We saw “masterpieces,” (I put it in quotes because I think rating something like a painting is totally subjective and most times I have a hard time agreeing) by Valasquez and Goya and Bosch. It was lovely, though it became a bit redundant because most of the paintings were of people. I don't know these people. So seeing paintings of them meant very little to me. However, there was this sculpture that was absolutely amazing. I risked arrest, since cameras were off limits, to bring you the picture. Amazing right! In person, you can hardly tell that the veil over the lady is made from stone. I swear you could walk up and pull it right off like it was cloth. It was my favorite piece in the museum.
We roamed the museum for a good 2-3 hours until I had absorbed all the 'culture' I could. We then proceeded to get on a Tour of Madrid bus. You know I love them. This one wasn't as good as the others because we had to listen to a recorded voice instead of someone giving us all the details and inside information. This was a bit bland and mundane but it gave us a broader view of the city.
When that was done we got ready for the Real Madrid game. We navigated the subway with relative ease (mostly following the crowds). We arrived to the Santiago Bernabeu ready for action and boy did we get it. In the end we had 5 goals. 3 for Madrid and 2 for Osasuna. The 2nd and final game winning goal from Cristiano Ronaldo came in the 88th minute. Awesome.
The crowds here were different than the English crowds. Less cheering and WHOLE LOT more smoking. Here in Spain apparently they haven't made smoking illegal...anywhere. We have been to several restaurants with people smoking in them. Its annoying.
After the match we walked to a different subway station because the stadium station was packed. We had a good little walk and made it safely back to our stop. Then nearing 11pm we found a place to eat. Pans was the name and it's basically a Spanish version of Subway.
This morning we packed and headed to check out the Royal Palace. On the way we stopped at the Museo del Jamon, yes, the museum of ham. It's actually not a museum but a walk in eatery featuring...hog. I made up a song and couldn't get it out of my head. I think I embarrassed my dad when I started singing “The Museo del Jamon.” hahaha it was funny...to me.
As I said, the palace was closed but I snapped a few pictures while I was in the neighborhood.
There are something like 2400 rooms in this place. You don't realize how big it is until you start walking by it and 10 minutes later you're still walking next to it. Look at the picture below and see if you can find the men in it. That should put it into a better scale. Unfortunately, for the 2nd time the palace was closed, this time because of a private party or ceremony or something.
This threw our plans off because now we had 5 hours to kill with pretty much nothing to do. The cinema was closed, we shopped a little, walked a little, and did our best to waste some time. This is a shot of a street leading to the Plaza Mayor. Thought it was cool. We finally stopped and ate out in the Plaza de Santa Ana. At the plaza they have these little Asian people that come up and try to get you to sit down for a massage. “Massage?” They go to the point of touching you and rubbing your shoulders. “Massage?” Some lady followed my dad for a good 20 steps rubbing his shoulders before she decided it was a lost cause. This time I saw them coming and started massaging his shoulders before the could get to us. They got the picture and I laughed about it.
We sat down at an eatery in the Plaza Santa Ana and ordered some tapas. In between one of the courses some random lady comes by and pokes our uneaten Spanish omelet and asks if she could have it...as if we were gonna eat it after she touched it! So we gave her a bit of our food and she put it in a plastic bag and just walked off.
We ordered some pallea, I think that's spelled correctly, its pronounced pie-ay-yah. The waiter said it would take 30 minutes and it took about an hour. It was REALLY good but we had to eat and run at that point. We got to the hotel and nearly missed our ride to the airport on some timing mix up. Luckily we got there 3 hours early thanks to the travel agent's desire to cover her butt. 3 hours in the airport...ugh. Miraculously, my mind was working and put it together that Spanair and United are part of the Star Alliance...BAM! VIP Spanair Lounge. I took a siesta.
Now we are in Barcelona. Its raining and is supposed to do the same tomorrow. Here are some random pictures. This chick had on hammer pants...not the first pair I had seen...it was the 2nd pair. This was a street vendor getting arrested last night at the Plaza Mayor. He put up a good fight.