>viva la siesta

>You have got to love a country that shuts down businesses for a nap in the afternoon. I am definitely getting used to this! There is a big park where we go running every morning. Parque de Retiro. We have to wait until the sun comes up. We try to start about 8:30 hoping that it will be above 0 degrees C. Usually it isn’t. It stays below 0 until about 9:30. Cheese is very hard to find in Asia so we are very excited about the food here. So far, we have not been disappointed. Un bocadillo con jamon y queso (ham and cheese sandwich) is the thing that I eat most often. Danielle finally got to try paella y sangria. I stuck with empanadas de carne.
The city of Madrid is beautifully decorated. They have Christmas lights everywhere. Art, sculptures, monuments, and fountains are spread all over the city.
We are staying in Residencia Alvaro. Stay here if you are ever in Madrid. It is a family’s house, but they rent out rooms for about the price of a hostel. It feels nice to be in a real house. Real bathrooms, kitchen, and a living room is a luxury. We also stayed at Mad Hostel which was a typical hostel, but being in Madrid, people came in and out at all hours of the night, usually drunk. Tomorrow, we are off to Paris.
Tonight, we went to the Prado Museum. It houses a lot of artwork. We saw pieces by Rembrandt, Goya, Poussin, and many more that I should probably remember. I am more of a fan of photography. If you are interested, the Prado musuem is free from 6-8 every night. This trip has taught me the importance of frugality. I should have listened to Kurt more. He is the king of cheap!

I have gotten a couple of requests for information about the places that we have visited. I will try to put more of my own thoughts into what is worth seeing and what to avoid. Keep in mind that I am not a huge fan of going to every museum, play, theatre, or show that is available. I heard that the flamenco in Madrid is amazing. The only places that were offering shows were over priced and geared towards tourists. I would recommend CouchSurfing.com to everyone. You will get a locals view on most things. The price can’t be beat and the information and hospitality that we have received so far has been second to none.

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