Friday, November 18, 2016

A Day at the Prado Museum and Some GREAT Tapas Too!

Thursday, 17 November, 2016:

The Prado Museum has arguably the world's greatest collection of paintings by the European masters.

The Prado is easily reached via the Metro and is located only a couple of short blocks from the Calle de Jesús Tapas Crawl that we started enjoying earlier this week.

Laurie had only been to the Prado once while I had entered this hallowed art hall twice before. It was definitely time to visit again and raise our collective cultural IQs a few points.

The Metropolis building was the
first thing we saw when we exited
the Banco de España Metro stop

As we walked we saw lots of
barricades and a large military
and police presence

We were told that Spain's King Felipe VI was scheduled to make an appearance down the street at the Congreso de los Diputados.

The Congreso de los Diputados is the lower house of Spain's Cortes Generales, Spain's legislative branch.

Before and after visiting the Prado, we had a Master Plan in place for the day trip to Madrid.

If you recall, the Calle de Jesús Tapas Crawl is made up of nine highly recommended bars/restaurants that serve incredibly good cuisine. We had previously enjoyed two of these small treasures located in a tight knit three block area.

We were now ready to visit two more today, one before and another one after our tour of the Prado.

First up . . . 

Morning Tapas at La Dolores

La Dolores' rustic ambience has
been enjoyed by patrons since 1908

Good Beer Stein Collection

La Dolores is small but the
tapas are big!

When asked what we wanted to drink, I responded "Dos cafe con leches, for favor."

The two men working behind the bar, in loud unison, responded "NO!"

As it turns out, La Dolores does not serve coffee in any way, shape or form. We observed two other first time customers came in and asked the for a cup of Joe too, they got the same choreographed reply.

Well sated, we started to head to the Prado but stopped by the street where King Felipe VI should be taking to reach the Congreso de los Diputados.

We were told that the King should be arriving in about 15 minutes, so we decided to hang out for a bit to see His Royal Highness.

At ease . . .

Good looking Andalusians
to help with the crowd control


We all were disappointed to hear a few minutes later that due to the large crowd and for security reasons that the King had been brought in to the building by an alternate, more secure rout.

Oh well, on to the Prado!

Laurie with Francisco Goya

We scored discount tickets due to our Senior Citizen status which helped.

Once inside, we were awed yet again by the amazing talents that some people possess.

Definitely not us though.

How did they do this?


Such detail

The first hall that we entered
with paintings 

Also, the first and only time I was told "NO FOTOS!"

Visions of the Spanish Inquisition once again swirled through my head, so I threw myself on the mercy of the Prado's docent to not beat me if I promised to behave. I was truly innocent after all since I had not seen any signs posted saying that photo taking was strictly prohibited.

She grudgingly gave me a reprieve, GRACIAS A DIOS!

After almost three hours viewing the Prado's incredible collection of works by the likes of Velázquez, Goya, El Greco, Rubens, Bosch, Murillo, Titian, Bruegel, van der Weyden, Dürer, Fra Angelico and Raphael, we still had not seen a No Fotos sign.

Regardless, I did not push my luck.

We were much more art-worldly than we were when we awakened today, so we now set sail for Round Two of today's Calle de Jesús Tapas Crawl.

The mysterious Iglesia San
Jerónimo overlooking the Prado

Lots of the school kids on field trips to the Prado today were having fun running up and down this hill after having to be subdued inside the museum for hours.

 Late Afternoon Tapas at
Taberna Maceira

This taberna has a Galician, the northwest corner of Spain, motif. It is a high energy but still has a woodsy, rustic feel to it.

Of course they
had horse shoes and . . .

. . . a map of Galicia too

Vino tinto for Laurie, a
sidra for me and a cool menu

The homemade or casera bread was perfect for art lovers everywhere.

 I felt a bit woodsy and rustic too

Loved the atmosphere

Finally, it was time to replenish our bodies with a series of shared tapas.

The Caldo Gallego
white bean soup was amazing!

Then came the
Croquetas de Queso Tetilla
and Pimientos de Padrón

As if that wasn't enough, we also had ordered a plate of . . .

Patatas Bravas to round out
our light afternoon snack

Which brings me to my next point.

I weighed in this morning only to find out that despite all of the great food we are enjoying, lack of preservatives in European foods and due to walking a lot, a funny thing has happened.

Since my first weigh-in in Madrid back on October 1st, I have lost 8 kilos which is the equivalent of 17.6 pounds!


One more look at the
Taberna Maceira

After a good meal, another
cafe con leche is a MUST

I liked the way they served it.

By the way, the Calle de Jesús Tapas Crawl is AWESOME!

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
statue overlooking the
Congreso de los Diputados

 The building was still decorated
for King Felipe VI's visit earlier
in the day

 A regal lion perpetually 
standing guard

It was now Thursday night, time for . . .


We had another good turnout tonight at a practice that Head Coach Orlando Webb had organized around Punt Coverage and Defensive drills.

The Stings were ready to learn and enthusiastic as always.

I so look forward to these 45 minute road trips to the cooler "microclimate" found at our Guadalajara practice site every Tuesday and Thursday night for the 9:15 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. training sessions!

This is a fun group of men to coach and I'm grateful to them for accepting the challenges that I place in front of them in my efforts to help them grow as American football players.

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