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Published: December 5th 2017
We find a café which opens at 8.30 on a Sunday, OK we did have to wait outside for it to open. Within about 10 minutes the place was packed which begs the question. Clearly the sudden influx of customers was stressful as the service crew got in to a heated argument and the queue got longer, people kept asking if we were finished (so they could get our table) but we hadn't even been served yet. The owner deciding that all was under control got in his minivan and drove off leaving us to deal with the staff. I would have suggested a Performance Review but I just wanted a coffee and one of those little white chocolate pastries.
Given our success at the archeological museum we decided to have another crack at the royal palace. It was open, however while we were waiting in the queue a busload of Chinese tourists turns up, which certainly made me feel at home. Now I don't want to be racist but this is about the worst thing that can happen to you especially when you are touring a building. Chinese tourists are desperate to stay together and will go to great
lengths to stay in the group. To be fair they weren't so bad, just the usual. They took photos of everything including the "Don't take photos" sign. There was an old bloke who had a power kip on the throne. He must of felt all those ropes and bollards were inconvenient, the obligatory testing of the brushstrokes in the artwork in case those devious little Spanish people had slipped a couple of reproductions in, the casual sidling up to the front of the queue and the astonishment that the queue is for tickets and not the toilet. The highlight of the Royal Palace is the dining room which the king still uses, although I suspect only when he's got a few mates over as it is quite large.
Next it was off to the Naval Museum. We walked along the Paseo Del Prado which was closed to traffic. There was a great busker who was playing sax and his dog howls along, proving that every man and his dog was out and about on this glorious Sunday. Now I love a good naval museum, almost as much as an archeological one (quite keen on those torture museums as well).
The naval museum is a good one, with 10s of model ships, cannons, navigational instruments, uniforms etc.. Again laid out in chronological order.
The kids were keen for paella so Constance found a "new on the Madrid dining scene" paella restaurant which was no longer new, more non existent, but we found a little bar off a a lovely sunlit plaza. Had a couple of beers and a couple of paellas. Then we headed back for a siesta.
Tonight we have dinner at Amazonica. On the way the streets of Madrid are dazzling with lights for Christmas. Combined with the buildings it looks amazing. It is without a doubt the most interesting restaurant I've been in with the décor done like an Amazon rainforest. The bar was heaving, but the restaurant was a lot quieter especially given the only booking we could get was at 8pm a good 2 hours before any self respecting Spaniard would consider dining (this was possibly the equivalent of the tourist area). The cocktails came in their own vessels like the metal pineapple for the Amazonicolada. Interesting entrees, meat from an Argentinian grill and great desserts, although it is possible that my gelati
selection was supposed to be a shared plate. There was a complaint at dinner. Constance and Gus were not so keen on the "siesta" and felt it was boring. Personally I was quite enjoying it. So basically Becs and I got a "Needs Improvement". We have taken the feedback on-board and will be scrapping afternoon siestas from now on.
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