Sitting in Madrid's glorious Plaza Mayor we enjoyed a dinner. Unfortunately it was punctuated by the inevitable (and completely resistible) offers to make purchases of useless gimmicks, or to donate to the inevitable beggars who frequent every city environment.
|Plaza Mayor, Madrid.|
|Headless man - apparently!|
Spain may still be a Catholic country, but it is one where the dreadful strangle-hold of the Roman Catholic Church has been relaxed. Many different cultures exist in the city now, with the blessing (I assume) of the Spanish people. But just a few hundred years ago the Spanish Inquisition ruled the country with terror, and Plaza Mayor was the centre of its diabolical work.
|Rizi's painting - Auto da fé in the Plaza Mayor in Madrid in 1683 represented 'The Inquisition' at its diabolical worst!|
Who says that religion does no harm? (But of course I keep being told that Christianity is not a religion!)
On a slightly lighter note, later in the week at another tourist attraction, I was in a group with some Maltese people. Our guide spoke English well, but she was surprised to learn that Italian was not the main language spoken on the island. The Maltese gentleman explained to her that they had had several hundred years of English rule.
"You're lucky" I said. "We've still got it!"
Of course he asked where I came from. I'm glad to say that he laughed heartily when I revealed that I come from England. As you see - the past really is more foreign than the present!