Friday, November 02, 2018

Madrid Day 5

We slept in for a bit, as we had no plans early in the day. We slept in until after 8:00 sometime. The noise was significantly less last night. There was still lots of activity outside, but no partiers, except for once in a while, we both slept pretty good.

After a quite delicious breakfast, we we headed to El Retiro Park, a really large park in the middle of town. It was really nice, but the park was kind of bipolar. Half of the park was really quiet, with lots of joggers running around, lots of greenery, pathways amongst the bushes and trees, fountains, small pounds, a few small cafes, really tranquil and quiet. The other half was the busy, touristy half, with a small lake where you could rent row boats, lots and lots of buskers doing different things, busy cafes, and generally really "in your face", less green space, and not as quiet. One of the coolest "buskers" was a costume of Predator, with a bowl out front for people to put money in. The funny part was, nobody was sure if there was anyone in the Predator costume. People were afraid to approach to get their picture with him/it, afraid it would move or jump, but it literally never moved. But good human statues are great at not moving, so people were standing around for a long time, just waiting for some movement, and nothing, except for a bit of swaying in the breeze. We decided there was actually nobody in the costume...which makes it that much more amazing. Somebody setup the costume, then went off to the pub, and would come back later in the day to a hat full of money!

We had a snack at a cafe in the park, then headed over to the Royal Palace, which we had tickets for at 1:30pm. We skipped the main line, because we had purchased tickets in advance, which is a good thing, as the line was looooong for non-ticket holders. The palace is really spectacular, maybe not on par with the Palace of Versailles in France (which was amazing), but still incredibly spectacular. It really makes you think (along with the churches), how much royalty and religions spent on such opulence, to put on a show that they are somehow better than the commoner....when really they poop just like everyone else. Regardless, it was still pretty cool to see.
After that, we walked around various shops for a while, along all the small alleyways littering the city, with so many shops. Tracy can't get enough of the shopping (thanks Mom, since you made her buy stuff, she can't stop). She's got lots of cool clothes. We went for an early (by Spanish standards) supper (around 4:30-5:00) to a pasta place called Nina's Pasta Bar, which was rated 4.9/5 on Google, and a bit out of the tourist area. When we went in, it was busy, and she (Nina) apologized for not having any English menus, she didn't imagine that she's have so many English speakers coming in, so she was working on getting English menus. She explained all the menu items, and we choose what we wanted, and it was amazing. She's from Italy, and they specialize in Italian good. When we were done, she asked us how we heard about her place, and we told her she came up in Google when I searched for pasta, with a rating of 4.9/5. Well, she was sooooo happy to hear that! She did a little dance, and offered us a shot of liqueur on the house, she was so ecstatic! She's was so friendly, really enjoyed going there.

We then headed to the Temple of Debod, an temple gifted to Spain by Egypt back in the 1970's for something that I can't remember right now. They say to go at sunset, which we did. Along with everyone else in the city! The sunset was very nice, it was cool to see an Egyptian temple in Madrid. As I understand, this was an actual temple in Egypt, and it was dismantled and moved to Madrid and constructed again. Anyway, very cool.

After that we walked and shopped and stopped here and there for a drink or snack until we finally made our way back to the hostel. Beautiful weather today, the evening was nice. So many buskers all over the place with the nice weather.

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