In spite of the fact that I didn't sleep at all, my strategy for fighting jet lag has always been to forge ahead, adjust to the new time schedule and don't give in to the temptation to take a nap. However, I had not scheduled any sightseeing for today. We were just going to hang out with my cousin Werner and his spouse Manuel. (In earlier posts I have mentioned Werner. He is a cousin on the Swiss side of my family, but he lives in Madrid where he has a translation business. He and Manuel live in a lovely flat in Malasaña, an old, central neighborhood which is becoming increasingly trendy,)
Werner met us at the airport, and we went by metro (subway) to Malasaña. Phyllis is staying at a hotel a few blocks from Werner's flat, and I am staying with my cousin. It was still too early for Phyllis to check into her hotel, so we relaxed for a while at Werner's place. Later in the afternoon, after she got settled in the hotel room, we all met again for lunch.
Madrid perhaps does not compare in beauty and sheer number of attractions with some European capitals, there is something about the atmosphere and style of life that I find absolutely irresistible. And I think that Phyllis, besides being charmed by Werner and Manuel, had a sample of Madrid's seductive pleasures. We had a leisurely lunch at a sidewalk café called "Agrado" located just a block from their flat. Manuel ordered for us, and one platter after another of delicious Spanish dishes arrived at the table. It was, in every respect, a delightful meal... the company, the outdoor setting on a narrow Madrid street, the beautiful weather, and the wonderful food.
Werner, Phyllis and Manuel before the food started arriving
Werner then took us to another café/bar which recently opened just around the corner from his place. It is a rooftop terrace which attracts a young, hip crowd. We stayed just long enough for a cup of coffee, and to enjoy the view from the terrace.
On the rooftop terrace, with the bell towers of an old church looming behind us
The view from the terrace
We then went back to Werner and Manuel's place. Some friends stopped by, and we enjoyed more good conversation, and a platter of delcious Iberian ham and sausages, until we decided it was time to call it a day and catch up on our sleep.
A very good first day!