We are in the last stop of our tour. We visited The Royal Palace of Madrid (which was a trauma for Don because no pictures are allowed in the rooms.) Nonetheless, he still got pictures (5 – 10) from the places where they were allowed. The palace is the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family at the city of Madrid, but is only used for state ceremonies. King Felipe VI and the Royal Family do not reside in the palace, choosing instead the more modest Palacio de la Zarzuela on the outskirts of Madrid. It is too bad that we cannot show you the inside. Since it is in use, everything is renovated and in beautiful shape. We got to see the dining room where dignitaries from other countries dine, as well as, the throne room. The chandeliers were beautiful and there is also an amazing collection of clocks. Leslie was also stressed because there were lions everywhere that she could not have Don photograph.
After the palace, we went to the Mercado de San Miguel which must have been a good move because it was so crowded we could not move. We staked out a corner near a trash can and a shelf of a beer vendor and took turns going to get food. We had calamari, olive skewers (with salmon, cheese, octopus and ham), tapas (anchovies, cod, herring) and steamed mussels. It was all very good and topped off with dessert from one of the vendors. We also FINALLY found a Starbucks for Linda. Not that she did not like the Spanish coffee, but she was missing her Starbucks.
We finished the day at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, an art museum that contains many paintings from the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works by the artists Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Camille Pissarro, Paul Gauguin, and Cézanne to name a few (also these are the only paintings Leslie recognized or had heard of the artist). Bill and Linda provided quite the education as they know a whole lot about art. Were they here right now, they would be able to identify the paintings below for you, but as they are not, it is left to you.