On our first evening in Madrid, we checked into the Westin Palace and strolled through the neighborhood, enjoying a nice dinner and a puppet show through one of the balconies.
The next morning, we got off to an early start and strolled through the Retiro Park, pond, kids park and Crystal Palace. Our next stop was the Prado. We particularly enjoyed the works of El Greco, who seemed to use the brilliance of colors to electrify his portraits and depictions. Then, the kids napped while we enjoyed a Thai lunch and then we walked to Plaza Mayor. We then enjoyed the bustling Mercado de San Miguel which boasted fresh seafood and cava delights.
After a long siesta back at the hotel room, the kids devoured Ayaan’s favorite corn soup and sweet and sour pork at a Chinese restaurant. We then enjoyed the pre-festivities for the pride parade, walked along Gran Via and then enjoyed a few glasses of rioja with some Gambas at a nice restaurant. One of the things in general that’s not great about Spain with our kids is that everything starts very late and most restaurants only open after 830pm which is their bedtime. We retreated back to the hotel in time for Ayaan to watch an encore of the puppet show at the balcony across the street.
On our last day in Madrid we decided to take the kids to Faunia, a Wild animal park 10 miles from our hotel in Madrid. We reached just before it opened at 1030am and spent half the day there. Ayaan and Ariana absolutely loved it! It was a really unique experience as they’ve done a fantastic job of imitating the natural habitats of the animals and birds including a rainforest, underground caves, jungles and cooler climates. Their favorites were the seal and sea lion show (very Sea world like), the penguins swimming, dinosaurs, and the little monkeys in the rainforest. It was a hot tiring day but the kids topped it off with an ice cream. After a siesta, we strolled to the Mercado San Anton in the cool Chueca neighborhood where we capped the night off with some Cava and tapas and another showing of the puppet show. Onto our last destination in Spain tomorrow – San Sebastián.