In Madrid I love to have a room with a tiny balcony overlooking the Times Square of all of Spain, Puerta del Sol. This square, like so many in Europe, has gone from a traffic nightmare to a park-like people zone. Within a 10-minute walk I can (and did) visit the third greatest palace in Europe (Madrid's Royal Palace), my favorite collection of paintings under any single roof in Europe (at the Prado Museum), and the ultimate town square (Plaza Mayor). And even more exciting, I went to a tiny museum busy with enthralled and wide-eyed little Spanish kids to meet their mystical little mouse, "Rat?n P?rez." This amazing little guy, a kind of four-legged tooth fairy, gives candies to Spanish kids when they lose a tooth and put it under their pillow. There was ample evidence of the little mouse P?rez everywhere in the museum, but the magical little rodent himself was nowhere to be found. (The Rat?n P?rez museum is one of many fun new listings I've added to the upcoming edition of my Spain guidebook.)
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