As I have penned before, 2 days in a capital city is my limit and Madrid is no exception. In this case it was not that I was confronted by seething hordes as happened in other named European cities but rather that I had seen all that I needed to see and have developed a feel for the place. Its relatively quiet with few tourists… other than me.
Its also a modern city with great architecture but lacking the ancient Roman or Greek sites of other European cities. I suspect that in fact I was the closest to an ancient ruin.
My custom is to meander ( from the Latin “wander” and the eponymous River! I have reduced my tendency to rush headlong into every museum, mausoleum, monastery or indeed any attraction beginning with “M”! Thank goodness massage parlours also advertise a Sauna.
I have developed an unique mathematical formula that has never proved me wrong : “if the number of tourist coaches parked outside is equal to or greater than the number of exhibits at a museum or gallery then the answer is a vulgar fraction”.
The Palace of Telecommunications was the second architectural wonder that I explored. It was built a century ago and was basically the GPO of Madrid. Think of the equivalent in Sydney or Adelaide in fact any of our own capital cities. A hive of activity, millions of letters being sorted an franked, telephone switch girls ( not being sexist but simply factual) connecting and disconnecting, Telegram operators tapping the typewriters, was illustrated in delightful panoramic nostalgic black and white photographs.
No wonder there was full employment in those days! Then it dawned on me that rubbing against my thigh in my right hand trouser pocket was the device that single handedly abolished overnight the meaningful employment of every mail sorter, telephone exchange girl and ticker tape operator in our so called Western civilisation.