12/27/11 – Calle Boada, 4
The weather this week, between Navidad and the holiday of Reyes, has been glorious. On Tuesday morning, three generations (Grandpa, Dulcinea, Sons 1 & 2) set off by metro and emerged fourteen stations later at Buenos Aires. I sense that few tourists make it out to see the free Museum of Firefighters, and that’s a shame.
The location southeast of the city center is one of the attractions, we later learned. As you walk north from the metro station, beyond a suburban superstore, a ramshackle courtyard on Calle Boada contains two old fire trucks and an unassuming entry door of corrugated tin.
|Fire truck, Museum of Firefighters|
Inside the dimly-lit but cavernous space, it smelled of gasoline and old machinery. We were surprised to be greeted warmly by a fireman, who shook our hands in welcome. He said that if we had any questions we should not hesitate to ask. Another fireman was leading around a group of children and their parents.
From a brochure I learned that the city of Madrid hired the first 24 firemen, then called “matafuegos,” way back in 1618. The museum chronicles the history of firefighting in Madrid: old photos, vehicles, uniforms, communications equipment, extinguishers, ladders, helmets, nozzles and hoses of every shape and size. Signage is minimal.
|A chronology of nozzles|
|The venerable FDNY, 1940s.|
|"M" for Madrid|
|Early vehicle, English-made, 1812|
|The "Merry Weather," London, 1915|
After our visit, the boys made a beeline for the steep, grassy hill across the street. It turned out to be part of a vast park, the Parque del Cerro del Tío Pío. They quickly returned for the camera, and entreated us to follow.
|Grandfather and S1, ascending hill|
|S2, ascending lamp post|
|Skyline, sierra and smog|