Aranjuez panorama 5-25-14

Sunday May 25 started out for us in Madrid with an amazing revelation about my lifetime as Franz Liszt. The day ended in Ciudad Real, the heart of Don Quixote’s La Mancha country.  In between, we  visited Aranjuez, Toledo and Don Quixote’s Consuegra windmills.

Screen Shot 2014-05-25 at 7.49.25 PM Spain 2014 map

We had originally planned to overnight in Toledo. But this city left us cold like the blades of its famous swords.  So we moved on.  Improvisation and Planning – key to great trip experiences.

Reconnecting with Liszt: Madrid Parking Garage Malfunction Leads to Amazing Revelation

The morning we were due to leave Madrid and head south toward Aranjuez, I left Elizabeth to call the hotel porter and wait for me with our bags while I got the car out of the underground parking garage across the street.  Which turned out to be quite a challenge.

First, I was shocked to see the price tag – 32 Euros for overnight parking! (about $44). Second, the parking garage machine did not accept any credit cards. So I fed it a 50-Euro bill.  But the machine kept rejecting it no matter how I inserted it. There was no attendant to ask for help.

It was Sunday morning.  I was alone in the garage. The Spanish capital was just starting to recover from a massive collective hangover caused by the night of partying and celebrations following Real Madrid’s (soccer club) victory of its cross-town rival Atletico in the European club championship.

I do not speak Spanish, but was eventually able to discern from a sign in Spanish that this stupid machine only accepts 50-Euro bills if the parking fee is 35 euros or more. I had no smaller bills.

So out I went, back across the street to a Starbuck’s hoping that they can change my 50-Euro note.IMG_1790 As I was leaving the garage, however, I felt a strong pull to the left. It was as if a magnet had turned my head toward a brick house. Just as it happened two days ago in El Escorial when I was passing Phillip II statue without being aware of it.

I noticed a plaque on its wall hidden behind some tree branches.  As I started to read it, I felt goose bumps all over my back. It was the house in which Liszt lived for about a month in 1844, age 33, during one of his concert tours.


“So that’s why the parking garage machine gave me fits,” I realized.

I was not to leave Madrid without seeing this plaque and feeling the geomancy of this place.

I also realized once again that there are no coincidences, and marveled at how our Spirit guides lead us on our life journeys. Madrid is the third largest European city (after London and Berlin). It has thousands of hotels. Yet I just happen to pick the one hotel that was across the street from this brick house.  What do you suppose the odds of that are? 🙂

Aranjuez: First Stop after Madrid

I have been playing the Concierto de Aranjuez in various renditions ever since the music first came to me in March 2009.  Today, May 25, for the first time, we got to FEEL the geomancy of the place Phillip II, one of my past incarnations, chose as another royal residence.

Unlike El Escorial, which left a grand, solemn impression, Aranjuez felt more playful. Like Schoenbrunn, for example, one the Austrian royal palaces we had visited before coming to Spain. Most of the palace as we saw today was also built in the 18th century, like Schoenbrunn. But the most beautiful parts of Aranjuez – the gardens and the old buildings through which we entered go go back to Phillip II time in the 16th century.

IMG_3670 IMG_3668 IMG_3669 IMG_3673 IMG_3672 IMG_3671 IMG_3693 IMG_3674 IMG_3692

All of the above shots were taken at the old palace, the one that Phillip II built. And now here’s the new Aranjuez palace and the river and royal gardens around it.

IMG_3675 IMG_3696 IMG_3679 IMG_3695 IMG_3694  IMG_3689 IMG_3691 IMG_3688 IMG_3687 IMG_3686 IMG_3685 IMG_3678 IMG_3684 IMG_3683 IMG_3682 IMG_3681 IMG_3680

Aranjuez and Toledo: Lunchtime Music in Don Quixote’s La Mancha – a film by Bob Altzar Djurdjevic – filmed on location in Toledo, Spain on May 25, 2014

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