I met my tour guide at noon. He is a former art history professor who has, I think, some eccentricities. It sounds as though he has a habit of railing against sacred cows, which leads to some amusing anecdotes. Personally, I value those who are willing to challenge the status quo, so we got on swimmingly. It was an interesting tour that took us off of the beaten path, beyond the familiar sights of Madrid, focusing on local stories and scandals. I had a blast.
During the tour we stopped at a few bars for wine and tapas. This was a great introduction to local eating (or grazing, really), with a local blood sausage, tortilla, and meat stew on the menu, as well as plenty of wine. The tour was 3.5 hours, and by the end I was falling asleep so ultimately excused myself to nap for a few hours.
I finally roused myself feeling like I had been run over by a Sherman Tank. This was a process, involving multiple soundings of the alarm. Once up, I dragged myself into the streets and began to recoverJ
I stopped at a bar for a water and a tapa. After this I got a local SIM card for my phone. The guy who sold it to me wasn’t really the brightest Brady in the Bunch, but it seems to be working. This will help a lot.
Then I went to another bar for a glass of wine and a tapa
And another tapa. This was jamon (ham) on bread (think bruschetta). It was wonderful.
And by now it was 10 pm … ie local dinner time, but I was feeling reasonably sated, so returned to the hotel for some real rest, for tomorrow I have plans.