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Published: April 24th 2013
Changing of the Guard
Notice the reflection of the royal palace in their shining armour!
We got a great night's sleep: it's very quiet here (our room is on the interior "courtyard") and although the walls are paperthin, our neighbors didn't make much noise. We got up around 9:00am, had coffee in an Italian cafe across the street, and planned our walk.
Starting from our hotel we walked clockwise in a large circle, taking in most of the main plazas, and many of the famous buildings in the historic center. We stopped for lunch in small restuarant, eating (as we try to) from the daily specials menu. Good food...
We returned for a short siesta, and then went out again, hoping to get into some of the musuems that are free on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons.... No luck: only for EU citizens, and the lines were hours long anyway....
Instead we walked to the Prado and visited the Royal Botanical Gardens nearby, which date back to 1781. On the way, we were in a huge protest lead by firefighters for better public services. On the way back, we stopped for tapas and watched people watching a Real Madrid game in every bar...The city is starting to fill with soccer fans before the big
game on Sunday...There are also many groups of Spanish high school students. Almost all the tour groups are Spanish speakers and we've seen very few Americans.
It's 9:30pm and the streets are filled with people of all ages....strolling, shopping, sitting in cafes...
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