At the World famous art museum Del Prado there is an entrance fee during the day but free admission after six o’clock for poor people to enjoy the last two hours of the day.
As it was only mid afternoon there was time for a quick drink at a pavement bar before Richard and I retraced our footsteps back to the Del Prado while the girls chose instead to go the department store El Corte Inglés. Culture is different things to different people and I no longer challenge that.
The free entry at six is so popular that it means that realistically if you want to get in with time to spare it is necessary to start queuing at five and when we arrived just before there was already a long line several yards long and we were a long way back from the entrance next to a grand statue of the painter Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez where we stood now and waited for fifty minutes or so.
This is the thirteenth most visited art gallery in Europe, first is the Louvre in Paris, second the Vatican Museum in Rome and third the Tate Modern in London.
I began to get concerned about how long it would take to get inside and worried that there might not be enough time to see all around the inside of the museum but at about six the line started to shuffle slowly forward at a pace as though people had shoe laces tied together but at about twenty past six we were inside.
I don’t really know what I was worrying about because to be honest I was completely bored with it all after about half an hour. I enjoyed the exhibition of Goya paintings but after that everything was so samey. Let’s be honest there are only so many pictures of the crucifixion that you want to see or two hundred year old paintings of Charles III and the royal family so after only an hour or so I was happy to leave. I told you that I am a Philistine.
More statues in Madrid…