Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Art, Family and Chocolate with Churros

Madrid’s architecture is stunning and the traffic is horrific, but winding our way over to the Prado Museum was worth it.  Velázquez , Goya and so many artists were making us weep with their beauty.  I have always loved Las Meninas by Diego Velázquez. 

On our way, Caroline and I found our personal knights in shining armor. We decided to walk back to Plaza Mayor where our apartment straddles the small streets nearby.  There was a bit of excitement on the way...We needed to cross a busy street and as I started to jay walk, I saw a policeman directly across the street with a gun.  A big gun.  I told Caroline, “Whoa, we need a cross walk.”  When I started off down the street, she didn’t follow.  When I turned to wave her to me, she didn’t budge.  Assuming she would get the hint, I got to the cross walk and looked over my shoulder.  The woman had braved the police and jay walked right in front of him, so she was waiting for me beside him when I huffed my way up to her.  I gulped and took a breath.  I guess the man didn’t think we looked dangerous.  She said she didn’t  want to waste any steps... Afterward amid a lot of laughter, we wove our way through the streets like drunken sailors, but we made it to our door still standing upright...

The next hour, I was on the go again to meet a new Silván cousin named Ana Silvan Grimaldos.  We connected through Facebook, both in agreement that Silvan is a rare surname, her great grandfather Francisco was from the same village as my great grandfather, both Silvan men.  So, we dubbed ourselves cousins.  She brought the book I wrote about my family’s immigration in 1911 from Spain to Hawaii, now translated into Spanish, for my autograph.  I was very pleased, of course.  And then she told me she’d read my post on Facebook recently about my not having castanets for my Spanish wall at home and gifted a pair to me.  I was very touched.
She walked me part way back down the wide streets from the café as she headed to the metro (she took a selfie and I never know where to look in these!) and I headed back to Caroline.  On our way, she pointed out an historic chocolate and churros café that has evidently served royalty, called San Ginés.  Hmmmm... After big hugs and promises to share any further genealogy documents we find about the Silvans, I walked and walked until I found the huge plaza again.
When I suggested to Caroline that we go for chocolate and churros, she nearly beat me out the door.  We found the place that Ana Silvan pointed out to me and we made our way inside the small café.  You stand in line, order and pay, find a seat and then within minutes, the wonders are in front of us churros were hot and the chocolate was thick.  Delicious.

We had to walk off all those bites, so I led her along the street until we came to the Royal Palace.  Majestic. Elegant. Huge.  One of my favorite views is seeing the Spanish flag blowing in the breeze, so I’ll share that view too.

We practically crawled back to Calle Postas where we rested for tomorrow. 
16,000 steps today

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