We just finished our third and final day of Madrid attractions. Talk about parks and places to visit! We’re on the way out the door to a tapas bar called Casa Lucio. We’re all famished after a long day, so I’m planning on trying quite a few of those tasty plates. We’ve heard it’s known for its Merluza de la Casa (Cod of the House). Apparently it’s also famous for the tripe, which I have decided to try for the first time because it’s so popular here. One thing I am definitely NOT eating is the Capon, a castrated rooster with the feet and feathers still on — it sounds absolutely revolting!

Madrid Parks and the Fallen Angel

On our first day of sight seeing we toured Madrid’s parks, including the the main one, which was stunning. I don’t know how they keep all the roses blooming but I’d like to figure it out so I can finally win the award for most beautiful garden instead of just give it to someone. And can you believe there’s actually a sculpture to Satan in the park? It’s called “Fallen Angel” and is based on Satan’s fall from the book Paradise Lost (I know I read it at one point, but all I can recall is that John Milton’s third wife was 31 years younger than he was. Some things never change).

After parks, we spent time in the Prado Museum and saw some terrific paintings and sculpture, but by the end they all sort of blended together. One thing for sure is that Goya definitely needed some heavy-duty therapy!

More Attractions – Puerta del Sol

So far my absolute favorite place in Madrid is La Puerta del Sol, The Door of the Sun. It’s called the Door of the Sun because it faces east and used to have a gate with a sun on it. It is the place to be and I wish our hotel was there although Carla likes where we are and keeps looking out for David Beckham. I must admit that I wouldn’t mind sharing a coffee with him one morning!

One of the best stores we found is called Casa de Diego, which sells the most amazing fans I’ve ever seen (I bought four to add to our mate cups. They said they’d ship so I can avoid the VAT tax). Besides fans, we marveled at the umbrellas, parasols, and castanets. Lisa bought an adorable blue parasol to decorate her balcony and Kelly found a beautiful shawl, which we all said she just had to buy because she looks so gorgeous in it.

She hesitated but I knew she would never find anything like it anywhere else and that in the end, she’s going to wear it for years. This time I was the persuasive one even though it’s usually Carla who can sell ice to eskimos.

Later, we stumbled on more places, like Chocolatería de San Ginés, which we immediately knew would be delicious just from its name. (How can something with chocolate in its name not be good?) The restaurant itself was O-L-D but the food was absolutely divine, especially the house specialty, chocolate con churros. Basically, churros are just fried dough shaped like really long, thick French fries which are then dipped in hot, thick, mind-blowingly delicious chocolate. It’s not like the kind of hot chocolate you get from a can or envelope; it’s like you’re drinking from a chocolate river. At first we each ordered one and then we shared two more. Yummy.

Next: Madrid Attractions: Flamenco Dance

(Image: CC BY-SA 2.5 – Wikipedia Commons)