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Madrid en la Noche

Around Plaza Real
May 29, 2012

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We roused ourselves from our jetlag nap in time to catch the sunset and the dusk, and went out to do all the things you do on your first night in a new city. We wandered through narrow streets and little parks. We found big churches and sat on their steps. We stopped at sidewalk cafes and ordered cold beer and sangria, and when we asked for crisps they gave us stale potato chips-- and we were still so happy that we didn't complain.

An ancient, arched doorway beckoned and we went in and descended to the basement-- no, surely it was a dungeon, a prison, or maybe the wine cellar where the cask of Amontillado was kept! We walked through the Plaza Real, its 17th-century facade brightly lit, smiling down at ... us and barely anyone else, as the summer season hadn't arrived yet.

And then, just as we had done on our first night in Venice four years earlier, we found gelato and enjoyed its cool creaminess on a warm evening in late spring in Southern Europe.