Walking Around

We bailed on a Spanish cooking class that would have taken up most of the day as we espied a few places on yesterday’s tour that we thought it would be fun to visit, hence spent the day walking around the city (as opposed to yesterday’s bus excursion).

The first essential stop, after waking late, was the Chocolatería San Ginés, Pasadizo de San Ginés, No. 5 (Abierto toda la noche: Open all night) for a nourishing breakfast of hot chocolate and a plate full of churros, the Spanish long, deep fried doughnut.

Walked from their to the Raina Sofia museum only to discover that it was closed on Tuesdays although we did get to see Jean Nouvel’s dramatic addition to the old building including some clear glass exterior elevators. Disappointing elsewise, though, as we couldn’t see the Guernica, the Picasso work that Sandy has never seen and I haven’t seen since the late 70s at MOMA in New York.

Trying to make the best of this, we sauntered up to the Thyssen, www.museothyssen.org, which, as Julian Porter describes, is the link between the Prado and the Sofia. An excellent permanent collection and a very fine show called “Monet and Abstraction” on the artistic lineage between Monet and the abstract expressionists some 75 years later.

After walking around, I’d say that Madrid (and Barcelona), despite being old cities, have done a number of things Toronto could have done but, sadly, didn’t, two of which are preserve our waterfront as Barcelona (and any number of other cities with a modicum of forethought) has done and like Madrid, bury the telephone wires underground. Not only that but every taxi we’ve taken is clean and nice.

Went back to Estado Puro for another excellent “modern” tapas lunch especially as we were flagging a bit and it’s across the street from our hotel, the hotel, now 100 years old, that Prince Rainer and Grace Kelly spent the first night of their honeymoon.

I conked out promptly after lunch, Sandy had some Presidential duties to attend to so she visited the Supreme Court and the reception at the Ambassador’s residence while I hung around here re-energizing.