Saturday, October 3, 2009

El Escorial: Don't worry about yesterday, nothing happened

I went to El Escorial today. It is a giant palace north of Madrid. Had to get up way early for it. I was kind of pissed about that. On the train there were lots of really rowdy and annoying kids. They threw paper planes and screamed. I understand the excitement, but I don't understand the seeming disinterest on the part of the many chaperons to ignore the prodigious and unwanted noise of around thirty 7-11 year olds. Whatever.

The tours they take us on are really cool, I like them a lot but I feel they are poorly organized and on a less than stellar schedule.

El Escorial is a beautiful palace in the mountains. It is an enormous monastery, palace, and school. It is really freakin' old. I sneaked some pictures even though we weren't supposed to take them. Hope they turned out well. It is extremely grand and has a large mausoleum in the basement for royal members. Kind of weird because it is so beautiful but ultimately just filled with dead people. Which sort of brings me to the bigger thought. Why spend so much money on something like that? Wouldn't it be far more prudent to cremate the dead and use said money to improve the lives of the people? Isn't the surest sign of devotion to country to not expect regal treatment post-mortem but instead to have others honor your name through humanitarian causes?

I don't mean in any way to be pretentious about it, or even to say that El Escorial shouldn't exist, just that personally it doesn't work for me. Beauty and luxury should be shared, not hoarded by royalty.

Wandered around, ate bad chinese food, slept on the bus, rolled my ankle, enjoyed Spain.