After much fun and non-stop eating in Greece, we said goodbye to our Seattle friends and flew from Athens to Madrid for a few days. Our Airbnb was a tiny apartment in the Chamberí neighborhood. We were just next to a synagogue, so there was constant police protection, which was a sad reminder of the increasing number of anti-semitic acts across Europe (and the US) in the past few years.
On Saturday, we walked around to get our bearings of the neighborhood and surrounding areas. I bought shoes and belt at Humana. Max got new running shoes at Decathlon and when he put them on the thicker soles made him just slightly taller than me. That’s a trip milestone I won’t forget.
Easter Sunday was quiet, the boys got some Kinder surprise eggs and we made an Easter breakfast (I think?). We walked to the nearby Museo Sorolla, and were surprised to see a line, since it’s not one of the most well known museums in Madrid. Come to find out, it was a free admission day, so it was busier than usual. The museum is located in the former home of the artist Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida so it’s both an exhibition of his paintings and a look into his life and family. I’d definitely recommend it for anyone who has already seen the “big stuff” in Madrid.
Afterwards, we stopped at Chocolatería Valor for chocolate & churros.
Kyle and I went out for tapas one night at Taberna La Mina. It was delicious, and fun to observe the locals of all ages coming in and out for a quick(ish) drink and bite to eat. As this trip has progressed, we’ve gotten more comfortable with leaving the boys to fend for themselves occasionally while we have a date night. There’s so little time that we’re not together – it’s a bit strange to say that Kyle and I need some time together, alone. But we definitely do. And the boys also deserve a break from our constant presence.
Speaking of a break, on Monday I had the selfish pleasure of visiting the Museo Reina Sofia all by myself. To extend the treat, I walked all the way there (which my new-shoes-blistered feet would call a mistake, but I called it marvelous), and then walked through the Plaza Mayor, on my way to meet Kyle and the boys at the Palacio Real. I arrived early and was treated to the weird and wonderful sight of some local dancers filming a K-Pop performance.
After our tour of the Palacio, we cruised through the Plaza Mayor again and stopped at Chocolatería San Ginés for another round of chocolate & churros.
On our last full day in Madrid, we visited Sala Canal Isabel II, a former water tower turned into an exhibition space for photography and multimedia installations. Another very cool spot that wasn’t really on our itinerary, it was just close enough to walk to and free. Then we headed to Parque Santander, where I offered Henry his choice of a movie if he ran all the way around the track which rings the park. He managed it in a much shorter time than I expected, so track may be in his future. Then, the boys and I went to another Chocolatería Valor for milkshakes for them and chocolate & churros for me – is anyone seeing a pattern? I could live on that stuff.
As we prepared to leave Europe again, I was looking forward to seeing family in Brazil, but knowing this next stop would be the last destination on our travels made me a little sad.