We got going late this morning and came back early, but we still managed to do a lot, probably because we didn’t come back to the apartment in the middle of the day and rest for two to three hours.
We left at about 11:30 and headed over to the Prado museum. Along the way we passed the Royal Botanical Garden and thought we might as well stop in.
At the very front there were some flowers, but that was it. The rest of the garden was green, but there were no flowers. Too hot and dry, we guessed. There was a greenhouse full of cacti and other cool plants, but I’ve been to a hundred other better botanical gardens.
After that it was the Prado — or what we thought was the Prado I should say. The dramatic-looking building was on Prado Street and we just assumed.
Turned out it was what is now known as Cibeles Palace. It was once called the Palace of Communication (don’t ask me) and before that, the Postal and Telegraphic Museum. Confusing but at least it was free, had restrooms, and had a nice cafeteria and. (I’m starting to think that what Madrid means by “cafeteria” is “borderline-fancy but reasonably priced restaurant.”) While YP had a couple of tapas plates, I had the price fixe menu, which began with a lovely salad –
– followed by a nice rice stew. Dessert was fresh watermelon and honeydew.
I also got a piece of bread and water. All for 15 euros, or almost $20.
After we ate, we checked out the place. While the building was old and beautiful, the exhibits were very modern.
Afterward, we started hiking toward the actual Prado museum. Along the way we passed another thing we wanted to try: rowboats in the pond in the park. Since the museum was open late, we decided to go for the rowboats.
It was pretty fun. Even better: there was no line. I had imagined waiting in line forever.
Unfortunately I forgot to put sunscreen on my arms so they were burning in the sun. But at least my face moisturizer had SPF 15 and I was wearing my hat and sunglasses. YP did all the rowing. I was nervous about moving around too much in the boat, and I also I don’t know how to control the oars.
The water was pretty stagnant — a murky green — and we saw several fish jump out. At first we thought they might be flying fish, but I just looked it up and they are koi, and unfortunately they might be jumping because the water is uncomfortably hot. Poor fish.
After the boat ride, we finally headed over to the Prado, and this time we made it to the correct one.
I was happy to be in a museum, but either forgot or didn’t know that the Prado is mostly religious paintings or portraits of royals and other noble people. Snore. At least there were a lot of El Grecos, and I enjoyed those. I also liked the special exhibit which compared El Grecos with more modern paintings, showing El Greco’s influence.
Because I bored quickly of all the religious paintings, I finished before YP (for a change). Plus he had stopped in the middle to eat something at the cafe. While he went off to check out the El Greco exhibit, it was my turn to get a nosh, in my case a chicken and cheese sandwich followed by a chocolate covered donut, which was actually more like cake (low-carb diet completely out the window by now). It was all tasty.
Then we headed home, stopping at the grocery store along the way.
It feels a little weird to be home so “early” although I was pretty tired and my feet hurt from walking barefoot in sandals again. I didn’t find a Sephora or whatever but at least I got some moisturizer at the grocery store, which turned to be not very rich, but it’s better than nothing.
It’s already 11 now so I don’t think we’ll be going out to dinner again. I can’t decide if I should eat something. I had a few random things since we’ve been home: a couple of celery stalks, a yogurt, and a bunch of walnuts. I might have an egg.