After a nice and relatively long stay in Portugal, we were on our way to Madrid, Spain. Though the flight wasn't very long, we lost an extra few hours on this commute due to an airport security strike in Lisbon! There were only two security lines open with hundreds of people frantically trying to make their flights. After almost 3 hours in line, a half hour delay, and a 2 hour flight, we made it back to Spain!
We only had about 2 days to spend here, but we were still able to explore a good amount. We visited the CaixaForum (an art museum featuring both classical art and modern/contemporary work), spent hours in the Museo Nacional del Prado, walked around the (disappointing) Botanical Gardens (practically everything was dead?), and watched plenty of street performers in awe at the Puerta del Sol.
If I had to rank the food in the 3 Spanish cities we visited (based on quality and price), I would definitely say Seville was the best, followed by Barcelona, and then Madrid. We visited the market in Madrid, but it was significantly more expensive with less variety and poorer quality than Barcelona. The restaurants couldn't compare with Seville, where no matter what we ordered, it was always unique, absolutely delicious, and amazingly cheap. These langoustines from the Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid were pretty good, but for 15 euro a piece, I can't say they were worth it.
After a month of country hopping, we were finally headed to Italy!