The really nice thing about Madrid is that while it is a huge city, there are lots of really nice parks.
These are the gardens behind the palace.
I waited a while outside the palace until it was time to open. When it didn't open someone informed us that today is Spain Day, so a lot of things were closed....blast! But that did mean that they were having a military parade, so I went and checked that out.
The coolest part was all the aircraft that flew over.
I wish Jason had been there, he could have told me the make, the year, all the numbers behind the name, how much fuel they hold and a million other random facts.
It was pretty incredible to see all their military craft up close. It was also really fun to do something that was very local. There were tons and tons of Spanish people there and I didn't see many tourists.
At this point of the day my lack of sleep was catching up with me as well as that I was on day two of being alone. I became totally miserable. I wandered around and got some lunch at McDonalds. The low point of the day came as I sat there crying over my fries.....yikes! All I could think about was how good I had things in San Diego. I had great friends, a great job. I loved my calling and I left it all to be totally miserable and I just wanted to go home.
I have decided that my family is like a drug to me and today I was going through withdrawl.
About that point I realized that I was being a little over dramatic and rememberd that country song, "You're gonna miss this". I really am so lucky to be out here and I really have to take advantage of this time.
So, I was still miserable but I just had to keep busy. So I went to the Reina Sofia museum.
This is a Picasso....not only was he a weird artist, he could make beautiful things as well.
This one is by Salvador Dali, someone I always thought painted really unusual and abstract things. It was cool to see something beautiful he had painted.
This is one of Picasso's most famous, the Guernica. Weird, but cool to see it in real life.
I even made it in...well...not exactly. There was a lot of modern art and this was a big mirror.
Next I went to the botanical gardens. They were established in the 1700's. These flowers reminded me of the ones that Van Gogh painted.
Another great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
In the evening I went to the plaza mayor where you find tons of shops, restaurants, locals and tourists alike and lots of street performers.
I found some legitimate chilean empanadas at one of the markets. Heaven! I squeezed on this bench with a bunch of old ladies. One of them commented on my flower and so we started chatting. They were born and bred in Madrid and had all been getting dressed up and coming to the plaza mayor each night for years. So fun to listen to these little old ladies banter.
I stuck around for a while to catch some of the great street performers. Tonight there were circus performer types. This guy was really good at juggling with his hands and also juggling like a soccer player would. The show was spiced up a lot by one crazy drunk lady that kept trying to steal the show and then another mentally handicapped girl who would not mind her mother and wanted to be there standing right next to them. One of the guys got really frustrated, so it was pretty funny to watch.
In the end my day in Madrid was still pretty miserable, but turned out ok.