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Paris wiped us out--all those consecutive days without an afternoon rest/nap and only getting the girls to bed on time once, despite our best efforts. Our departure day was also tiring; we woke up early so that we could leave the apartment at 7:45 AM. It's good that we gave ourselves plenty of time because the traffic en route to the airport (Orly this time) was awful. It definitely put Paris into perspective: it's a beautiful city, but I would never want to deal with the highway traffic every day.

Our flight went smoothly, but the girls didn't sleep. Once we got the keys to our apartment in Madrid and found lunch, we took a nap. After we woke up, we decided to go to the Puerta del Sol via bus so we could get a look at the city along the way.


We went for dinner and churros and called it a night.

The next day we took the same bus to Retiro Park and checked out some of the playgrounds that are scattered throughout. We also looked at some monuments and the lake.


We had booked tickets to a flamenco show for the evening. Our idea was to drop by the Prado before the show, during their free admission hours (6-8 PM), but that didn't work out: we arrived just a few minutes after 6 to find a huge line. We kept on walking towards the show, finding a place for an ice cream snack along the way. I had my doubts about seeing flamenco outside of Andalucía, but they were immediately put to rest. The show was amazing, and the girls loved it.

The next day was our last full day in Madrid. We had decided to take on the formidable task of doing 2 art museums in 1 day so that our art-loving DD1 could see some "greatest hits" without boring DD2 to tears. Our plan was to get to the Prado around lunch time because that's when it is the least crowded and visit the Reina Sofía during the evening free hours.

On the way to the Prado, we stopped at the CÍrculo de Bellas Artes to take in the view from the roof.


We were hoping for an early lunch at the cafe there--no way were we doing an art museum on empty stomachs--but their offerings weren't what we were looking for. We found somewhere else and made it to the Prado with full bellies. We checked out Velasquez, Bosch, and most of the Goyas before calling quits.

At around 6:30, we lined up to get into the Reina Sofía during free hours, which started at 7 PM.


Luckily, our hunch was correct, and the line for free hours was much shorter than the one we had seen for the Prado. We were in just after 7. We kept our visit here short and sweet, seeing Guernica, some other Picassos, and some Dalís before heading out for the last dinner of our vacation.

We were up early the next morning to get to the airport. Getting back home went pretty smoothly, but we were exhausted. Everyone got to bed early!

Thanks for reading! I plan to follow with reviews of where we stayed and some of the places where we ate.

Posted by amikulski 09:25 Archived in Spain Tagged art museums parks spain flamenco

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