Monday, March 8, 2010
Set the alarm for 8:30 am…out the door by 9:30; we went to a nearby restaurant called Nebraska for breakfast. I had the “Inglish” plan: scrambled eggs, ham and toast with “American” coffee. The others didn’t fare so well as they didn’t get what they thought they’d ordered…it got lost in the translation even with using an “English” Menu. Their hot chocolate was almost pudding. Barbara’s pancakes were sweet crepes with whipped cream and rich syrup that was more like dessert than breakfast. Jim faired better with a cheese and ham sandwich, not too bad except for the hot chocolate. Fun and good food…we laughed a lot. Suddenly there was a Television crew in the restaurant with two actors. They filmed a commercial for the restaurant while we were there…I think we were the extras!
We headed to the train station by way of the Metro for our planned trip to Toledo. We also planned to purchase our tickets to Valencia for Wednesday and Barcelona on Thursday. Those we purchased but the trip to Toledo was cancelled as the tickets were all sold out until 1:30 pm and we would have had to come back on the 5 pm unless we wanted to stay until the 9:30 pm train. It’s only half an hour each way…but the times were so crazy we decided not to go.
Jim and Barbara were both a bit under the weather so they headed back to the hotel and I elected to do something very different by myself. I continued on the Metro to the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu Stadium: home to the Real Madrid F.B. That’s the Madrid Soccer Team to Americans; one of the world’s top soccer teams.
Arrived without any problems and found the place to purchase a ticket to tour the stadium. Wow..what can I say…it started in one of the top areas for an aerial view of the stadium and field, then down to the private box level and on through a great museum that also included just a bit of history on their basketball team. All the trophies were displayed in glass cases, shoes, uniforms, many photos…all fun to see and they even had photographers stationed along with route that would take photos of you on a green screen and then put you in the arms of your favorite players! Prices were steep so I decided to just take my own photos. I kept finding myself on lower and lower levels and finally ended up on the field…not the grass…but in the player’s box and got to sit in their seats and the coaches seats…you soccer fans…eat your hearts out…what an afternoon!
Back on the Metro I arrived at the hotel about 4 pm; gathered the troops and headed out for some window shopping and walking the streets around Puerta del Sol. Tried several restaurants for dinner…too early…and finally went back to the El Corte Ingles Department Store where we’d just spent half an hour shopping with Barbara. Went to the seventh floor and had a lovely dinner: Eggplant Moussaka…a Greek dish…with a grande beer. I shared a bit of Barbara’s very chocolate cake for dessert.
We then headed over to the grocery store that we’d seen last night and picked up some things for breakfast in our room tomorrow morning…to make a better start for our trip to the Prado Museum…and some snacks. Walking back through Plaza Mayor we stopped to enjoy the beautiful music played in the center of the plaza…a zither instrument…looks like a harpsichord that was played with 2 sticks like a xylophone. He was playing very classical romantic music on a very cold spring evening and making good money for his effort!
And here we are with only one more day in Madrid. Stay tuned…tomorrow is The Prado!