Category Archives: Livin’ la vida loca española

Getting cultured at Museo del Prado

Thursday, 25 July I went to visit the Museo del Prado once again. This was my second time, the first being three weeks before. In just one visit it’s hard to see everything unless of course you plan to stay the whole day. I always time my visit for the free entrance from 6 – 8 pm.

I happened to have stumbled on this useful link.

Important masterpieces to see during a trip in Madrid’s Museo del Prado

Maria Andrea, one of my classmates from my MBA in Pamplona who recently moved to Madrid to do an internship, joined me in this quest of seeing what needs to be seen and appreciated at the Museo del Prado.

Following the recommendations on the link, we’ve seen the following obras maestras.

Tiziano “El Emperador Carlos V a caballo en Mühlberg”

José de Ribera, “El sueño de Jacob”

Murillo, “La Inmaculada”  

Rubens“Las Tres Gracias” 

El Greco“El Caballero de la mano en el pecho”  y “La Trinidad”

obras maestras de Goya“La Familia de Carlos IV” o las“Majas”

Sorolla,“Niños en la playa”

Rembrandt Harmensz, “Judit en el banquete de Holofernes

Velázquez,“Las meninas y La familia de Felipe IV”

There were also times  we were at the correct sala (room) but the painting we were looking for isn’t there anymore. They do move the paintings from time to time. This is why a curator’s help might just be needed, as we did.

We also obtained the museum’s leaflet so we can follow the floor plan and could easily go hopping from one painting to another. Masterpieces of great artists were also highlighted there. Maria and I alternately read the description on the paintings so we could know more about it.

There’s also another art installation I like which isn’t part of the museum. The rotonda nearby is called the Plaza de Neptuno which I prefer over the Plaza de Cibeles.


Regional Spanish food

A week ago I started a short course in Spanish cuisine. We were to prepare typical Spanish food.

Classes are held every Wednesdays and for that first class, we did a dish which is served in the whole of Spain: tortilla de patata. We made twothe basic one and the other with salmon. I really like the latter, didn’t know tortilla de patata would go so well with salmon.

We also prepared a soup typical to Cordoba: salmorejo.


It was my first time to try salmorejo. And I really ♥ it. While in Granada I have tried gazpacho which is it’s close cousinBoth are made with tomatoes and the similarity would end there plus the fact that both could be served cold. Salmorejo could be served either hot or cold. It’s main ingredients are tomatoes, old bread which make good crumbs, sprinkling of rock salt to help juice out the tomatoes, a clove of garlic, olive oil and vinegar. All these ingredients would need to be puréed. Then for topping they usually put jamón or boiled egg. We used some cured tuna which works just as well.


And then two days ago, my housemate from Gran Canaria prepared a typical dish of theirs: papas arrugadas. In English it directly translates as wrinkled potatoes.

What I love about this is the salsa that accompanies it. It’s made of tomatoes, garlic, bell pepper and cumin. It’s a really tasty dish. Strong word of advice: never eat this when you go out on a date as the smell lingers in the mouth. 😉

Tapeo madrileño

This week we’ve been having terribly good weather.

By this I mean that it’s really sunny that in fact that it feels more like summer than spring.

Something that goes well with the weather is a glass of sangría! Or better a tall pitcher to be shared among new-found friends.

After our Spanish class on miercoles, Carolyn, Dita and I went out for some drinks and tapas. We ended up in Calle Huertas where there’s some bars with terrazas, those that offer outside seating (also known as al fresco dining). We all prefer to be seated outside, the weather dictates so.

Since we have a pitcher of sangría to finish, we needed some solid food in our tummies. We decided to order raciones. A glass of wine or beer comes accompanied with a tapa, a small portion of food, but a ración is a bigger portion of food which is the usual serving size.

We ordered raciones of patatas bravas, chorizo, tortilla de patata and queso manchego. Finally I have tried this cheese that hails from Madrid. I was expecting it to be really smelly but taste good. I was wrong with my first assumption. I don’t know where I got this information that it’s smelly. It’s not one of those cheeses that stink. Moreover, it not only passed my taste test it totally won my heart. I now declare it my favorite cheese! 🙂

I loved the tapas culture in Spain. It all started when a wise king of Spain, Alfonso X, ordered that for every wine served that it be accompanied by a bit of food so that the alcohol wouldn’t go straight to the head. What a very very wise king e? Fat chance of this happening in my country. *smirks

Another legend goes that a Spanish king was outside for a drink but since it was windy, the waiter served him the wine with a piece of meat, probably chorizo, by the rim of the glass serving to cover the wine from dust.

More sunny days ahead. I’ll be sure to enjoy them with a light alcoholic drink by a terraza with some savory tapa. ¡Así es la vida madrileña! That’s life in Madrid.