Madrid!! Nov 2018

Dear friends and family,

I love Madrid and Spain, and I think Don mainly feels that way.

After our two days in England, getting over jet lag and wandering around Kew Gardens, we took a morning flight to Madrid!! From the airport we took a Cabify (Spain’s version of an Uber) to our AirBnb; it was a little hard to find where the pickup was. We even got into the wrong car at one point, and after being effusively welcomed by the driver, it turned out to be the wrong vehicle and we were the wrong people. I thought it looked a bit upscale; it seemed more like a limo. Cabify’s software leaves a little something to be desired; I think they’re still working on it.

Finally found our right driver in the right car, and he drove us into Madrid. Our hostess said her apartment was across the street from the Prado, and it really was!! To museum junkies like us, this is the greatest location. It is right in the middle of 3 of the world’s greatest museums: the Prado, the Reina Sofia, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza.

This is the apartment. Our hostess, Chus, a charming woman, met us in the lobby and told us on our arrival that the apartment we were to rent had burst its water heater, flooded and now had no hot water. She generously put us into her apartment, which was almost next door and pretty much exactly the same size. It was spotlessly clean, and so we are attempting to be neater than our usual practice. This photo (above) was taken after 1.5 days.

This is the other side of the apartment. I’ve never been great at making beds.

And this is the view through the curtains. The Prado is right on the other side of those trees.

Went to the Prado the first day, and it turned out to be one of those museums which won’t let you take photographs, period. Don was not pleased and muttered throughout the day about fascism and hangovers from Franco. It is a fabulous museum, nonetheless. 

Next day we stopped at the Museum of Decorative Arts on the way to the Archaeology Museum. Love this Milton Glaser poster. 
That’s me on the ring finger and Don is on the pointer. We had our DNA done and it turns out I am point 2 percent West African. Don says his 2 percent Italian shows up as freckles.

I always go for the kitchens.

Another kitchen I loved. The whole room is covered in hand-painted tiles.

Cats are lusting after the fish.

Then we went to the Museo de Arqueologica  which was great fun. I won’t bore you with all the pictures, but here are a few. Above is a street scene only, not the museum.

The stunning Lady of Elche, an early Iberian woman of some importance to someone. They're not sure who she was.

Love the headdresses.

Haven’t been showing you much food. We grabbed some lunch at a very chi-chi place. Restaurante Albora, which I can’t really recommend. Although it’s a lovely restaurant and the food was good and the service even better, it seemed overpriced to me. Don doesn't agree, but then he never looks at the prices.

Below are tempura’ed prawns on guacamole. Very yummy.

All the ingredients were super good: tomatoes, olive oil, white asparagus and artichoke hearts. We requested without the ham - why? We felt a little overdosed on the delicious Spanish ham at that moment.

Then we rushed over to the Buen Retiro Park for our Segway tour. Exhilarating and a great way to see the huge park.

Don: Normally I think of ourselves as travelers, not tourists, but when we climbed on those Segways, we were tourists. 

Era again: But it was very fun. Don got into speed and turning, breaking and skidding. We at least did them when families with little kids weren't around, mostly in isolated places.

The Segways are very maneuverable and easy to control. They can also get up to a pretty good speed. That is our tour guide Luis in the background.

Zipping along.

If you can believe it, that is a mother and son on our tour. They are Brazilian. She had him when she was 19, but really, they looked very close in age. 

The Crystal Palace in Buen Retiro Park.

Retiro Park Lake

And from the other side of the lake as the sun is starting to set.

Dinner at Mas Al Sur, who claim the best sangrias in Madrid. Couldn’t argue with that; they were delicious.

Grilled vegetables in front and shrimp paella in the pan. Mas Al Sur is a very good casual restaurant. It is open almost all the time, which is great for those who would like to eat before 8:30 in the evening. Food is very good and the prices are reasonable.

❤️Love from Madrid,

Era and Don