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The broad, leafy boulevard in front of the Prado is called, logically enough, the “Paseo del Prado,” but while we were there it was not entirely peaceful. We missed it, but we read about a large demonstration led by Baroness Carmen Thyssen against a plan to transplant or destroy many of these majestic trees in an ambitious rebuilding plan.

Even in this tranquil moment, people were on their “mobiles,” as Europeans call cell phones.