remember how we said there are no malls in madrid? well, maybe not in the city center, but in the outskirts, visible from the freeways, you'll find sprawling shopping centers with ikeas and carrefours and outlets for clothing, furniture/home decor, and sporting equipment. and this newly opened mall we discovered during one such excursion called plaza norte 2 (hmmm is there a plaza norte 1?).
as we entered, we were surprised to find it quite empty—not of shops, but of people! such a contrast from the malls in manila. and we were so awed by the interiors, we had never seen anything like it!
of course, after going around, it was starting to look a little gaudy. and you would think they would be proud of this new mall—because after taking a couple of snapshots of the vaulted ceiling, we were approached by a mall guard and told not to take photos—or something like it in spanish! what? why?? but we're just tourists! "foto—no!" with a wave of his hand and walked away.
oh well, we just have to do it a little more discreetly. the spanish authorities have been very strict with taking photograhs of public spaces because of terrorism, what with ETA bombings and all. we know someone—a photography and architecture hobbyist—who, while on holiday in madrid, was taking photos of buildings on the gran via with his SLR camera, then was stopped by the guardia civil! to the point that he had to show that he deleted his photos, can you imagine?? too much!!