Saturday, March 5, 2011

Day 2 Madrid: the Prado and Parc Buen Retiro

We were all recovering the previous night's activities so we had the perfect leisurely day on Friday with a visit to the most famous museum in Spain, the Prado, followed by a relaxing afternoon in the Parc Buen Retiro, what I think of as Madrid's version of Central Park.  We were fortunate to have amazing warm weather and sunny blue skies in Madrid with daytime temperatures in the low 60's.  We didn't get going until 1pm and kicked the day off right with the perfect hangover brunch at La Plateria, conveniently located almost across the street from the Prado Museum.  I was a new person after the meal: the runny eggs over potatoes (why do Spanish potatoes taste so different, so creamy) with sausage was just heavenly and I loved the accidentally ordered (lost in translation) smoky fabada stew / soup with creamy beans and all sorts of porky bits in it, including blood sausage, pork belly, ham, chorizo.  It was so flavorful with incredible depth and richness.  Prices were a little on the high side for lunch (about $40 USD with 3 cafe con leches), but well worth it.
The Prado Museum and Velasquez
From the web, my favorite painting in the Prado, Goya's "Saturn Devouring One of His Sons." I just love how dark and disturbing it is; very visceral in real life even though it's not a very big painting
We really liked these broccoli trees for some reason

The park had a lovely variety of landscaped gardens, various fountains and denser foliage
We just sat by this (artificial) lake for a long time, soaking in the sunshine, people watching, listening to the live dixieland band, drinking a fanta; I swear, it felt like it was a scene right out of a movie
The band rocked

Random laundry hamper sculpture in the glass building in the middle of the park
Statue of a fallen angel, or the Devil

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