El Escorial is at the foot of Mt. Abantos in the Sierra de Guadarrama mountains. It is a royal palace and monastery and is very impressive to see in person. We took a guided tour (in Spanish!) through some of the rooms and spent most of the tour looking at the tombs of the past kings, queens, and royal family of Spain. It was so amazing to be in a place with such history. There is nothing that compares to it in the United States. We then walked around outside for a bit - the scenery was beautiful. And so was the weather! It was a gorgeous day without a cloud in the sky and almost no humidity.
|Me at El Escorial|
After that, we made the trip back to Madrid. The girls and I stopped for a light lunch and then went back to the hotel to rest up and take a siesta before the second half of the day.
Around 4 Carmen (our program directory) met up with us and we walked to El Prado, a museum with one of the most impressive art collections in all of the world. I have long admired the work of El Greco and to see many of his pieces in person was amazing. Our favorite piece was "El Jardin de Las Delicias" by El Bosco. For those of you who have never seen/heard of this work - I encourage you to go look it up! We spent a very long time looking at this piece.
|El Jardin de Las Delicias por El Bosco|
|Theresa playing with a cute puppy in the park!|
A little before 9 we decided to go on a hunt for some good (and cheap!) tapas. Here in Spain, lunch (almuerzo) is the main meal. It takes place between 2 and 3 and is usually followed my leisure time or a siesta (nap). Dinner is not a big deal as it is in the states, and usually people go out between 9 and 11 for some small appetizers and drinks. We walked around a bit with no particular plan and stumbled across a patio bustling with people and when we noticed a sign for 1 euro beer - we knew we struck gold. For 6 euros we got a plate with chips and a variety of 6 different small sandwiches to share. It was the perfect way to end the night. Good food, good drinks, and good conversation.
OH! One last thing before I head in for the night - whoever said Paris was the city of love, was dead wrong. We have ALL noticed that PDA (public displays of affection) are totally acceptable here. In fact, it is not uncommon to see people full-on making out in the middle of the street or the metro station. Everywhere we turn we are noticing it. Very interesting, very.
Ok, well, its bedtime for me - past midnight here. Tomorrow we are off to Toledo.
Besos y un abrazo