¡Ay, Caramba!

So yesterday I left you hanging at the Buen Retiro Park. I’ll blog about it separately since it is so special it deserves its own entry. But on my first afternoon in Madrid, I’ve only got a few hours of sunlight left so I’m in a hurry to cut across the park to get to the Paseo de Prado, which is more or less a museum row,

to get my bearings straight. I’ve already planned two nights at the museums (the Prado and then the Museo Reina Sofía)

so I want to get their exterior shots while the light is still good. The portable Tourist Information office seen below is one of the more clever things I’ve seen on my trips anywhere. Information on wheels is definitely the way to go…

I get a city map from them and they tell me that today is a national holiday so the museums are all closed, which also explains why the streets are deserted, even near the busy Atocha train station:

I’m bummed out that I won’t get to visit the museum later today as planned, but that means I now have more time to go look for some Spanish food. But as luck would have it, the only places that are open today near here are not exactly what I have in mind…

so I choose Thai–but at least the wine is Spanish!

May I say that two years of college Spanish taken in the last century is only useful for getting drunk (una más cerveza) and paying for getting drunk (la cuenta, por favor)? I find out quickly that English is not the most favored language in Madrid, and I love it! Any exercise in using my corroded Spanish while getting lost around the city is going to be fun. This could only lead to trouble. ¡Ay, caramba!

After dessert my full belly and I begin our promenade…

and on some streets I have a feeling I could actually be anywhere in a big city in the US. In fact, some streets near my hotel look a lot like NYC–at least until you start looking at street signs and see these lovely signs instead:

Near here,

I find the last days of a Christmas market:

I walk a bit more, and just behind me, something amazing is about to reveal itself…

Stay tuned.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *