>
As part 2 continues, Dave and I headed off with Federico to his home of Madrid. Yes, he now lives in Australian but his blood flows Spanish. Our adventure began with the “yes we’ll go with you to Madrid and stay at your Mom’s place” after sharing Lisbon.
Madrid, a city that loves itself and its people; I mean, who else creates a football club and calls it “Real Madrid” – as in not imitation or artificial, but genuine! When you walk through this Capital of Spain, you have to agree. It’s real. There are beautiful buildings, people and food!
Having our very own local Madrid with us, Federico, we trekked off to explore his hometown. Off to the Royal Palace….
Turns out the Spanish King does not reside in the Royal Palace in Madrid. Darn!?! Federico, being a true Madrileños, posed as Charles II – a wonderful Spanish King. I think he’s now worthy to be on the invitation list to have dinner with the current King’s family!
We really were wow’d by the Royal Armoury in this palace. It houses a fascinating collection truly worthy of Royalty. Count on Dave to ensure we understood how German Armour differs from the Italian made as he commented that much like today and ‘cars’ – the German’s built function and the Italian’s build fashion (Mercedes versus Ferrari).
Here’s the example of German made:
And of course the elegantly designed Italian:
After our enjoyable day out it was time for food! (Yes we try food from everywhere to answer a few relatives questions on that subject). Eating in Spanish el fresco areas I must comment, For the Love of God (we were in Catholic Madrid) what’s the deal with cigars? Although I cannot share the benefits of an ‘after dinner cigar’, these Spanish men did have the art of conversation and a digestive drink with their cigar.
(Note Federico – just because they give you free cigars at a wedding doesn’t mean you should smoke them!)
Now onto the Spanish culture of collecting & The Imperio español – The Spanish Empire.
This country has a very impressive history of conquering and creating colonies in these new worlds included the countries as we now know them today: Boliva, Cuba, Netherlands, the Americas, Philippines, Peru, Mexico and Morocco to name but a few.
The Spanish Requirement of 1513 was a declaration by the Spanish monarchy. It was written to declare Spain’s divinely right to take possession of the territories of the New World to “subjugate, exploit and when necessary to fight the native inhabitants. Those who resisted conquest were considered to harbour evil intention and thus the Spaniards considered those who resisted as defying God’s plan and use Catholic theology to justify their conquest.
OK,,, a bit of too much history perhaps for a blog BUT it will be explained in the next wee bit of dialogue on the Toledo Cathedral which took over 200 years to build and required several Spanish King’s wealth (aka conquering wealth) to do so. Toledo is beautiful. Historically you are gobsmacked at the beauty of this walled city and it’s history. THEN you do what every tourist does here – you go to the Cathedral. Every single corner you go around, every nook and cranny, every ceiling, wall and floor has you astonished at the shear WEALTH it took to build this place. Then you realise it’s in the “name of God” under the Spanish Requirement. AND then you form your opinion (or not) based upon how you feel…
WOW’d right? Awestuck? We were also and at some point equally balanced by the opposing feelings of shocked and dismayed at the level of wealth and power in one place all once again devoted to Christianity….
Then we moved on towards the last room – Pictures of all the Cardinals throughout the centuries that have been the head of Toledo Cathedral. And here’s where some offensive (but by my point of view the laughter part) of our day here…..
Dave’s comment: “Nice pointy hats”
“This guy didn’t get the pointy hat – he got the one out of the Christmas cracker”
And here’s the most non-politically correct comment of the day, with special commentary going to Federico:
We certainly laughed a lot and made the trip with Federico to a wonderful city he grew up in. We filled our tummies and minds with this city! Madrid is wonderful!