Sunday, July 18, 2010

2010 Spain Day 5 - Madrid

Thinking I would wake up fairly early, I did not set an alarm. Unfortunately, after three nights of being up until midnight, I did not wake up until after 9:30 a.m. I glanced at my phone and it took me a few moments to process the time. At first, all I could think was it was showing the wrong time zone. It took me a few second to realize that we had slept until 9:30 a.m. We had a similar experience at the beginning of the France trip.

We had a great late breakfast in the Plaza Major. From there, we went to look for tickets to the bull fights. More on this later...

From there, we headed to the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. One of the guidebooks described this museum as one of the most enjoyable modern art museums in Europe. Although neither Sharon or I would rate it that highly, it does have Picasso's Guernica. Guernica, a proud Basque market town in Northern Spain, was the target of the world's first saturation bombing raid on civilians. I was very impressed by this massive piece and the display of studies that Picasso did to prepare for it.

After a drink on the square in front of the museum, we wandered up and into the Retiro Park as far as the Estanque (the boating lake).

We had a late lunch at Plaza Santa Ana near the hotel. After lunch, we crashed in the room for a bit to escape heat.

The plan for the evening was to go to the bull fights. Frankly, this was more Sharon's idea than mine. We caught the metro to the Plaza de Toros and the Ventas Stadium. There were probably 10,000 people in the 35,000 person stadium with almost everyone on the shady side. It started about 8:30 p.m. We watched four of the six bull fights before calling it a night and catching the metro back to the hotel. I have never read anything about bull fighting; I am going to add this subject to my reading list for the future.

We finished the night with a very late dinner back on the Plaza Santa Ana. The three of us shared a large salad and grilled oxen that we cooked on a small stove at the table. It was midnight by the time we got back to the room and got the lights off.

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