Friday, August 19, 2011

Hobnobbing with Nadal, and Don't Forget Your Camera

Madrid Wax Museum / Museo de Cera de Madrid
08/19/11- Paseo de Recoletos, 41
Accompanied by S1 and S2, who trundle through musuems as though they have a train to catch, we actually caught one at the start of the Madrid Wax Museum: El Tren de Terror.  As we chugged in darkness past snarling rats (shades of the NYC subway), chomping crocs, the head of a T-Rex, and a smattering of odd tableaux in glistening papier-mâché (scenes from the movies Alien and Star Wars), we arrived at the ride’s apotheosis—a jungle containing a U.S. Army helicopter, soldiers, and Rambo with his machine gun pointed directly at us, shooting merrily away.  We on the Train of Terror did not stand a chance.

The rest of the museum is a chronological pageant of historical, imaginary and contemporary luminaries, in rich costume.  Cervantes at his desk.  Shakespeare hovering behind a dying Juliet. Rafael Nadal preserved for eternity in a very strange facial contortion.  Christopher Columbus spreading the riches of America at the feet of the King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.* 

There are four U.S. presidents in the main exhibit—Eisenhower (standing near Stalin and Hitler), and a trio of Obama, JFK, and Lincoln.  Only JFK hit a false note:  I didn’t recognize the man.  I forgot my camera, thus was free to observe which figures were most-posed-with on this particular day.  The Spanish Royal Family and Champion World Cup football team scored high on the list, as did General Franco, Miley Cyrus, Antonio Banderas, and the writer Mario Vargas Llosa.  The upstairs Gallery of Crime (Galería del crimen) was empty of visitors, and all the more creepy for it.  In Spain, tortures of the Inquisition seem like a must-see, and the spiked wheel did not disappoint.  (Not to mention spikes in other forms of torment). 

George Clooney, on this day, stood all alone.

*Note: I’m looking forward to visiting Madrid’s Museum of America / Museo de America, for its take on the age of exploration; according to one description, “The most important pieces of art that the conquistadores found are displayed...” (my italics). 


  1. Dulcinea, this blog is inspired and inspiring. Everyone's travel goal to see every museum with writing several notches up from my usual Trip Advisor land. Love it. Thank you for sharing.

    I have never considered the Wax Museum, but if I go I will pose next to Rafa with a typical expression on his face. My cougar moment!☺

  2. Thanks, Kay. Wax Museum was the only way I could convince the progeny to come along, and it wasn't cheap. A souvenir with Rafa would soften the blow...