Museo Nacional Del Prado is the most famous museum in Spain, it includes painters such as Goya, Velazquez, Rembrandt, El Greco, and even a temporary exhibition featuring Picasso. Many of us enjoyed the war paintings and the Greek mythology scenes. There are over 3000 paintings in the museum causing us to spend over 2 hours there without even seeing half of what the museum had to offer. Some of us took a break in the café to drink café lattes and cappuccinos in order to refuel ourselves before looking at more paintings.
Botanical Gardens After the museum we split up for free time, some of us took a tour of the botanical gardens with Elaina our guide (she is 26 and a lot of fun!). The gardens were very pretty and we found a shaded bench to sit and socialize.
Shopping The rest of the group went back to Puerta del sol the center square to go shopping. There are tons of European commercial shops around the square, however as we said before, these places may not seem expensive, but after the exchange rate we all are a little surprised by how much we spent during the day. Some of the purchases included skirts, tank tops, dresses, and many of us found street vendors where we purchased jewelry.
Eating After our day at the museum and a little bit of free time, many of us sat down for food once again. Can you guess what we ate? Tapas!! We even had another round of octopus! Tapas for lunch however was just the start to a big day filled with eating.
Eating again! After our free time and just finishing our tapas around 3pm we arrived back at the hotel to enjoy a “small” dinner at 5pm. This “small” dinner consisted of bread, salad, fries, pork, and desert. This was all just a warm up for the main event…Eating dinner round 2.
Even more eating…We ate dinner again at 9pm, which is traditionally when the Spanish population eats their dinners. We all dressed up for the night and arrived via public bus to Puerta Del Sol to eat a traditional Spanish meal of, you guessed it, tapas! First, we had artisan cheese from Spain (one of everyones favorites). Next, we ate a tomato, cheese, onion, and olive salad, followed by queso croquettes (similar to cheese curds), a traditional Spanish omelet, which includes potatoes and eggs. We also had calamari and finally enjoyed a beef roast with mashed potatoes. Don’t forget dessert! Some of us tried egg and caramel pudding and others had fruit salad or yogurt with strawberry sauce. Our authentic Spanish meal was a success and we all left feeling full and satisified, ready to explore the central square of Madrid during the night.
We watched a Spanish band play and they asked some of the girls to dance with them, they obliged and so did coach. Afterwards we watched some other street performers and were harassed by local club recruiters to “come party”. Many Spanish people are not used to seeing tall American women with blonde hair. We eventually made our way back to the bus, but first we had to stop for Helado (ice cream) since we hadn’t had enough to eat already!