After landing on time this morning, Madrid welcomed us with beautiful, sunny weather. It was a nice change from the colder temperature of home! Our tour guide, Jesus, met up with us as we left baggage claim and led us to a small café in the airport. The original plan was to wait a bit for the group from Philly to join us, but their flight was delayed, so we had the opportunity to go back to the hotel and get settled in, changed, and take a look around Madrid.
We had a bite to eat at a local sandwich shop – luckily Marcelo and Sara were there to help us with ordering! There’s nothing quite like a baguette and cheese sandwich when you’re in Europe. On the way back to the hotel, Jenn and I stopped at Dunkin Donuts – or as the Spanish call it, Dunkin Coffee. The coffee selection was much more akin to Starbucks than the typical menu back home. We both ordered café con leches, which were fabulous. I will be stopping by there again tomorrow morning! They also had some interesting donut selections, but also included the classic Boston Cream.
When the other group arrived, we all had a quick meeting with Jesus, and then we were off for a long walking tour of Madrid. We saw beautiful architecture, sculptures, and historic city squares, including Plaza Mayor.
Our next stop was the Prado Museum. We spent two hours wandering the galleries as Kendra, Jenn and I gave the kids an art history lecture, ranging from Renaissance painting to Neo-Classicism. We saw works by Raphael, Goys, el Greco, Durer and Velazquez, among many others. I had been looking forward to going to the Prado, and I was not disappointed.
After leaving the museum, we had about 30 minutes to spare. Given that it was now dark out, I taught the kids some nighttime photography skills. We started with a lesson on the basics – aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, and quickly moved on to using their cameras on the manual setting. They caught on quickly and everyone was snapping cool nighttime scenes.
Though buffet-style, dinner was very satisfying. The food ranged from salad and soup to pasta, pizza, vegetables, and more. It was all you could eat, and the kids, famished from a day of traveling, took full advantage of the opportunity! Dessert was ice cream and flan.
The kids are tucked in, and we have an early start tomorrow.