We slept in and picked our way through a pretty impressively terrible free hotel breakfast (while wishing we could still be at a Parador) before heading out to the Prado, which is Madrid's biggest and most famous museum (at one point, I think it had the largest collection in the world).
On the way to the museum, we came across some government buildings, including this one with lion statues. Madrid seems to have a lot of good lion statues around the city.
After seeing the line of people waiting to buy tickets, we considered buying a more expensive museum pass to skip the line or buying tickets online for the next day. But ultimately we decided to just get in line and wait with the rest of the tourists who didn't plan ahead. Thankfully, I had our Kindles with me and the line moved pretty quickly.
When we first got in to the museum, I didn't notice the small picture of a camera with an X over it printed on the museum brochure. So for the first part of our visit, I happily took pictures of the impressive statue in the main entrance and some of the paintings that we saw.
The museum had quite a few paintings of the same subject done by different artists or the same artist at different times. It was really fun to see them side-by-side for comparison.
There were also some paintings of quite interesting subjects...
About a half hour into our visit, though, we were directed to the no photography notice in the brochure. As such, I sadly have no more photos to share with you. But I can confidently say that we saw everything in the Prado! It wook about four hours, but we saw all the rooms on all three floors of the museum.
At this point, Dylan was beyond over museums. But he faced a dilemma since he still wanted to visit the Sofia Reina museum which contains Picasso's famous Guernica painting. The choice was between suffering an even greater overdose of museums today or having another museum visit hanging over his head for the next day. Ultimately, he decided to push through. So we went from the Prado across the street to the Sofia Reina.
We weren't allowed to take photos of Guernica, but it was really impressive! Unlike the Mona Lisa in the Louvre, which is tiny, Guernica is massive! And the museum has a bunch of photos documenting Picasso's process of painting it as well as letters relating to the painting being loaned to other museums around the world.
I didn't want to torture Dylan too much with another complete museum exploration, so we decided to just check out the first floor of the museum, which contains other paintings from Picasso and other Spanish artists from the same period. They had a good collection of Cubist and Surrealist art, which I really liked!
After giving up on museums for the day, we ventured to Madrid's Retiro Park. The park is really big and clearly a popular hang-out place. We read for a little while on a shady bench before wandering around to see some of the park's fountains and lake. The lake is pretty small but it's filled with paddle boats that you can rent and row around. It seemed like quite the popular date activity.
We attempted a selfie that required us to look towards the glaring sun at one point. Normally, I fail to keep my eyes open in the sun while Dylan has no problem. This time, I actually did better at keeping my eyes open, so I have to share the evidence.
Post park, we decided to get some dinner near our hotel. We first went to a dim sum place and ordered a couple small plates to share. I failed to get any photos, but we had some pretty tasty dumplings and buns!
Next, we went across the street to try out a very popular chain restaurant that we had seen throughout the city. It's called 100 Montaditos (a montadito is a small tapa-style sandwich) and as the name suggests, they have 100 different sandwiches on their menu. The sandwiches range from 1 to 1.5 euros and a pint of beer is only 2 euros, which is quite cheap in comparison to typical beer prices in Spain. We weren't too hungry, but we got a few to try. Suprisingly, the tortilla (Spanish omelette) filled one was the tastiest! The honey-mustard chicken and bacon-burger ones were pretty solid too, though.