Thursday, April 4, 2013

MTC Excursion to the Prado Museum

Thursday is Preparation Day here at the Madrid MTC.  We go to the temple in the morning and because there are so many missionaries now it takes 2 sessions to fit them all in.  After the temple they have "free" time to wash clothes, take care of personal things, write emails to family and friends at home and print off copies of letters from home, shop, and go on excursions to important sites around Madrid.  Today I went along with 2 of our 8 districts; the Alma and Wilford Woodruff Districts, who decided to visit the Prado Museum  You may notice we name our districts after great examples of missionaries from the past.  We went to visit the world famous Prado Museum in the center of Madrid.  It is a massive museum, on a scale with the Louvre in Paris, or the Heritage in St. Petersburg.  In addition to traveling exhibits it houses a huge permanent collection by many of the greatest art masters in history, such as Van Dyck, Goya, Velazquez, Tiziano, Rafael, Greco, Caravaggio, Tintoretto, Rubens, and on and on.  It literally would take several days to see everything it contains.  We were there for 2 hours, so I'm planning more trips on my own.  Unfortunately taking pictures inside the Prado Museum is not allowed.  So here's some shots of things we did and saw, in addition to Prado:
Leaving Temple Square

Coming up from the Metro at Plaza de Cibeles.  At far right is our teacher and guide, Gian Carlos Gorgino (I have no idea how to spell his name; I'll have to find out) from Italy.

City Hall at Plaza de Cibeles

Guards outside Banco de Espana at Plaza de Cibeles.  I found out after taking this that pictures are NOT allowed!  They were not happy campers.  Notice their funny hats.  There are 3 guards at each entrance dressed similarly.  30 meters under this massive building that spans most of an entire city block is a vault containing the largest deposit of the nation's gold reserves.  In times of political crisis they flood the vault with water from a nearby river.

Instituto de Cervantes main headquarters.  Worldwide society named after the author of Spain's greatest literary work, Don Quixote, for the advancement of Spanish culture and language worldwide.

Across the street from Banco de Espana, the Spanish Army Headquarters

A shot of one side of the Banco de Espana building.  Very impressive

Shot of a different side of Banco de Espana.  Maybe I'm fascinated with it because of my career in financial services, I don't know....

Of course the missionaries found the only pastry shop in the neighborhood.  I had a pastry as well.  Definitely worth the 1.50 Euro. Sister Christian and Elder Malan in the foreground

Arch dedicated to Carlos III, Madrid's most benevolent Monarch who modernized the city in the late 1700s.

Another picture of the pastry shop.  I can recommend it.

Sisters Flake, Hopkins and Benson

The Prado.  You can only see a portion of the structure.  It is massive.
 On our way to the Prado.  Elder Alhovuori from Finland, Sisters Hopkins, Benson, Flake and Nielsen, and Elders Malan Ellsworth and Anderson (and Cluff in the background)
 Monument to Goya outside the Prado. Head shots of Elders Webb and Sharp
 Elders Malan and Ellsworth outside the Prado


  1. I love your blog! I'm the mother of one of the elders in your first group picture - Elder Wiley from Seattle! It's so fun to see him and to hear your wonderful details about the mission. These are things he doesn't put in his letters and it's fun to read so much detail. Thanks so much for your service and for keeping an eye out for our sons and daughters!! What a fun surprise!

  2. What a beautiful city! Shakayla and I can't decide if we are more in love with the architecture or the desserts in the pastry shop... mmmm I'm hungry.
    And I'm impressed that my old man can remember so many missionaries names!

  3. This post has me itching to visit! Will you take me to the Prado if we come?

  4. You said to tried a pastry, but which one?

  5. We love your blog, too! Thank you so much for sharing this treasure with us. We wish you could follow our missionary (Elder Ellsworth - St. George, UT) throughout his mission and document his experiences. But for now, we'll cherish the next 3 weeks and hope to see more!

  6. Dear Elder & Sister Sullivan, would you please send me your blog on my email so i can print them out for your mother.
    Happy to see your having a great time,
    using my daughters blog... sorry

  7. Thank you so much for taking care of our kids. We love you blog. Thank you for taking care of our boy! (Elder Jake Smith It's good to see that he is getting some culture! Sharm and Susie Smith