Woke up feeling sore, but I've definitely felt worse, but definitely held all of the weight on the hips. We had breakfast with Abraham, typical croissants and juice, then said our goodbyes as he had a salsa class to get to and we, much to see. First things first we still hadn't seen all of Retiro Park so we hopped on the Metro and away we went, first wandering into a random art gallery full of very abstract paintings and next making our way to the Crystal Palace. Such a beautiful building I only wish we could have enjoyed in the sunlight instead do the rain, but nonetheless a palace made of glass...wow!
Next on the agenda, time to get lost...on purpose! We randomly walked through the streets enjoying all of the stores and admiring how many tapas bars Madrid can possibly support, our epiphany...a lot! We shared a multi course lunch including bread, paella, short ribs, cheesecake and a glass of wine for only 12 euros.
We arrived in Puerta del Sol, one of the main downtown hubs for nightlife and the location of the Oso and Madroño a statue signifying Madrid's past plentiful presence of bears and Madrona trees.
Also one of the more beautiful and artistic Metro entrances.
As the sun sets we make our way over to the Prado museum for the 6:00-8:00 free museum hours. We take in all of the Goya, Velasquez, Tiziano, Rembrandt and sculptures we can and just before they start to rush people out we are able to spend 10 minutes admiring Bosch' "Garden of Earthly Delights" triptych which is just endlessly amazing. Look up a better version there was obviously no photography allowed.
After getting herded out of the Prado we had enough time to catch the last 45 minutes of the Reina Sofia Museums free hours. So we went straight up to he top floor and waded through a amazing photography collection showcasing a lot of early 1900's work including the toil and work of tiremakers, coal miners and more. We had only just gotten to the 2nd of three floors when we were ushered out of this museum. Oh well probably enough art for the day. And almost time to meet Abraham for tapas/dinner and drinks in Purta del Sol at 10:30. The first place he took us included Northern Spain tapas with a salmon brochette, Spanish omelette and a chicken pepper snack, and of course beer. Next was a real treat we strolled right into this wonderful little Jamòn place. With a fantastic plate of Bellota Jamòn (these pigs are fed an acorn diet the last three months of their lives to enhance the flavor) really a delicacy for us to enjoy with our wines. Lastly we went to one more place where we split a portion of huevos estrallados another Spanish delicacy, egg cooked with cheese, potatoes and Jamòn. So good but so filling. At this time it was late, cold and there was no more room for any food or beer. As the Metro only runs to the zone we are staying until 11, we hailed a cab back for a pricy 30 euros to enjoy a good nights sleep.