While I did go to a bullfight this past weekend, that was not the only part of Madrid that I experienced. I also had a chance to go to El Rastro, Madrid's main flea market, and El Museo Nacional del Prado, the national art museum of Spain. El Prado took my breath away. I could not believe the beauty, creativity, and size of some of the works of art that I have been seeing in the text books I've been reading for the past 15 years. While I enjoyed such paintings as "Las Meninas" (Valazquez), "The Third of May, 1808" (Goya), and Las Pintas Negras (Goya), I was blown away by all the paintings about the life and death of Christ, and also paintings of the saints. At this point, my favorite painting was El Greco's "The Adoration of the Shepherds" because it showed the humility of Christ's birth, along with how truly blessed the shepherds felt to be experiencing such an event. El Greco even placed himself in the painting; he is believed to be the shepherd on his knees with his back turned. He is probably my favorite artist from my trip, because the unique way he portrayed his subjects that seemed to be ahead of its time.
Sunday morning, I experienced El Rastro. While I wasn't too surprised by the environment of the market that continued to get more and more pack as the day wore on, I was cought off guard by the lack of bartering that went on. It was impossible to change the price of products in any way. While stingy, the vendors were still pretty friendly. I enjoyed walking the streets and seeing some things for sale that I never thought I would see at a market in Spain. There were entire stands devoted solely to socks, as well as vendors who were selling XBOX360 and PS3 games. The homemade bags, dresses, and pants created really cool color contrast as they hung up, so taking pictures was a blast. I ended up getting a few gifts, a Spanish flag for my room at home, and a scarf of my favorite soccer team in Spain, Atletico Madrid. Even though I didn't get to see the sights around Spain, I had a great weekend in Madrid!