Madrid Travel Blog› entry 21 of 28 › view all entries
I think we hit a point when we just needed rest. Yesterday wasn´t really enough.
Madrid is a big city and has a lot to offer, but after our constant travelling, and day to day movements, through Sevilla, Grenada, Ronda, and the first few days in Madrid we needed to relax a bit. Today we slept in a appreciated the daily life in Spain a bit. While this will likely be an overstament it seemed that places really don´t start to open until later, 10a or 11, so when we woke at 10 we weren´t really missing anything. After living in the US all my life and having a job that requires I start at 7am, I´m not sure how much works gets done with this kind of a schedule, but it seems to be working.
We had stayed up late doing tapas for dinner again...my new favorite part of travelling to spain. After getting up we had Donor Kebab for breakfast and then hit the internet for a bit to catch up on our blogs up through yesterday.
As we walked around during the day we could feel the excitement in the air. Madrid was host to the European Soccer Finals, Milano Italy vs. Germany. People were chanting, wearing their team colors, and drinking...a lot...even at noon. Just people watching was fun.
By this time it was after 2:30 so we headed to the Reina Sophia musuem which is free on Saturdays after 2:30. Kim really wanted to see the Guernica painting by Picasso. It was a bit abstract for me but the story behind it was great and the museum had a lot of background information including photos taken as it was being painted, and generally history about the event.
The painting was originally commissioned well before the bombing of the city Guernica which is located in the Basque region which generally the north west part of Spain where it borders France (there´s a related Basque region of France as well and many Basques would likely call it a single region) Picasso didn´t know what he was going to paint. Generally people were opposed to the Spanish dictator, Franco, and wanted to help educate the rest of world of his treatment of them. The Basque people were especially opposed to him. Franco partnered with Hitler, and permitted Hitler to bomb the city of Guernica. This was Picasso´s inspiration. He painted it and when he died willed it to the US with the condition that the work be returned to Spain once the country stabilized. It had never been housed in Spain while he was alive.
The museum was otherwise a contemporary museum which means there was a lot of odd stuff there. On one wall they had a video of people playing cards...is this really art? We saw some Salvador Dali stuff as well.
We left there and then hung out in the nearby plaza eating some calamari, a pizza, and drinking sangria. After being on our feet all day, most of it in the sun, then wondering the museum our legs were tired so we returned to the room for a break. I ended up taking a short nap (the best kind) then we headed out for the game.
That night we scoured the area near the the Plaza Sol for a good place to watch the game at. Many bars wanted 6€ cover to enter, but we were able to find a great Irish pub serving Guiness beer with the game on multiple televisions. Dinner was a Spanish take on fish & chips, not bad...but not the same. They had pan fried some cod with the skin on, instead of batter deep frying cod without the skin. It was a little different, but not bad.
The italians won the game and went crazy in the bar. Our waiter was bummed, he said he hated the italians. During the game we met some really Irishmen who had come that day for the game but were staying for the week. They were a blast to talk to. One of them (named Brian as like me) told me not to have kids, explaining that they were all ´wankers´. He also said Kim was too good for me, in a very polite way. We had a great time watching the game.