Madrid: Delayed Flight, Museum Cerralbo (bonus post)

Delayed Flight

I know I said that yesterday’s post would probably be my last for this trip to Spain, but I looked at my phone when I woke up this morning and saw two notifications from Air Canada. The first said my flight was delayed by an hour and a half. The second said almost three yours.

I had three more notifications before breakfast. The final one said my delay would be almost five hours. Well, at least they notified me before I headed to the airport. It gave me a somewhat extended stay in Madrid. The same thing happened to me on my last overseas trip, that one to the UK.

I guess it’s only fair. My flight into Madrid to start this trip was a few hours late. So, of course, to make up for it, Air Canada felt it had to delay my return as well. This way, I have about as much time in Spain as originally planned. Yeah, I’m sure that’s exactly why Air Canada did it.

Well, at least I had time to wander around more in Madrid and take in another sight, the Museum Cerralbo.

The second piece of good news is that I now have another coupon from Air Canada to retrieve another undisclosed discount for a future flight due to the second delayed flight of this trip. Now I have to take two trips within the next 13 months (the validity period of the discount codes after I retrieve them).

Museum Cerralbo

Museum Cerralbo
Museum Cerralbo

The walking tours app I have says that the Museum Cerralbo (Museo Cerralbo), “offers visitors a view of everyday life in Madrid until the end of the 19th century.” Yeah, right.

I suspect that a contemporary equivalent would roughly be to say that touring a currently successful Hollywood star’s home offers visitors a view of everyday life in Los Angeles in the early 21st century. The everyday life of the rich and famous, maybe. The everyday life of an everyday person? I don’t think so.

A website I found has it right about Museum Cerralbo. It says, “visitors to the museum are transported back in time to experience what life was like for an aristocratic family in late 19th-century Madrid.” Absolutely right, that. “Aristocratic family” is much closer to the correct framing.

Home and Contents

Everyday (aristocratic) life at Marquis of Cerralbo's place.
Everyday (aristocratic) life at Marquis of Cerralbo’s place.

Just the contents of the museum, not including the value of the building itself, are likely worth several times the value of my downtown condo, “several” being a gross understatement. Even if you include the $75, or maybe $80, value of the contents of my place on top of the value of my condo it still wouldn’t come close. 

Museum Cerralbo is the former home of the 17th Marquis of Cerralbo, Enrique de Aguilera y Gamboa. In addition to being his former home, it houses his large collection of paintings, sculptures, ceremonial swords, armour, coins and clocks.

More everyday (aristocratic) life at Marquis of Cerralbo;s place.
More everyday (aristocratic) life at Marquis of Cerralbo’s place.

Some of those clocks are “mystery clocks” in that the mechanisms that drive them are disguised. Some of the clocks also have a fondness for chiming in my ear as I walk through the house listening to the audioguide. But, I probably shouldn’t anthropomorphize the clocks. It turns out that even mechanical objects are out to annoy me. Yes, me personally.

The house is richly decorated, with old, expensive paintings covering the walls. In at least two rooms, including the billiards room, “covered” is very much the appropriate word. In those rooms, the paintings are so thick on the walls that barely any square centimeters of the wall-space are visible. The painting collection includes a Tintoretto and an El Greco.

Still more everyday (aristocratic) life at Marquis of Cerralbo's place.
Still more everyday (aristocratic) life at Marquis of Cerralbo’s place.

There are chandeliers throughout, many from the top chandelier-makers of Europe.

Rooms include a large dining room, a richly decorated library, a billiards room, dressing rooms, salons, a ballroom, hallways that are rooms in themselves, and a few rooms that exist just for the sake of having rooms.

Out back, there’s a beautiful little garden liberally dotted with statues. The garden also has a small pond and fountain.

Nice garden at the Museum Cerralbo
Nice garden at the Museum Cerralbo

Everyday life in Madrid until the end of the 19th century? Yeah, I don’t think so. Go with the website I found, not the walking tours app I have.

Last Post (probably)

I’m posting this from the lounge at the Madrid airport. I don’t plan to leave here until my plane does. So, this absolutely, positively, definitely is my really, truly my last post from this trip. Unless, of course, my flight is unexpectedly delayed for days. In that case, I’ll change my plans.

See you the next trip. If not sooner.

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