Madrid, Day 3

Yesterday, as planned, we hit the Reina Sofia Museum. As expected I enjoyed myself a lot.

As is tradition, we first hit the cafe. It was about 11:30 but the place was almost empty, except for what we suspected were museum employees. I had what was essentially a prosciutto sandwich along with a chocolate cappuccino.

The audio tour wasn’t as complete as the ones in Paris — unless I just missed a bunch of stuff — but I learned a lot about Picasso’s Guernica; Spain’s participation in the 1927 Paris International Exhibition; and other stuff which isn’t coming to mind right now.

After the museum we walked through Retiro Park. It was lovely but so fucking hot — in fact, the hottest part of the day. Until then we hadn’t thought it was too bad, but carrying my backpack and walking through the sun (at least I had shades and a hat) was pretty insufferable.

We headed back to the apartment, and I made the mistake of dozing for too long at seven. Mistake because later I would have trouble sleeping. But I seriously couldn’t help it. Around eight we headed out to the gay part of town.

That was really cute. Tons of restaurants, bars, and stores that were still open. And the swapee’s friend was right again: we saw a lot of families having dinner at ten o’clock. Not just young people but older people and little kids. It was very interesting.

The restaurant we ate at was lovely. They started us with some olives and bread and butter. All was delicious. I didn’t even avoid the bread, which I usually do.

There was a veggie burger for YP and I had the “risoni” with mushrooms, cheese, and bacon. I thought risoni might be a mistranslation of risotto, but I looked it up and it’s basically orzo. And the bacon seemed to be missing. But otherwise it was really good. I ate the whole thing and the piece of bread that was left. Oink.

Then we shared an orange sorbet, which was more like an orange icee. It even came with just straws and no spoons. We needed to ask for spoons.

After our meal, we walked all over. There were people out but not a crazy number.

I had trouble sleeping that night, not because I was anxious but because of jetlag. The night before I think I was so tired it didn’t matter. But the second night was tougher.

I slept off and on until about 5:30. I was pretty awake at that time (we had gone to bed around one) and thought about getting up, but I managed to fall asleep again until YP’s alarm at 8. Then I had a very hard time getting up. PBJ bread and two cups of instant coffee to the rescue.

We spent the morning in the Puerta del Sol area, and had lunch in the Corte de Ingles, the big shopping mall. On the top floor is what they call a cafeteria, which is actually a pretty nice sit-down restaurant, on the other side of which is an even nicer sit-down restaurant.

I got a cappuccino, and fried eggs and duck over potatoes. It was sooo good.

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Our last stop in the mall was the grocery store in the basement. For some reason we both love browsing convenience and grocery stores in foreign countries. I had gotten a small jar of Nescafe earlier, but I also picked up a box of instant Viennese coffee, a small tub of walnuts, and a bottle of water. Then we just did a bunch of walking around. We saw the Plaza Mayor, the Estanque Parque del Retiro, and some other typical Madrid sights. All the while, it was so hot in the sun. In the late afternoon we headed back, stopping for tapas along the way. I had a bunch of walnuts during our time in the park so I wasn’t super hungry. I had half of one dish: toasted bread with tomato jelly, brie, and anchovies. It was so fucking good.

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On our way back we stopped at, guess what, another grocery store. This time I got eggs and yogurt.

For the past few hours we’ve just been hanging out. I had an apple, read, and, I admit, dozed off, but only for a few minutes. We’ll probably head back out soon to get some dinner.

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