This year for my big yearly vacation, I thought about going to Buenos Aires, Argentina. However, I got a last minute airfare discount deal that altered my destination. I ended up going to Madrid, Spain, and it did not disappoint. Having visited Barcelona in 2006, I was a little worried that I was not going to be able to deal with the later dining hours. As it turned out, I adopted to Spaniard's schedule with no trouble at all. The weather was interesting in Madrid: it was cold before 12 noon (55 degrees F), but between 1pm-9pm, it would warm up well into the 90's. I got lucky though, that the weather started to cool off 3 days after I was there and it was perfect. I slept in each morning, grabbed a light lunch, headed out to museums and sites in the afternoon when it was hot, walked for 4-5 hours, went back to the hotel for a nap between 6pm-8pm, got up, headed out to dinner at 9pm when the sky finally gets dark, then hung around until 12 midnight. I must say that I loved that schedule!
*** WARNING: LOTS OF PICTURES AHEAD! ***
I arrived in the afternoon after a long flight. I showered, took a power nap, and headed out to the center of Madrid, Puerta del Sol. This is Madrid's Time Square where they ring in the New Year. Hello Madrid, I'm here!
I signed up for a tapas bar hopping tour that evening so I didn't want to eat too much. I passed by this place called the "Museum of Ham" (Museo del Jamón) and ventured in there. It turned out that this is not a museum, but a deli/restaurant.