Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Day 9 ~ Madrid

Today Bonnie and I took to the streets of Madrid.  We slept in a little, had a leisurely breakfast, then headed out map in hand.  Our first destination was Plaza Mayor, the historical center of Madrid.  Of course it took a few detours to get there because I wasn’t really sure how to get there.  It was fun asking various people “Donde esta Plaza Mayor?” Below is what we found.


We next stopped at the hot chocolate and churros restaurant, San Gines. Opening in 1894, it is the most famous chocolateria in Madrid, open 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. The chocolate is dark and so thick that people do not drink it, but spoon it when they are done dipping their churros. 


Next stop was Mercado de San Miguel.  This is an upscale market place filled with all sorts of food and beverages. Of course I was blown away by this sea creature (aka monkfish) at the fish market.


Gradually we made our way to the city center to the Fuente de Neptuno.


We walked all around the fountain, but first stopped to take a peek at the exterior of the Prado Museum.


While there, a gentleman was playing classical guitar.  We enjoyed it so much that Bonnie purchased a CD.


On a hill next to the Prado is a beautiful 16th century church, San Jerónimo el Real.


A forty minute walk got us back to our hotel to rest a bit and begin packing.  At 6:00 most of the group gathered for an evening walk covering some of what Bonnie and I had covered earlier in the day. After the walk, a group of ten of us had reservations to eat at Restaurante Botin.  A friend of ours highly recommended the restaurant, and we are so glad we went.  Its claim to fame is that it is the oldest restaurant in the world according to Guinness Book of Records, being founded in 1725. It was also frequented by Ernest Hemmingway back in the day. The food was delicious, and we could not believe the portion sizes.  Below Bonnie and I are sipping on some sangria.  We ended up purchasing the pitcher..


So now we are busy packing for our early departure to Toledo and Cordoba tomorrow morning. We have had a wonderful time in Madrid and loved how everything was so conveniently located to our hotel.

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