Friday, October 01, 2010

Day 9 | Madrid September 3

The first half of the day was to be spent with the parentals and siblings.  We had planned on meeting the group at their hotel, near Plaza Santa Ana.  We were going to meet them, then head off to a breakfast place that Sonny and Lindsey had been eating at during their stay.  I say "was" and "were" because Ryan and I, the savvy travelers that we claim to be, got lost.  Very lost.

Lesson learned- if you plan on meeting someone at 9am, in a city you've never been- give yourself some time.  We mapped the location on our computer, and planned the route.  Problem was, we had no sense of N, S, E, W. So when we left, we went the complete wrong direction.  We stopped around 8:59 AM, and realized what was up, but were 15 minutes away.  We didn't bring our phone, so unfortunately couldn't alert the troops of our delay.

When we finally got to the hotel, our family wasn't there.  We figured they'd gone on to breakfast, but unfortunately we had no clue as to where that was.  So we left a note with the front desk, and went on our way hoping we'd run into them at the Royal Palace.

We grabbed breakfast, Mordoff style, and picked up coffee and donuts at "Dunkin Coffee" (not dunkin donuts, big difference.)

We then were on our way to the Royal Palace, keeping our eyes out for the rest of the fam.  The Royal Palace was commissioned by King Philip V .  The place is huge, like 2,000 rooms huge, and very French-esque.  Although, the tour doesn't let you wander aimlessly, and most of the rooms are not in their original state, i.e. bedroom now is sitting room.  You can really sit all over this palace.

Here are some various shots of the facade.

The palace didn't allow photos inside, so we took a bunch in the courtyard.  We also rented audio guides, which looked like weird light saber/air traffic controller sticks.  Fun had by all.

The tour was fun- and the light sabers were informative.  After we were done touring the palace, armory and pharmacy/apothecary, we decided to head out to the Palace Gardens.

The garden was pretty- very manicured, and had the same dirt paths as the rest of the parks we'd been to.    We wandered around for a short while, snapping photos along the way.  Overall, top notch palace park.

After the gardens, we both thought, "hmm, we should go back to the Palace and see if we can find the family."  Well, good thing we did, because we found Sonny and Lindsey sitting on a curb waiting for the parentals.  They had left the hotel minutes before we arrived, and had sat down to a lovely breakfast. Since we missed them in the morning, we all decided to grab lunch.  Ryan's parents were still exploring in the Palace shop, so we took advantage of the time to mess with the camera and the wide angle.  Result= weird misshapen heads.

Then, we had to decide on what to eat.  Always hard with a crowd.  Lindsey had a great idea to go to the market and buy lunch items for a picnic.  We were all on-board, so off we went to market, to market to buy us some food.

We first stopped for a photo opp at the oldest door in Madrid.

The market was full of fresh fruits and vegetables, wines, cheeses, meats, desserts, fresh potato chips- basically a lot of yummy fresh food.

We all decided to each buy a few items to contribute to the feast.  We bought gazpacho, but ate it too quickly to share (oops) potato chips, and mazapan for dessert.

Lindsey, and her arch-nemesis cheese
We ended up with a nice spread of meat, cheese, bread, chips, fruit and dessert.  We decided to take the picnic to go, and head back to the grassy areas near the Palace.  We stopped at a grocery store on the way to buy cups and cheap-o box wine.  (It was seriously only $2 euro).

And then we ate.  And watched for cops, because we weren't sure if it was ok to picnic.  Turned out to be fine.

After a leisurely meal, we cleaned up our area, and said good-bye to the family.  They were taking off a day early, so our plans were a bit off.

After we parted ways, we walked around a bit, then headed to the modern art museum, Reina Sofia.  We aren't big art museum folk, but we love modern art museums.  This one was huge though, and we were drained, so we toured the museum Mordoff-Style, aka quickly.  The most notable piece in the museum is Picasso's Guernica, which captures the bloody civil war.

The painting is pretty large, and was amazing to see in the flesh.  People kept taking pictures, and getting yelled at.  Not sure why people don't turn off their dang flashes if they are trying to take secret photos.

in the glass elevator.

sitting in the courtyard

museumed out
After our visit, we grabbed some coffee, then went back to the hotel to get ready for our wine and tapas tour.

Pretty cool, huh?

Anyway, we had to meet our tour at Plaza de la Villa.

But we saw this on the way:

I hated the creepy people that dressed up as Disney characters.

Anyway, I found the tour online,  called Walks of Spain.  Andres was our tour guide, and we had with us about eight other people.  Two of which were from Canada, and were going to be on our returning flight home.  Weird.

We started at the historical tavern, Casa Paco, for wine on tap called Valdepenas.  It was yummy.  It is an aromatized wine that is fortified with many flavors and spices.  And comes on tap- weird.  We paired it with olives.  You could also add fizzy water to make it a spritzer.

the original owners

the tap

the Valdepenas
Next stop was to D' Fabula for sherry, port and jamon and cheese.

But we weren't done yet.  We went to a restaurant and had a handful of other wines, and some tapas.

we called these fancy pizza pockets

muscles, that had a red sauce for dipping

cute dog in restaurant

ice cream to finish it off
After hours of yummy food, wine, and good conversation, we all left.  We wandered back to the hotel (wandered because we had a bit too much wine) and called it a night.

Puerta del Sol

Street near our hotel

Little did we know we had too much wine, not enough tapas, and basically no water.  Dun, dun, dun...

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