So my aching foot started acting up again yesterday. It is something I’ve always dealt with when I have stood or walked for long periods of time. It came on with a vengeance in Munich, to the point that I thought I had a stress fracture from not having walked as much as I have on this trip. But I massaged it enough that it went away and I haven’t been hampered by it since. Until yesterday. It was so bad yesterday that it even woke me up a few times in the middle of the night. It was clear from the get go this morning that I was going to have to try to push through it.
We got breakfast on the go as we headed to Palacio Real. Thanks to Wood (look at that, two days in a row!), I made it a point to go. I haven’t been super impressed with palaces on this trip, much preferring churches, but he said he remembered it being pretty neat, so we went. And it was. It had many similarities to other palaces I have toured, but it was still quite stately and impressive. One room was the “porcelain room” and the walls and everything were made of porcelain. It was incredible. The joints where the porcelain came together was covered by vines and leaves (also done as porcelain). It was also pretty cool to be in the room and see the documents from the King’s abdication this summer to his son Felipe. Kind of historic!
After the palace, Liz wanted to check out a plaza across the street (Plaza Oriented… it was pretty) and I needed to rest my foot. So we sat and relaxed for a bit, took pictures, etc. Then we walked north of the Puerto del Sol to see more of the city before settling on a place for lunch. I picked a place called VIPS. It wasn’t totally Spanish food (I had a chicken sandwich), but it was really good. Shocking that the wine is cheaper than water and pop! The prices in Madrid are very reasonable, but this is also me coming from Paris and Amsterdam, where they most certainly are not.
When you hear that in Spain things happen later, it is so true. Breakfast places are just opening up around 10am. We went to VIPS for lunch around 1:45 and there was hardly anyone in the restaurant. When we left a little after 3, the place was packed and there was a line to get in. They were eating lunch at 3pm. For the second night in row, we’ve been the early birds at dinner, even though we got there after 8pm tonight.
After lunch we came back to the hotel for a typical Spanish siesta. Ok, Liz napped, I didn’t. I probably should have considering I went to bed after midnight and woke up at 3:15, 4, 5, and 6-something to look at my phone for Cardinals updates. I didn’t like the last one I saw. I’m not getting up for the game tonight. I want to, but I have plans to watch game 6 Saturday night and I am going to have faith that we will still be playing on Saturday. Plus Liz is wearing her cardinal shirt tonight, so we have extra luck!
Around 6pm we set out to the Reina Sofia Art Museum, which is a Modern Art Museum. Which, barf. But I wanted to see some Picasso. And I was not disappointed. Plus, I got to make fun of LOADS of other “art.” I took a couple photos, where allowed, so that I could then make fun of it on the internet as well!
After the museum we walked until we found a good tapas place. And we ate. And ate. And ate. Seriously, so full. We started with almost a bruschetta thing…it was a thick piece of “toast” with tomato, oil, and the iberica ham. It was great! Then we had a battered cod. Very much like the fish from fish and chips. Then we had artichokes and fried ham. The ham was good (quite salty), but the artichokes were really mushy. Yuck. I love artichokes, but not super mushy ones. Next we had potatoes bravas., which Liz was told she should have. It was basically potato chunks with a spicy ketchup sauce on it. (Ann, I know what you’re thinking…ketchup is already spicy for me…but this was actually good! Also, saw a scrunchy at the art museum…I don’t think you want to claim this trend…) We were going to leave it at that, but then decided we would try the calamari, which was ok. I had only ever had it deep fried, until last night. This was only lightly fried, so it was a little different. But I ate it! And I had chicken strips. They weren’t your usual chicken strips, but they were very good. We finished it off with some flan. Which I had never had before and didn’t really like. But Liz said she has had better, so maybe it’s worth another try somewhere else. Oh also? I had two glasses of sangria!
I am tuckered out! We need to get up (thankfully not super early) and check out and leave our bags somewhere, as we have more day in Madrid, but we have a night train to Portugal tomorrow night!