A Beautiful Day Exploring Retiro and Reina Sofia
Our hotel in Madrid, Sleep'n Atocha, was located not far from Retiro Park. We told the hotel front desk staff that we like seeing cool architecture, monuments parks so he reccomended a few places for us to check out including the Reina Sofia museum and Retiro Park. The hotel staff told us that it would probably take 2-3 hours to see everything in the park so we decided to make a day of it. The weather was beautiful so why not.
Inside the park there was a lot of green space, trees and paths to walk on. There is quite a few fountains and monuments to get nice pictures for your collection.
We made a point of stopping by the Palacio de Cristal (Cristal Palace) to get some pictures as it was prominently shown on our tourist map. We were expecting the Cristal Palace to be a greenhouse like a lot of other places but instead it was entirely empty aside from some chairs and speakers. There was a sound piece being pumped through the speakers currated by the Reina Sofia museum. It sounded like birds and animals which was pretty neat.
The Palace made for some excellent photo opportunities that time of day. Next we went inside the Palacio de Velazquez which was another Reina Sofia venue. It was free, lucky for us, and it had some modern art inside. You never know what you're going to get with modern art.
For lunch we planned to go to a restaurant Cookaluzka since it was on the opposite side of the park as our hotel. The place was open for lunch 1-4. They had a mix of Italian and Latin American inspired food. It was essentially international cuisine drawing influences from all sorts of places.
One of us had the menu del dia and the other an Italian Burger. All the food there was delicious and the restaurant had a good look and relaxed atmosphere. We couldn't resist taking a bite of the cake so that is why it isn't all in one piece for the photo.
We had to go to the other side to get a selfie in front of the monument and the lake. The sun was going down and we were making our way to the hotel for a siesta.
After our siesta, a Spanish custom we were more than willing to adopt even though it wasn't very warm outside, we went to the Reina Sofia museum which was right next to our hotel. We figured that the museum would be a good evening activity since we wanted to sight see during daylight and we didn't want to waste daylight indoors. As it turns out it is free entry to the Reina Sofia from 7pm-9pm. The do a similar thing at the other art museums as well. The was perfect as we usually don't take very much time in museums.
We saw the great works of art of Ángeles Santos Torroella, Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso's Guernica (which we weren't allowed to photograph), and Erró (Gudmundur Gudmundsson)
Afterwards we were a bit hungry so after looking on happy cow we decided to go to a vegan tavern called La Oveja Negra (The Black Sheep). They had some sandwiches and burgers on the menu which were pretty good aside from overuse of sun dried tomatoes on the wrap. The food was good and cheap and that's all we ask for.
We got a soy buger, hummus wrap and a cinnamon roll to share. We had to use charades to communicate with the bar staff since they didn't speak much English and we only know a few words of Spanish. They do have an English menu though. ;)
If you enjoyed reading about Madrid and want to read more on Spain, check out our post "El meu aerolliscador està ple d'anguiles (Barcelona, Spain)"