Saturday, November 23, 2019

Davis Cup - Madrid

Youngest sister was due to attend the Davis Cup tennis in Madrid with a friend but when the friend had to drop out owing to illness mrs maytrees and myself joined the party in her stead.

Mrs maytees and myself not having had a summer holiday this year a week in Madrid was ideal. The first matches we say were team GB v The Netherlands. Travelling to the indoor courts at the Casa Majica  by Metro was interesting. The train's design  is high and narrow which presumably facilitates  more passengers standing. The nearest metro station was some ten minutes walk from the indoor tennis courts

The first set of tennis matches we watched were between Great Britain and the Netherlands. The matches were painstakingly close and Andy Murray who surely must still be affected by his hip operation secured a really exciting victory in his singles. The Dutch won the second singles with the doubles having to be played as a deciding match. Once more GB secured a victory late on at about 8pm and so progressed to face Kazakhstan the following day.

The Kazakhstan supporters included a band,  pictured below right during an interval,which played the Grand March from Aida presumably  to lift their teams spirits though the music (Egyptian) uplifted most people present. 

 Again the matches were exciting to watch and once more the outcome was  win by GB though again there was
a tight margin, meaning that the team had won its quarter finals so progressed to the semis against Germany. 

Madrid itself was a wonderful city for a few days break even during winter. We attended a traditional flamenco dance  which proved particularly enjoyable as during the meal, which one enjoys whilst the dancing takes place, we were seated next to a young couple from the USA who were on honeymoon. Discussing life, marriage, and families with them makes one appreciate that there are many similarities between neighbours despite the distances between homes. 

Visiting the Muse del Prado was a treat and not only because admission which is usually about 20 Euros was free because our chosen day coincided with the gallery's 150th anniversary but also, because of the large number of paintings exhibited with many being by classical artists such as Titian, Rembrandt, Caravaggio and Goya.

Our time in Madrid also included a visit to the Royal Palace, the armoury at which is truly impressive though I do not understand how horses could carry men wearing such vast amounts of  protective clothes and shields. The section devoted to small children again dressed in armour  was fascinating though truly sad that then, albeit a few hundred years ago, society felt it apt for children to fight in battles.

Our really interesting and enjoyable few days holiday in Madrid was over too soon.

Perhaps when next travelling to Europe though, train travel would be preferable to plane not least because of global warming considerations.

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