Blackout shades & quiet room equal sleeping in. If a child hadn't slamed the door across the hall and yelled at his sibling, we may have slept into the afternoon. As it was, we woke at 10:30; left the room at 11:00 & were eating breakfast at 11:15.
Our first breakfast location in Madrid became our only breakfast location, Zahara -- restaurante, cafe, cerveceria -- on Gran Via -- for several reasons.
It was conveniently around the corner from our hotel.
It was amazingly reasonably priced for the location.
The food was very good (if perhaps a bit boringly based on eggs, eggs, eggs.)
And most important, we really liked the waiter.
Since Sunday is "free" day in all of Madrid's museum, we decided to head over to the Prado to pay our respects.
We really were not in the museum mood, still craving long walks and fresh air, but how can you go to Madrid and not at least stroll through the Prado?
And stroll through is exactly what we did. Stopping only occasionally to remind ourselves that we were in the presence of so many masters, we really did just skim. Just to clarify... I don't recommend this approach.
Dan commented that he wondered if the masters painted with any sense of posterity. Did Rubens sit at his easel and contemplate who may be admiring his work some 500 years later? Good question. One to chew on.
After the Prado we continued our wondering and evidentually found ourselves on a street called Calle de Jesus. There was a little tapas bar called El Olivar calling out to us.
We shared a plate of tosta misto. I thought it was yummy! Dan was still struggling to appreciate Spanish food, but he is getting better at it. I promised him he could order the next time. He was a bit put off by some of the toppings.
This tapas bar is owned by a very nice propriator named, Jose Antonio Sanz. Senor Sanz has twice had his 15 minutes of fame. First he was an aclaimed matador. And second, he was a big winner on a game show.
I apologize for the poor quality of the photograph. Someone brushed past me just as I was snapping it. Senor Sanz, was very pleased that we noticed the photo on the wall and asked him about his long gone glory days.
Another very intesting yet unexplained oddity at El Olivar was the cubby holes above the tables with ring binders in them. I pulled one down thinking that it would be a sort of scrapbook of Senor Sanz's matador triumphs. Instead it was a book of days. Literally...
It held hand written calendar pages for evey year between 1400 and 1700! You could flip to a page to find out what day of the week any particular date fell on. We chose Dan's birthday in the year 1649 (300 years before his birth). Turns out, it was a Wednesday.
We assumed that the other binders we saw were for other decades. Very, very strange. I can't imagine the amount of time this unusual hobby took to complete.