The trip was over almost before we realized it, and I ended up feeling a little like this guy (not the frustration, just the speed):
We really need to go back and see Madrid properly, but at least we got a start. This is what we crammed into our two-day trip:
Saturday: A four-hour car trip to Madrid. Lunch at IKEA, because how could we go to Madrid and not stop at IKEA? Several hours trying to get out of the maze that is IKEA (without spending a fortune), which is much easier said than done, and if you don't believe me, try it sometime. Airport to pick up the kids. Hotel to drop off the luggage. Dinner and finally, yay, bed.
Sunday: Subway trip downtown, because we had a great (free) parking spot, and you just don't take that for granted in Madrid. Breakfast at a bar called Van Gogh Café, where breakfast for five cost us less than breakfast for two would have cost at the hotel. Bellies filled, we headed over to El Museo del Traje (Museum of Costume), where we got in for free since it was Sunday. Cameras weren't allowed, which is a pity since the kids got to try on a corset and a bustle, and I would have loved to get a picture of that. We thought this would be kind of a "girly" museum, but even The Professor had a good time looking at all the historical costumes, which were pretty amazing. People were tiny back then! And some of the things we saw looked like very sophisticated torture devices. All I can say is, am I ever glad people don't wear stuff like that anymore. I'll take a comfy pair of jeans and a t-shirt over any of those silk and lace dresses and their corresponding frightening undergarments any day.
It took us about two hours to see the whole museum, and then we hit the gift shop, which is a danger if there are four women in your party (just ask the Professor and his credit card). Done with that, we had lunch at a rather dingy restaurant near El Prado, and then we visited the museum, where we also got in for free, since we are a "familia numerosa" (large family).
The kids wanted to go through the Murillo door, since their last name is Murillo, but it was closed to the public, so they just posed in front of it. The Professor and Ultraviolet tried very hard to pretend they didn't know the other two because they insisted on doing the "Japanese pose".
|El Señor de Murillo y las Murillinas|
But the ones I liked best were these two:
|Adam and Eve. Albrecht Dürer|
After the museum, we stopped to see the turtles in the tropical garden that's inside the Atocha train station:
|Either these guys reproduce like crazy, or people must sneak in to free those pet turtles that their kids got at Christmas from some well-meaning (or not so well-meaning) relative, because there are hundreds of them.|
|Too bad the subway can't take us all the way back to Pamplona|
All in all, it was a fun weekend. Tiring, but fun. Plus, I got some new stuff from IKEA! Hooray! And new stuff means there's an IKEA hack or two coming up. But I'll save that for another post, so while I get to work I'll leave you to guess what my creative new "cheap home solutions" are.