Busy Day,… Madrid, Day 3 – May 18, 2017
This morning, we met our guide at The Prado Museum, who would be taking us and about dozen others through the Museum with minimal waiting and expert information. We strolled from the Renaissance period, to the Baroque, to the Neoclassic Period. The paintings by Titian, El Greco and Goya were indeed masterpieces. There were many groups of all ages seeing the art, too. We got a tour of the highlights, which was plenty. From there, we taxied to the Plaza Major, probably the largest plaza in Madrid. The perimeter was filled with restaurants, one after another.
We stopped at the Eboli Cafe (yes, that was its name) and ordered paella and watched the people. It was tasty and the perfect light lunch. We continued from the plaza to the Mercado San Miguel, which was touted as a wonderful place to get the freshest tapas. The market was packed with people, probably lots of tourists like us. There was stall after stall with the most interesting, decadent and unusual treats. The small sitting area was packed, so we decided to come back later, for dinner.
From the Mercado, we went to the Royal Palace, only minutes away. It is the palace of the Hapsburg dynasty. I have been to others of their palaces, the summer and winter palaces in Strasbourg, Austria. They are equally grand, like Versailles. To see the opulence and craftsmanship is a wonder, particularly when you know that it was built in the 1700’s. Our President is trying to mimic the look, kind of like penis envy! But, the palaces were build and designed with taste!
A taxi ride back to the apartment and a glass of wine to relax and the return of the clothes that didn’t work out, and we were back at the Mercado de San Miguel for our famous tapas meal. It was still packed with people, mostly tourists like us. We got a couple of seats and took turns getting drinks and food. Otherwise, the stool would have vanished!
I am addicted to the Sangria here. It is light, has lots of citrus slices and is a favorite among folks here. We tried different tapas and were totally full after a couple of hours. We sat between a couple from Germany and a couple from Cuba, who live in the US, visiting family in Madrid. It was a very eclectic conversation. Loved it!
We strolled back through charming narrow streets, admiring the architecture, the Juliet balconies that are typical of the apartments and the bustle of the locals walking arm in arm. We even stopped in to the Apple Store, to get an idea of whether it is any different than the ones in the US. Nope, the same…
By now, it was after 10:00 and we were sore from lots of walking. Time to get to bed. However, in the middle of the night, I got horribly nauseated. I think all that rich food didn’t sit well. Another lesson learned. In actuality, we decided that tapas are highly overrated. A good meal all at once works better for us. At least you can measure how much you are eating.
Did I mention that I broke out in hives the last day in Morocco? I got more once in Madrid, but I think the hive episode is coming to an end. At least they weren’t bug bites!