This second day has been infinitely better. I didn't sleep very well last night, but I woke up this morning ready to go! We had a complimentary breakfast which was very nice and very delicious. I had an egg sunny side up on toast and some yogurt. The apple juice was fantastic... much better than back home.
After breakfast, we met in the lobby to head to our first stop: El Museo del Prado. On the way over, I met some new people, Melanie, Kent, Andrew, and Elizabeth. We saw three main artists at the Prado: El Greco, Diego Velázquez, and Francisco de Goya. My favorite painting was La Trinidad by El Greco, and my second favorite was, of course, Las Meninas, by Velázquez. It was really cool to see in person what I've studied in books. Most of the art in this museum is from the baroque period and the renaissance - prewar art.
After the Prado, we had 3 hours of free time, so Melanie, Kent, Andrew, Elizabeth, Kiara, Dottie, Anna (Ohio), Anna (Idaho), and I went to lunch at a little cafe (the name escapes me). I played it safe and had a ham and cheese sandwich with pepsi lite. It hit the spot! After, we walked up and down a few streets, saw a beautiful palace, and sat outside El Parque del Retiro (to go in, we'd've had to pay).
Then we met the rest of the group at El Museo de la Reina Sofía. This museum, which used to be a hospital, contains more of the modern art from during the war and after the war (Spanish civil war). We saw alot of Picasso and Dalí. Güernica was amazing - and HUGE. You could feel the emotion radiating from every line and contour of the piece. It was very moving.
We took a metro back to the hotel. Now I'm resting, and in a couple of hours, around 9:00, we're going to grab some dinner and see Madrid by night. I have about 2 hours left of internet access, so I'm not sure when I'll be back on. We leave in the morning for Toledo, stopping at El Escorial and Valle de los Caídos along the way.
Spain is beautiful, but I'm definitely ready to get to Valencia and get settled into a routine. I'll post again when I have internet!
Todo mi amor,
*Pictures (from top to bottom): El Museo de la Reina Sofía, our little group in front of a gorgeous palace you can't really see, Spanish architecture on our walk, our group again, El Museo del Prado