Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Just tourist things.

Sleep was a bit weird last night. Exhausted from lack of sleep the previous night while flying from Miami combined with a 6 hour time change, I went to bed around 9:30pm local time and woke up around 8:30am local time. It was a somewhat fitful sleep, but the room was wonderfully quiet and dark.

Pardon the clutter.

After a chat with an amazingly friendly and helpful woman at the hotel desk, we got on the bus/metro for downtown around 11:00am and made it to downtown just in time for lunch. We had sandwiches at a Spanish chain called Pans and Company. It was good. Sadly, there is not a location in Seville.

The US fast food restaurants we've seen while traipsing around Madrid: McDonalds, KFC, Carl's Jr., Subway, Burger King and, for Rachel, Taco Bell:
Following the advice of the hotel desk worker, we took your basic tour bus around Madrid. This particular tour bus had two different circuits and unlimited on/off privileges. It had a headphone jack with audio commentary in about 15 different languages depending on which channel you selected. When you encountered something of interest, you just got off the bus, explored and got back on a later bus. Here are some random things we saw while riding and getting on and off the buses:

This generically called a "Cultural Center". It's a converted palace. It's hard to see here, but the main tower is being renovated. I like how the tarps covering the workers have images of what the tower should look like underneath. We saw this strategy used all over town on construction projects. I've never notice that being done in the US. Usually, it's just ugly old tarps until the renovation is complete.
 In front of the "Cultural Center" is the Fuente de Cibeles
Here's a long look south along Calle de Toledo:
 This is the door of the Catedral de la Almudena
 This is the Palacio de Real Madrid (not the soccer team). If you look closely, you can see Laura waving in the foreground.

Every large city has its big parks. We visited Parque de El Retiro:
with its lovely lake:
its mildly disturbing fish:

and its refreshing beer:
Speaking of "mildly disturbing fish", we saw this monkey fish for sale in the market place:
Actually, this isn't mildly disturbing, it's wildly disturbing. Also, who knew you could eat the things inside barnacles?
We grabbed a light meal at this market. Laura had some seafood tapas that she really liked. I had some small chicken curry wraps, also good. We took the public transportation back to our hotel which involved walking about a half a kilometer at the end. Here is an awesome Spanish manhole cover, very safe:
and inexpensive. Plus reduce, reuse, and recycle, the three r's of conservation.

Tomorrow we get up early for a 7:30am flight to Seville and hopefully settle into our home for the next year.