We couldn't believe how huge the flea market was. It extended up and down many streets. This area was also home to many antique stores, so many just put a few items on a towel out front of their shops. This flea market also was home to many, many pirated copies of movies and video games.
I was really hoping to take some sort of trinket home. However, I found it very difficult to find out the price of things, and bargain. I was not about to hold out my money and have them take what it was worth. Plus, the few things that I would have loved, that did have price tags, were more than I was hoping to spend. Amazed, and slightly bummed that I found nothing to buy, we were on our way.
As we were leaving we saw a large area of people with binders, writing down numbers and taking inventory of each others binders. It looked like these people were trading Magic/Pokemon type cards. It was funny to see so many people trying to find the cards to their sets.
Following the flea market, we headed back to our hotel area to grab some lunch. Ryan loved his meal at Pans and Co. when we went in Barcelona and wanted to get one last sandwich before we left, so we calmed his craving, and had that for lunch. It was yummy- we wished they had them in CA.
Once we were stuffed, we jumped back on the metro, and headed for Retiro Park. This is Madrid's main park. Our plan was to rent bicycles, but we had to walk a few blocks before we were at the rental store. Here's what we saw:
We found the bike rental place, and were on our way. These bikes weren't nearly as nice as the ones we rode in Barcelona, but they did the job, so we were good. Our plan of attack was to ride around the perimeter, then hit the center area.
|pond/pool for ducks and other birds.|
|love a good roundabout|
|This said Museo del Prado- we decided it was the old Prado Museum.|
We then made it to the center, that has a lake/pond that you can take paddle boats out in. We were going to rent a boat, but it was so hot, and the thought of sitting in the sun didn't sound fun at that moment.
|locking our bikes so we can wander|
We needed to cool down, so we scrounged up some change, and bought a scoop of gelato. We sat on the grass to eat it, but then I started to get itchy, so we took it on the road.
Following the gelato, Ryan was parched, so we went on a search for water. We kept finding spigots, but no water. Ryan wasn't happy.
We then found a botanical garden, within the park. So we parked our bikes and wandered around. The gardens had hedges, complete with windows.
As we walked further into the garden, we found a family of peacocks, and a cat. This was pure entertainment for a good 20 minutes.
Once we were done peacock/cat watching, we rode our bikes back to the shop, returned them, and head back to the hotel.
Since it was our last day, I had a bit of shopping to do. I wanted to pick up a paella pan so I could make the dish when we got back. Plus, I thought it would be cooler to say I got the pan in Spain, then from amazon.com or something. I also picked up a stove-top espresso maker for Ryan. After I came back to the hotel with more stuff, we got a head start of packing. We needed to make sure everything fit, and that all of the tiles and pottery I bought would be protected.
Once our bags were packed, we got changed, and head out for our last dinner in Madrid/Spain. Ryan really wanted paella, which we hadn't had since Barcelona. We also wanted to head to the historic neighborhood for our meal. We found a great street, but after looking at many menus, couldn't find anywhere that made paella. We guessed it was more of a Barcelona thing. We finally found a place that had it as their special, so we parked outside, ordered a bottle of wine and paella to share.
After a while our paella arrived, and we were surprised to see crawdad/shrimp in the rice. We realized the paella was "mixed"so it included chicken, beef, and much to our demise, shrimp.
Yuck. We thought , no biggie, we'll eat around it. But no can do. The damn tentacles and tails were breaking off and mixing into everything. And do you see its eyes???? Plus, since we were outside, it was dark and hard to see what we were eating. So, our last meal in Spain was a big fat disappointment, but funny to say the least. The wine was good, so we were happy!
After dinner we wandered home. I was excited to see this store:
Which sold priest goods:
I always wondered where they bought this stuff.
After 11 days, we were beat. I wish I could say we stayed up late, hit up discotech, drank sangria till the wee hours of the morning- but we did not. We were pooped. So, to bed we went.