Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Day 6: Sol through the Clouds

The week is off to a cloudy, overcast start, so we´ve headed to the one place in Madrid where you can always find the sun. The Puerta del Sol, Madrid´s main square.

There are people taking pictures of the crazy contortionists, or with the characters (lots of Chucky these days), and of course we can´t forget a picture with "the bear". Then get in line to take a picture of your feet standing on the KM 0 plaque in front of the Real Casa de Correos (Royal Mail House).

If you want to get really Spanish, instead of looking down at the plaque, look up at the clock and bell tower! This culturally significant ringer is what starts off the new year here in Spain. Just under the bell is what I call the grape counter, the clock that has been featured in the midnight broadcast for more than fifty years, marking the 12 chime countdown. Before the holiday, the clock and bells are tuned up and tested, and the last 12 seconds of the year are spread to 3 seconds apart, to allow time (barely) to down your 12 grapes, one on each chime.

a close up of the bell and weather vane

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