August 22-24 my wife and I went to Madrid, since she had not been there before.

We stayed at the wonderful Hotel Villa Magna, in Paseo de la Castellana. A very discreet luxury hotel where every single detail is just right, from the room amenities to the “just right” breakfast buffet.

The first day we visited the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (MNCARS), where the budget cuts really show, although it continues to be a reference in contemporary art. Picasso’s Guernica still moves me every time I see it.

We had dinner at the trendy creative tapas place Sala de Despiece with our friend Alvaro.

The next day we went to the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in the morning, were invited to lunch at the brand new and awesome Gran Melia Palacio de los Duques, after which we walked to the Royal Palace, saw the Almudena Cathedral, and then visited the Prado National Museum, where organization is so terrible, they make visitors wait for over half an hour under the sun to buy tickets. We had cocktails while listening to live piano music at The Ritz Hotel, and then we walked through El Retiro Park (and its whimsical Crystal Palace) to reach our dinner destination: Mercado de Ibiza.

The last day we had a very hearty buffet breakfast before doing a car tour of the city and heading back to Valencia.