Europe 2012: Day 4 – Madrid/Budapest

The morning of our last day in Madrid, we got up a little early to finish packing up everything and officially checked out of the hotel, though they allowed us to keep our bags there since our flight to Budapest wasn’t until very late in the evening. The original plan was to find somewhere for a quick breakfast before going to Mass. However, there was nothing open in the area we were walking around in. It was so wierd, because even at 9 in the morning, everything was dead. We had brought some food for Ani, so we ended up feeding her breakfast outside the church.

We attended mass at the Basilica de San Francisco, which is absolutely beautiful – way more beautiful than Cathedral de Almudena. Of course, the mass was all in Spanish but we were able to participate in some of it.

After mass, we went to the El Rastro flea market, which is supposed to be really famous. It was crazy! There are streets upon streets of booths where people are selling anything and everything (except food, unforunately – Eric and I were starving because we hadn’t had much breakfast). There was one whole street of nothing but paintings. Another street was nothing but shops selling birds and booths selling accessories for pet birds.

Next, we had lunch at Cafe de Milan, which wasn’t too far away from El Rastro. We had another calamari sandwich, a tortilla espanola sandwich (a sandwich with a potato cake-type “thing” on it), garlic mushrooms, wine, beer, and a salami sandwich for Ani that she didn’t eat much of.

After lunch, we headed to Retiro Park where Anya got a balloon from Minnie Mouse. Here’s a picture of Anya and I…

We also stopped for ice cream on our way to another art museum, the Thyssen-Bornemisza museum. It was a good museum that had a lot of different kinds of art, including a few impressionist paintings, which is what we enjoy the most. We spent about an hour and a half there. Anya slept through some of the museum which made things a little easier.

We stopped for coffee on the way back to the hotel to pick up our luggage and then took a taxi to the airport. We ended up having dinner at the airport, which was highly overpriced and not that great, of course.

I was really nervous about our flight because we were flying a budget airline. There are a lot of random rules about luggage and carry-ons when you fly on a budget airline and I worried a lot about whether or not ours were ok. The plane was delayed about an hour or so, and the only good thing about that is that there was no time to deal with measuring each piece of luggage because they were just trying to get everyone on the plane. Anya did not have her own seat for the flight, but the seats were grouped in trios, and apparently no one really wanted to sit by a couple with a small child, so Anya sat in her own seat for awhile. Before we boarded, she was really antsy, so I walked her around in the stroller until she fell asleep. Of course, she woke up when we got on the plane, but did fairly well until near the end of our flight. However, we didn’t land until like 1230 in the morning (it was supposed to be 1130). Luckily, it didn’t take long to collect our luggage once we had landed, and we had hired a driver to pick us up at the airport since it was so late. The driver was super nice and got us to the Hotel Carat in not much time at all.

We got extremely lucky and Anya fell asleep on the way to the hotel, and we were able to change her into  her pajamas and put her in the bed without her ever waking up. I can’t believe she didn’t wake up, but she didn’t. Of course, we were so excited to be in Budapest, it was hard to sleep. I don’t think we actually went to bed until about 3 in the morning…


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