After a lovely day enjoying Retiro, we headed back to our hotel to check in and shower away more than 24 hours worth of grunge.
We were assigned room 529, overlooking a charming side street with several bars and night clubs. When we opened our door, the bed was still unmade from the last occupant. The front desk attendant was very embarassed and apologetic. She offered us a drink in the lounge while housekeeping cleaned, or another room if we prefer?
Still apologizing, she explained that the only other available room was 523, which looked out onto the central courtyard of the building. "Courtyard" is an optimistic word, don't you think?
We VERY happily accepted the new room! Not only did it mean that we could shower immediately, but it also meant that we would not be awakened at 1 AM as the nightlife below our window got into full swing. We highly recommend room #523.
After showering & putting on clean clothing, we were ready for our first lunch in Madrid. We ask the young lady at the front desk for a recommendation. We specified that we would like something reasonably priced, not elegant, & where more Madrilenos than visitors were likely to dine.
She sent us to a place on Cava Baja between Plaza Pueorta Cerrada and Plaza Puerta de Moros. (This is south of Plaza Mayor).
The restaurant is called "Taberna los de Lucio" At 4:30 in the afternoon it was a hopping place. It was also like a dive into the cold deep end for Dan (gastronomically speaking). He did not enjoy it at all.
I think it was a combination of the thick, thick cigarette smoke and the dish he ordered, which consisted of a variety of meats and sausages (one being blood sausage).
I enjoyed mine meal very much. Especially the pimentos rellenos, which was stuffed with a delicate cod mixture and topped with a rich but not overpowering sauce.
However, we did think the meal was too expensive. We had three plates to share & two glasses of wine. The bill with a small tip was almost 60 E.
Coming back to our hotel at about 6:00 PM, we strolled through a fairly deserted Plaza Mayor.