Our guided bus tour this morning was a disappointment -- the commentary was sparse, in poor English and delivered over a malfunctioning audio system. We were also dumped unceremoniously at the end of the tour at an unknown (to us) location, more than a kilometer from our hotel pick-up point. The guide gave us directions and we stopped to buy a map -- isn't that odd? Most places shower tourists with free maps, but here we had to buy one. At the hotel we immediately bought passes for the hop-on hop-off tour and hopped on. Much better! We found out a lot about the things we'd seen in the morning and picked up a bit of history. It really is a beautiful city, at the same time livelier and safer-feeling by far than Barcelona.
We hopped off at the Prado, the only must-see on our list. When we bought our tickets we had 90 minutes until our entry time, so we found a cafe and had lunch. We were fortunate to see a temporary exhibit called El Greco and Modern Painting. It traces El Greco's influence on modern masters. Filled in a few gaps in Picasso's work, too, from the exhibit we saw in Barcelona. Then we wandered through some of the permanent exhibits, and hopped back on the bus. Hopped off near our hotel to put our feet up for a bit before going in search of dinner. A nice walk through the Friday night crowds on the nearby pedestrian streets, dinner on Gran Via (still no sangria, sorry SW-E), dessert at Llaollao (again!) and back to the hotel with JAZZ FM on the internet radio. This is the life!
Link to All Photos for 3 October