11th March 2018: An old-fashioned museum and a strike in Madrid (Spain)

I was looking at a work-related trip and wanted to use up Sunday morning to visit “a couple” of museums, then meet some relatives for lunch. Unfortunately, I was caught in the middle of a public transportation strike, so in the end I had to walk for a long while instead of doing what I wanted! Anyway, what I managed to do was getting to the Museo Geominero Nacional, the “Geomineral Museum” in Madrid. It is located in the headquarters of the Geological and Mining Institute of Spain, in a classical-looking building finished in 1925. It was designed by Franciso Javier de Luue. It is a classical-looking museum with wooden cases and an impressive stained glass ceiling, comprised by a central room and three surrounding balconies.

The access is through a marble staircase and the first corridor is already packed with display cases, even before you get to the main area. These cases show small and not-so-small fossils and replicas, displaying the first taste of the evolution of life on earth.

Once in the main room, most of the floor is taken up by the standing cases holding minerals, fossils and meteorites.

In the centre of the room lie the remains of a mastodon, located in the area of Ciudad Real in the 20th century, one of the crown jewels of the museum.

Of course I have been able to locate the collection of megalodon and shark teeth that are on display on the balcony.

Other displays on the upper floors include Spanish mountain goats, cave bears, and a human-evolution collection. Unfortunately, those did not photograph well due to the sun reflection.

And finally, my favourite piece of the collection is the Tyrannosaurus rex skull replica that presides the museum for the second floor.

When I came out, public transport was not running any more, so I had to walk through the Madrid backstreets until I got to the area where we had arranged to meet, and we went to a restaurant called El Escarpín, where I had an awesome pan of… wait for it… gratin meatballs with molten cheese on a bed of potatoes (Albóndigas gratinadas con queso de tetilla sobre cama de patatas). Amazing! Either that, or I was really ravenous after my hour and a half walking. Serves me right for not keeping up with the news! I learnt my lesson!