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Why Coffee is €53 in Madrid; and other challenges to seeing Geurnica in person.

It took 1/8 tank of gas to find it but there it was: an open parking spot in Madrid. And just in time because my low-coffee light had been on for quite a while.

Well, it wasn’t exactly in Madrid. I gave up on the stop-n-go, but mostly just stop traffic and got off the autovía 20 kilometers outside Madrid.

So two café con leches and one finalized plan for seeing Geurnica later, I returned to the car and found the €50 ticket. I had parked in a residential spot without being a resident but smack me on the firehead, I could find no indication it was prohibited. Ergo the €53 coffee.

But alas that is part of travel, and not the end of the costs involved in getting in to see Guernica. The admission is €12 but since Tuesday, my arrival day, is the one day the museum is closed I  had to add the cost of a hotel- another €53.

Parking less than a day’s hike from the Musee Reina Sophia was €9. And FYI, Americanos, you pay before you get in your car to leave at one of the well hidden and oft non-functioning kiosks, not at the exit gate (where you may hold up stern-faced tourists while you try to figure out how the Hades to get out of the fix you put yourself in).

Do the math if you wish but I can tell you it was worth the time, effirt, and cost. As I at last stood in front of the masterpiece with masses of people who also thought the journey worth it, I felt tears well up in acknowledgement of art’s ability to make a statement and to move us.


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