Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Madrid: Day 4

Today was an extremely long, yet amazing day! I started off with a nice, long trip to Museo del Prado (Duh! You already know this, since you read my previous post). I was so excited to finally see those paintings, and it really was one of the top three highlights of this trip.

After the wondrously amazing time I spent studying the Black Paintings, I came back to the apartment and took a nap to bring my brain out of mushiness. Then, my Mom and sister brought hot dogs back to the apartment for lunch. They were quite delicious. One was plain with ketchup and mustard and the other had french fried onions and a mixture of sauces. They were fillings. And since we bought like a gagillion hot dogs, the owner of the restaurant gave us a bunch of free suckers! Free dessert for the win! Then, we left to check off some of the biggest and best tourist spots in all of Madrid. We went to Plaza del Sol, which some of us had been to (see Madrid: Day 2), but that was the closest metro stop to our next destination. While grandma was checking out some of the staples of the square that I had already seen, I went to the Haribo gummy store. One of my favorite foods in the world is gummy bears, and shortly behind it, any other gummies. This was a sight to see. I got to meet the Haribo bear when I entered the store and bought just about everything in the store (exaggeration alert). From there, we took a stroll over to Plaza Mayor, where all of the executions used to be held. It was quite the social gathering spot back in the day, and it still is. It is full of overpriced restaurants and specialty shops, but it is quite the experience just being there and experiencing the history that the place holds.

Me and my good friend, the Haribo gummy bear.

Plaza Mayor: Execution Central.

Our next stop on this wonderful scenic tour was the Mercado de San Miguel, a food market in the heart of the city. It was quite lovely, but I didn't really enjoy it because my legs were starting to feel the pain from standing on marble for three hours this morning. I'm sure if I went back when I was feeling good and was hungry, then I would fall in love. We stepped outside the market and sat down at a café to drink our afternoon cup of coffee. It was very fast and slightly refreshing.

Shortly after leaving the café, we approached the Cathedral of Madrid. It was very beautiful, but not quite as impressive as the other cathedrals I've seen this past week. It was built between 1879 and 1993, so it was quite a bit more modern than the seventeenth-century cathedrals I have gotten used to. Right next to it was the royal palace. It was beautiful and had wonderful views of the courtyard, gardens, and basically all of Madrid.

The entrance to the Cathedral of Madrid.
The courtyard and entrance to the royal palace.

Our final stop on this historic tour of Madrid was Debod Temple, Egyptian ruins that had been donated to Spain many years ago. Egypt donated them because they would have been destroyed from the construction of a dam and the Spaniards didn't want them to go to waste. They were transported and installed in 1972 and sit on a bluff overlooking all of Madrid. We sat there and watched the sunset while eating cheese, bread, and olives, talking amongst each other, and seeing who could spit their olive pits the farthest. It was quite the charming evening. This was really the perfect ending to yet another great day in Spain. We only have one more day and I am really going to miss this place. I have really enjoyed spending this time here and learning about the people and their culture. 

Debod Temple.

Two of my friends sitting near me in the park and watching the sunset.

Aden and Jorge

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