Friday, October 15, 2010

Very Cool Concert

Yesterday afternoon we headed over for a tour of the royal basilica.  This basilica and monastery was constructed at the request of Phillip II, King of Spain, after a battle with France which was won by the Spanish on the feast of St. Lawrence (San Lorenzo).  I can't remember the name of the battle (it's too early!) but the basilica was impressive to say the least.  We made our way through the maze of tunnels...with the stroller!...until we reached the core of the basilica.

Standing in a walkway from the royal college to the basilica.

I loved the gardens.  I can't imagine how they keep them so groomed!

The kids posed so we could photograph the murals on the walls behind them.

We then sat in the choir loft where the monks would chant while an organist played.  The college prepared a special presentation for us.  A maestro who began studying at age 10 played several selections two of which were Bach and another famous one which is usually associated with horror films...I immediately felt like Count Dracula would come out to visit us!!  It was lovely to say the least...the music.  I told the girls that is the way Bach and the other composers meant for the music to be a church performed by an organist.  We also met a kind Augustinian priest, the director of the royal college.  The Augustinians have been there for 100 years or so.  This was a very special concert meant for the attendees of the conference.  We were privileged to have been a part of such a special tour and organ concert.

Extra info.:  To answer a few questions people have had via e-mails....
  • the hotel is very nice.  It's located within walking distance of where the conference is being held.  Everything is very european...the manner of speaking, the quaintness of the buildings, the schedule...breakfast is after 8AM, lunch is after 2PM, and dinner is very late after 7PM or so.  It's been hard to adjust to the time.
  • Daddy's presentation is today at 10AM.  He was polishing up his slide show at breakfast.
  • The little roller bags the kids had in the photo posted from the Madrid airport is all the luggage they have for the duration.  Daddy & I have Rick Steves's backpack luggage.  No rollers!  That's very challenging.  We are packed very light.  I washed a few things yesterday in our bathroom sink & I plan to have our clothes laundered in Rome...the halfway point of our trip.
  • I found a couple markets where we've bought food to eat in the hotel.  Food has been tough to come by because of the time schedule (they're hours of business) and the cost.  I don't eat a lot of food anyway, and I don't eat sugar.  But it's still hard to justify eating what I do need when there are so many more mouths to feed.  I'm getting what I need, but I've had to make a few modifications in terms of quantity.  I have to drink a lot more water because of the nursing.  But I have noticed that the kids are eating anything that's put in front of them.  They just about burned through all the groceries we bought yesterday.
Thanks for the prayers & we'll check in later!



  1. Is that Paul playing? Sure does look like him...
    Thanks for the updates. They're awesome!


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