Woke up feeling like we were on schedule and ready for anything. We took a nice short walk to a Mallorca coffee place on Calle de Serrano and followed the coffee with serious window shopping of all the designer shops. On our way home we noticed a major gathering of military folks. There were representatives of each of the armed forces, practicing for a “festa” the next day. We watched them for a while but they never did put up the huge Spanish flag.
We strolled a bit and headed into the old town. Ended up at the Mercado San Miguel where it was a bit overwhelming. We both ended up with little sandwiches and ate sitting outside on the stoop of the mercado.
On the way back we checked out all the street performers in Plaza del Sol including these swamis: I dropped some coins into their basket and they signaled to me to take a little rolled up message. In many languages it said: “Life is a dream. Realize it.” Interesting…
After a nice long walk home we had a great jet lag type nap. At 7:15 we met up with Andres, our “Tapas Tour” guide at the Plaza de la Villa. The tour was fantastic. It seemed much more about wine than tapas but that was fine with us. It started with a typical tortilla and a dark somewhat bitter vermouth from the tap. All delicious. We then went to Casa Paco for jamon iberico, salami and some wine–a very sweet and light white and a dark brandy-like sherry.
You could really feel the medieval little town that Madrid grew from as we walked with Andres and he told us some historical tidbits, like this type of plaque indicates the building is at least 100 years old.
We really enjoyed the other 6 people on our tour.
We ended at a restaurant where we tasted about 6 different reds and ate an incredible pork dish with potatoes and little onions followed by vanilla ice cream with a very dark well aged sherry. I would certainly recommend Andres in the future. We finished around 10:30 and walked home stuffed and content.
Side note: This is how the street signs look in the old town. Mosaic!