Well, travelling Easyjet did not help, as we arrived about two hours later than expected and missed having a late Spanish dinner (they start around 10 PM); it also meant that I slept until almost noon the next day (because by the time we got to the hotel it was 2 AM). Fortunately our hotel, the Hotel Moderno, where I stayed with lovelybug when she and I went, was very much open when we arrived. I appreciated its location even more this time: right on Puerta del Sol, behind the Corte Ingles, next to La Mallorquina (one of the best bakeries in the world) and a few blocks from the Chocolateria San Jinez.YAY!
The majority of day one (which pretty much started out as "hey let's find some lunch now") was devoted to the Thyssen-Borgenzia museum, which had a great exhibit on called "Tears of Eros." It claimed to be examining the relationship between sex and death, but mostly to me it was an excuse to group together great work by artists I really like in themes I personally found interesting. So we had Millais, Von Stuck, Moreau, Bougereau, Matisse, and eveｎ Ｂｉｌｌ Ｖｉｏｌａ （ｎｏ ｉｄｅａ ｗｈａｔ ｋｅｙ Ｉjust hit here) looking at Adam and Eve (and the snake), Nymphs and Sphinxes, Andromeda and St Sebastian (? - w/ the arrows), St. Anthony, Narcissus and Endymion - it was great! We took about two hours to go through the exhibit and afterwards I bought the catalogue. We _also_ wound up spending another two hours going through the main collection, about which I'll say it included Rafael and O'Keefe and had a room full of Gaugins and leave it at that.
Oddly we did not make it out to a flamenco show or even to see the guitarists at the Meson de la Guitarra - the waiter at the restaurant we went to for dinner was so rude it just about had me in tears, and then it was hotel room and reading time. Oh well. Guess I'm feeling a little sensitive or something.
Sunday, well, it should have been El Rastro day, but the rain was sheeting down outside and I decided to just catch up on my sleep and wait for it to clear up. Finally it let off and we went to the other branch of the Tears of Eros show, which was continued in a gallery a few blocks from the hotel. I was hoping to catch the Convento de Descalzados Reales (16th C religious art), but the four remaining tours were all booked up. Ah well. Lunch was Cocido Madrileno- a soup course followed by big chunks of various pork products on top of garbanzo beans (plus wine and dessert). It was perfect for a pre-winter day. Then we headed over to the Botanical Gardens and poked around amidst the spots of sun for another two hours or so. We started to get cold and tried to do the Prado, but as Sunday was free day there was a line of an hour to get in and we just couldn't do it. Instead we headed back to the hotel and I (ahem) tried to find some work clothes at El Corte Ingles. No luck, really, but it did pass the time nicely before dinner. Post dinner we went to Meson de la Guitarra but the guys were off; still, we sat around and drank sangria and shot the breeze and absorbed the atmosphere until we were both seeing crosseyed.
Today was the usual waste a lot of time packing morning with a great breakfast at La Mallorquina (a toasted ham egg and cheese sandwich with a circle cut out for the egg yolk to show through), then shopping for souvenirs here and there because pretty much every museum in town was closed. We wound up getting chocolate again at San Jinez, much nicer without the crows of Saturday. Then it was pretty much time to head to the airport - or would have been if we hadn't had our plane run an hour late again. Damned Easyjet, they are costing me sleep. Anyway, it was a pretty fun weekend (if only we'd flown BA) and I only missed the internet just a tiny bit, really.