The Finale of Madrid
Hola from Madrid! Nathan and Montanna here.
Today was our third and final day in Madrid. Tomorrow we head off to Salamanca.
The day started late with breakfast at the hotel. Some Spanish staples such as hot dogs and mushrooms filled our stomachs. We also bought some traditional Spanish spread– Nocilla (like nutella but better)– from the neighboring supermarket to put on our toast.
The bus left for the Museo del Prado (the Louvre of Spain). On the way our wonderful tour guide Pilar pointed out some attractions. As the gang waited in line for the museum, the blazing sun provided us comfort and light we were so wrongly deprived of in the US. We enjoyed the street music of a guitarist and his friendly sparrow sitting on his hand. In the museum, we split into two groups. The Prado is known for housing many famous works including pieces from Goya, Velazquez, and El Greco. Some highlights includes Las Meninas by Velazquez and the Dark Paintings by Goya. It was interesting to analyze these pieces with our tour guides, exploring lighting choices and perspective in each painting. We even got some souvenirs from the gift shop.
For lunch we had some free time. The majority of the group, however, followed Señor Fernandez because of his knowledge of the city. We ended up at a restaurant called Casa de Cervantes. We happily gave ordering power to Señor because most of us were lost at the Spanish menu. I’m glad we did because we experienced traditional Spanish tapas such as Jamon Iberico (Iberian Ham), Shrimp with garlic, Calamares (calamari), and Croquettes.
After rolling ourselves out the door, we walked off our lunch with a trip to the “Central Park of Madrid.” The scenery was absolutely stunning and the entire group had smiles on their faces as we soaked everything in and took many photos. Inside the park we saw a glass palace with white stone statues inside, a park lake where couples rented row boats and children fed ducks, and beautifully manicured landscaping.
We took a quick siesta at the hotel to recharge before eating dinner at the hotel and heading out to see the show, Carmina Burana. Let’s just say the show pushed the edge of creativity. It featured everything from opera to solo flute, chicken costumes to a vat of symbolic red wine, and a reorchestration of the famous original opera for two piano and a slew of percussive instruments. It was definitely a quirky homage to Bacchus, the God of Wine.
After leaving the show with more questions than answers, Señor Fernandez took us to a Madrid hot spot. Chocolatería San Ginés is a famous shop known for their churros and hot chocolate. It’s important to note that Spanish hot chocolate is not drinking chocolate but closer to what we know as chocolate syrup. We filled our bellies with churros and porras (thicker churros) dipped in chocolate at a crisp 10 pm at night before walking back to the hotel for checkin. What a day!
Montanna and Nathan