With only a couple of hours of sleep we walked in a daze around the old section of Madrid stopping for cafe con leche a few times before checking into a hotel. Instead of crashing, we went for it and headed back out. We found the quintessential Spanish cafe slash bar slash restaurant. I love how the Europeans seamlessly meld these three essential environments. We were in the literary section of Madrid near Plaza Santa Ana with its statutes of Calderón de la Barca and Federico García Lorca, near Cervantes’ home on Calle Lope de Vega.
People were eating in a back room with long tables and tiled walls but we sat in the bar and ordered Pimientos de Padrón, cerveza, vino tinto, aceitunas marinated in onions, manchego y pan. We believe we have found civilization.