Oooh, aaah, oooh, aaah

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I’ve decided I’m in love with Spain. Spaniards wake up late, go to bed late and take a nap in the middle of the day. (Seriously, most of the shops are closed from about 2-5 p.m.) Emily and Dionisio better watch out, or they’re going to find they have a permanent houseguest.

After the authentic Spanish breakfast Emily made yesterday of tomatoes, olive oil and salt on toasted bread (pan con tomate), she outdid herself yet again this morning by making crepes. Now do you see why I’m so loathe to leave? While I had one crepe with Nutella, on my other two, I doused them with lemon juice and sugar, which made for a delightfully light concoction. Yes, I’m a glutton. Sorry, God.

Because everything was so relaxed this morning, we got a kind of late start, but it all worked out because we really just wanted to check out a couple of museums.

We started off at the Reina Sofia, which is most famous for holding Picasso’s “Guernica.” It has some other really cool stuff, as well, but that’s the centerpiece. The bottom floors

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Cool photography exhibit at the Reina Sofia. Also, the only thing I could snap shots of.

were filled with modern art and an exhibition all about playgrounds that neither Clare nor I really got. The upper floor was filled with some of Picasso’s other works, as well as a few of Dali’s. Dudes had some strange minds.

 

I had studied “Guernica” in school, but I never realized just how big it is. It took up a whole wall in the museum, and I’m pretty sure I could have stood there analyzing the work for days if Clare hadn’t pulled me away. While the work is black and white and grey, the different shades of those three colors really draw the viewer’s eye. I was mesmerized. There is so much happening in the work, and the emotions of the protest are truly visible. I love seeing how artists use their work as a form of social protest. (Does that make memes our generation’s form of artistic protest?)

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The most amazing hole-in-the-wall restaurant! 
Thanks, Emily!

Emily recommended this little place for lunch, so, after we wrapped up at the Reina Sofia, we moseyed on down there. It was this kind of hole-in-the-wall place that was a bit difficult to find — we walked past it at least twice — and it was incredibly authentic, not some place you would find with tourists.

It was a “tosta” restaurant, which is basically different foods on top of toasted breads, so Clare and I ordered a couple of these kind of open faced sandwiches, one of flank steak and brie and another of salmon and caviar. Sounds beyond scrumptious, right? Well, it was. Plus, it tasted amazing with my Spanish beer, which is a little bit weaker than normal beer. Clare likes it, pretty much for that reason.

Next, we checked out the Prado, which had a much larger collection than I was expecting. Other fellow art-lovers would just about die here. One of the first paintings Clare and I saw was Bosh’s “Garden of Earthly Delights,” which elicited an “oh my gosh”

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Sneaky shot of “The Garden of Earthly Delights.”
 (It was too big for me to get the whole thing in the shot.)

from Clare. Textbooks and the internet don’t even being to do this work justice. While it’s admittedly a bit strange, the work is vibrant, and the detail is impeccable. Clare said it might be one of her favorite works we’ve seen on this trip. I’d be inclined to agree.

The museum is also filled with other incredible painters, especially Goya and Velázquez. I got to see “Las Meninas!”

After we finished up at the museum, we made our way back to Emily and Dionisio’s, where we unwound. The walking really did a toll on my knee, so being able to prop it up on a couch with some ice really helped. Plus, Advil is a miracle drug.

As Clare and I made ourselves useless, mostly watching the bunny hop and push his ball around, Emily and Dionisio spoiled us by making sushi. Yes, you read that correctly. They made us sushi. And it was sooo good! Leaving here is going to majorly suck. (And not just because I can do laundry and don’t have to wear shower shoes. The company is pretty great, too.)

Tomorrow is our last day here, and Clare and I are still debating whether to spend it in Segovia or Alcalá de Henares. I’m leaning toward the latter because it’s where Miguel de Cervantes was born and is a bit less touristy, but Segovia is stunning, so we’ll see.

Couldn’t take any photos in the museums, but here’s what I’ve got:

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