Spent a few hours touring the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza...another popular art museum...this one with a broader, less Spanish-focused collection. In addition, the Thyssen includes "modern masters", versus the more traditional masters in the Prado. So, this means we saw a fairly chronological collection that started in the 13th and 14th century with religious triptychs...and progressed steadily through all the major painting eras. El Greco and his famous "Annunciation" was a standout (again) for us. Seemed like all the big names were in the house... Rembrandt. Van Dyke. Rubens. Monet. Degas. Modern art stars included Picasso and Dali mixing company with Hopper, Pollock and O'Keefe. Oh, and a nice Rothco for Sherie :). Unfortunately, most of the Monets were out on loan...to Paris...don't they have enough Monets in Paris? For me, I got a kick out of seeing late 19th century landscapes of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Yosemite alongside traditional scenes from Europe.
Leaving the Thyssen, we strolled to the end of Paseo del Prado and entered the lower-left corner of Parque del el Retiro, Madrid's main park. As you might expect, El Retiro was the perfect place to join the city residents for a leisurely Sunday in the park. The temperature dropped noticeably. The breeze smelled fresh...almost moist. Sunbathers followed dots of sun under dense green canopies. Row boats dodged each other on the wide pool at Monumento Alfonso XII. A chubby Spiderman twisted balloons for kids. Shutterbugs posed for photos with people posing as bronze statues, Spongebob Squarepants, and Ghandi. We wandered past the Palacio de Velazques and Palacio de Cristal. An expansive book fair drew crowds as we exited the park.
Returned to the hotel and had a late afternoon drink on the rooftop terrace...Splash@Oscar. Certainly an in-place to be. The warm waning sun, rooftops dotted with statues, and an entertaining (um...silly?) crowd made the over-priced mojitos worth it.
We had been trying for three nights to get into the popular Mercado de la Reina on the Gran Via. Sunday is clearly a slow night and our patience was rewarded. Definitely worth the visit. Our goat cheese and chorizo scrambled eggs were a creamy delight to start (paired with some yummy Machego of course). And the "stewed pork" was a decadent slow-cooked dish with a rich sauce...amazing. A warm apple tart and ice cream for dessert. Highly recommended. We walked off dinner through nearly deserted streets that were packed the night before. We think the city is repenting the sins of the all-night weekend.