waking up felt good today as the jet lag slowly started to dissipate and we were eager to explore. we had a rough agenda in mind, but weren’t in a rush. I took that to mean go in the only direction that will take you off the map and we ended up in a neighborhood I still can’t identify. the silver lining of this, though, was stumbling upon the sweetest pastry shop that entertained my spanish pursuits and responded in comparable english practice. I was gifted a portion of Huesos de Santo (Saint’s Bones) which were the most lovely marzipan treats honoring the holiday celebrated the day before. I grabbed a pastry and was off. eventually, we found what we were looking for.
the royal palace was a treat! the gardens are beautiful but not overpowering ( ahem, Versailles) and the palace itself is rich in unique rooms spilling a particular story. like the retirees we are, we purchased the audio tour and I would highly recommend you do the same. we wandered through for hours, taking breaks in front of sun soaked windows here and there.
after, we ventured next door to the crypt below the Almudena Cathedral. it wasn’t want we expected, per se, but it was chilling and rather interesting to see the flowers scattered over the tombs below us.
back above ground we journeyed down calle major in search of the place that i’d been dreaming about since I first spotted it on my favorite planning site: Puturru De Foie in the Mercado San Anton. the building is unassuming as is your first impression when you walk inside, but keep going… we took the escalators up and were greeted by a food-court style arrangement teeming with locals-some standing, others standing over patrons waiting for their tables…us included in the latter group within moments. L grabbed a table and waited as I went on a spree at Puturru De Foie. As the name may indicate it’s duck and foie everything including salumi, burgers, kofte and cheeses from the region. and more…lots more! I grabbed a burger (not just any… ox topped with foie), a piece of foie and duck sausage. oh and a bottle of wine. I told you, spree. we lounged at that coveted table and ate our fill of game products then ordered more. it was a dream. you must promise to go when you visit madrid.
after, we drifted in the direction of the parque del retiro we loved so much the day before. a time later, we arrived at the reina sofia for the free hours. while impressive and the home of picasso’s Guernica we are decidedly not educated in modern art and left somewhat dumfounded.
with a train out of town early in the morning we were both thinking the same thing… olives, jamon, eheese, chocolate and wine in the room. we stopped in El Corte Ingles and were greated by every possible options for all.see you in seville!