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Published: April 20th 2018
Flight to Madrid
Another successful transatlantic flight is complete! Cody and I flew Iberian Airlines on nonstop flights to Madrid on April 19th. Being short has its advantages sometimes, because my leg room seemed much more spacious than Cody's! After being served a surprisingly good airplane meal (about the same standard as dorm food), consisting of an odd cinnamon carrot salad, cheesecake, and chicken with potatoes, we managed to tackle some good movies/TV shows on the flight:
Kelly - Wonder, Greatest Showman, Big Little Lies (Pilot Episode)
Cody - Jumanji, Greatest Showman, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, Downsizing
Eight hours later we arrived at Madrid (12:30 am CST, 7:30 am Madrid time). It took a little bit of time to figure out how to take the subway to get to our hotel near the Centro, but we made it! Madrid - Day 1
Cody and I managed to get to our hotel without much error. Luckily, we were able to get early access to our room to drop our things off and freshen up and we decided to go explore Madrid. Our first stop was the Prado Museum, which is one of the
most famous art museums worldwide. After a 45 minute wait in line while enjoying a crossword puzzle (thanks, Mom!), we entered what we didn't know was going to turn into the longest
couple of hours. Both of us went in with the expectation that this would be the only art museum we'll visit, as both of us are still pretty over looking at mass quantities of artwork after our Italy/Greece trip which was endless displays of art. In the words of Cody, "It's all the same. There's Jesus, famous monarchs, and a few scenic pictures. They all run together after a while." Yes, they really do. On jet lagged bodies going off of little sleep, probably not our best idea to go there, but it was worth it for some of the noteworthy pieces. We managed to see work by El Greco, Diego Velazquez, Francisco de Goya, and more. Cody found his favorite artist there was Claudio de Lorena due to the larger emphasis on landscape versus religion/monarchs. I enjoyed looking at all the royal portraits, which I know probably comes as a shock. We made it mostly through two of the three floors and skipped the third to get
Train going downtown
On our way from the airport to downtown Madrid using the subway system!
outside on the beautiful day.
Next stop was the Parque de el Retriro. This park is 350 acres of perfectly manicured greenery. This land was owned by the Spanish Monarchy before becoming a public park in the nineteenth century. We stopped at a cafe to enjoy watching people on rowboats in a pond, but realized quickly we were falling asleep sitting up! (Not good for only being 2:00 pm...). We managed to wander through most parts of the park, and made a stop at the Crystal Palace. It is a building made of iron and glass and was originally intended to be a large greenhouse. It was beautiful! The rest of the park was very pretty as well. If in Madrid, we would definitely recommend going through this park and stopping to see the Palace.
After a much needed break at Starbucks (4:00 pm), we went on a self-guided walking tour through el Centro de Madrid, ultimately deciding to go to the Mercado de San Miguel. This much resembles the Milwaukee Public Market, with vendors selling various food and drink throughout the building. We each settled on a glass of wine, and then made our way to dinner.
We obviously had to enjoy some tapas for our first Spanish meal. We ate croquetas de jamon, chorizo frito, and ordered paella mixas as well. Paella mixas came with shrimp, crawfish (whole), some other fish, and a little
bit of pork. Trying to like seafood more, I managed to eat all the varieties of seafood, even the crawfish which came head and eyes attached and all (gross, lol). After a successful first meal in Spain, we trekked back the 40 minute walk to our hotel. As I was setting up the laptop to write, Cody managed to fall asleep within about two minutes and is probably out for the count. 😊
Today was a long, but successful day. We both enjoyed Madrid more than we thought we would, but are glad we are only here for the day. Tomorrow we are headed to Lisbon! Hopefully we are able to beat the jet lag and get a fresh start to the day bright eyed. Enjoy your day!!
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