Saturday, June 22, 2013
The weather continues to be most bizarre here and, so it seems, in many other parts of the world. There has been flooding in some of the mountain regions of Catalonia. Madrid had a high of 72 degrees on Wednesday and last night we had a series of thunderstorms with heavy rainfall and hail. In spite of the fact that it is almost the end of June, the temperature is struggling to reach the 90’s.
Rachel’s birthday was this past Wednesday and so we decided to do something special. We took the 11:10 AVE to Madrid and after we arrived we headed to the Hotel Palace where we would spend the night. Around 2:00 we hopped a cab and went to the only kosher restaurant in Madrid, La Escudilla. If you search out the site on the web you will find many negative comments about the way people are treated there. Comparisons are frequently made with the soup Nazi of Seinfeld fame. Frankly, I did not know what to expect.
When we got out of the cab Bill Harrison, history teacher and my co-chaperone on many a Westridge summer immersion programs, was outside waiting for us. Bill is here with a small group of students and, since it was lunchtime, he was able to slip away for a while. When we walked in we were greeted by the owner and he offered us a choice of tables in the outer dining space of the restaurant.
The space is rather small with maybe ten tables. This is a tablecloth and cloth napkin restaurant. It serves meat and it is hard to find a vegetable on the menu. We studied the menu and each of us ended up ordering a different dish with lamb as the base of each dish. I had lamb chops; Rachel had lamb prepared with prunes and almonds; Susan opted for lamb skewers and Bill had a lamb with couscous dish. Each entrée was the meat with no side accompaniments. I did order a plate of fries and the meal did start with small dishes of tomatoes, carrots, beets, olives and eggplant as an appetizer. We ordered a bottle of wine for the occasion and I was very surprised and pleased when I tasted it. The wine is called Anfiteatro and it is from the Priorat region.
The meal was enjoyable and the owner very amiable. His sister, who has the reputation of being inhospitable, was not present. There was an elderly man helping serve and he too was quite pleasant. We finished our meal with some watermelon and some spearmint tea. All in all, it was a very pleasant dining experience.
After lunch we headed back to the hotel. I opted for a nap and Susan and Rachel went next door to the Thyssen Museum to see a special exhibit of the works of Camille Pissarro. Soon after they returned we were out the door again headed for the theater to see El Rey Leon. Our seats were in the center of the fifth row and that gave us a perfect vantage point to see all the goings on. The show lasts for almost three hours with an intermission. After the show we stopped of at the Cervecería Cervantes for a quick bite and a beer.t
We were up early Thursday morning and we were at the station well before the 11:40 departure of the train back to Valencia. The rest of our day was rather uneventful. Friday morning Rachel and Susan were supposed to meet Alba to take her tour of Jewish Valencia, but Alba had put the wrong day on her calendar and failed to show. Monday will be the new day for the tour.
Tonight we have invited Ofelia, Brian and Pepe to join us for dinner. We shopped for the menu yesterday and a lot of the prep work was accomplished yesterday, also. It should not take long to prepare the main course. Sunday we have tickets for a Flamenco Ballet Company that it currently appearing at the Teatro Olympia. It looks like it should be fun.