Well, while Revolt! keeps moving ahead over the 60Kw boundary, and we are getting ready for some fun, I'm revisiting an old theme with a fresh look, and I'm afraid I'm getting fond of my digital camera, so it's picture time!
This is the Romantic conception of Attawulf, or Ataulf, the first Visigothic king, founder of the Kingdom of Tolossa, in Gallia. It's displayed in the Oriental Gardens in Madrid, in front the Royal Palace, in the so-called Austria's Neighborhood, in the center of the town. A beautiful visit, with the Opera Palace and the Cathedral of the Almudena in its vicinity, this palace, and its gardens, has seen a great deal of Madrid's history, before, but specially during and after, the Independence War, where the Spanish civilians, police, and military fought Napoleon Bonaparte's garrisons in the (in)famous May 2 uprisings, which set, nowadays, the Official Festivity of Madrid.
The place is really pleasing, and the environment is soothing, specially during the sunset, where lights over the sky play with its reflections on stone and green leaves. The Garden itself is dominated by a huge water font and a labyrinth of green bushes on one side, and the walkside in front of the Palace, Bailen St., with lots of space to walk about, enjoy Madrid's lifestyle in the terraces or bars and the spectacular views of the Sabatini's Gardens attached to the Northwest side, and the view of Spain Sq. (if it were not because the trees in nearby parks we could be the Temple of Debod from this location as well). The Spanish Senate is a mere 100 meters from this place, and walking towards the East you get to the famous Puerta del Sol (Sun Gate) and the center of the city.
Another interesting characteristic of this place is that's full of History: from Ataulf, we get the whole of the Visigothic kings, and then the first 'Reconquest' kings, in an artistic way of legitimating the Monarchy through time. We can see the first dozen of Visigothic kings (in Tolossa and then in Toletum) in the picture, as well as some trees and walkers. The Royal Palace is at the right side of the paved way, and the Opera Palace is just at the left at the far end of the way. We can see Ataulf, then Winseric, and so on. The fun thing is that the dresses change from a vaguely late Roman style to a full medieval style as we walk. At the opposite side the timeline keeps going on, in a counterclockwise movement. We can even find some wueens as well.
Finally, walking up Arenal St. (where arenal is a sandy landscape, and refers to the virgin of the Arenal Conception, yes, "uh?", well, it's one of the classical streets in Madrid, anyway), walking past the Opera Palace, we arrive in Puerta del Sol, where, among many other famous Spanish items, it's the (un)official symbol of the capital of Spain, the Bear and the Madrone (Arbutus). From the bush-tree we get a characteristic liquor and it's the proof that Madrid was inhabited by bears in the past, although nowadays is, I think, basically impossible to find any outside the northern mountain ranges in the Cantabric or the Pirinees. Recent movements state that the bear (oso in Spanish, el Oso y el Madroño) is actually a she-bear (which would make it la Osa y el Madroño). This, besides feministic, seems fit: the Autonomous Community flag sports seven stars like the seven main stars in the Ursa Major (astronomy U Ma) or Great Bear constellation, which in Spanish is la Osa Mayor, like in Latin--ursa > osa, while the masc. ursus > oso). I have decided this is logically consistent enough that it deserves the change of sex, despite popular wisdom or preferences, which I frankly don't really mind... :-P
And well, I don't have a picture handy, but the Royal Palace is in dire need of some serious cleaning up! Walls are dirty and I wonder where the money of the General Direction of Patrimony is going, while we debate about the yearly money assignation to the Royal House, which is not supposed to maintain our Patrimony. Sigh.