We made our way to the Prado Museum, stopping off on our way at a vegetarian restaurant called El Fogon Verde for some salad. We tried some polenta with soy and pak choi too, which we really enjoyed.
Refuelled and rested, we headed into the gallery.
It is a richly detailed painting and utterly beautiful to look at. You can’t take photos in the Prado but here is a snap I found online.
The left hand panel depicts heaven, the middle earthly pleasures and the right panel represents hell. If you look at it closely you notice there is some freaky shit going on. There is a duck feeding someone strawberries and someone stuffing flowers up someone’s arse for some reason. And that’s on the ‘earth’ section. When you get down to hell, there is a penguin just casually ice skate around. What sort of punishment is that?! Who wouldn’t want to see an ice skating penguin?!
So anyway, we enjoyed the Velazquez paintings a lot, also Reubens and his wonderfully chubby women. We liked Goya’s dark paintings, the work he’d done for the royal family less so. It’s all very twee and inoffensive. Perhaps that is why it is on the top floor.
We had a stop off in the cafe after to rehydrate then wended back to the hotel for a brief rest before we headed out for the evening. We went to eat Mexican food at Barriga Llena on the recommendation of my friend Ella, who used to live on the same road as the restaurant.
After dinner we went to the rooftop bar of Mercado San Anton.
Incidentally that reminds me what a big thing food is both here and in Lisbon. The vast majority of tips people give you aren’t for sights to see but where to get the best grub and drinks. I really love that as a sign of how highly a country values its cuisine. I hope the UK is becoming more like this too, as we have plenty we can be proud of food wise as well, even if we are catching up from behind slightly in some ways (history of having a bad reputation has held us back I suspect).
Another random thought before I sign off: it can be hard to describe venues here because many of them do not neatly fit categories like cafe, bar or restaurant. Eating and drinking are not separate activities here like they often are in London. Most places sell a bit of both at any time of the day.