Madrid

Never though I’d fall so completely in love with you.

You are absolutely breathtaking. Your buildings in each corner are imposing, with intricate details and a whole history on their faces.

The first day was dedicated to just walk around and get lost. We wandered through the streets, absorbed a little of the rhythm and enjoyed the lovely weather.

Oh the things you do for your loved ones. Visiting Madrid for a few days, of course I was dragged to the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. Turns out, it was actually quite interesting. Football is not something I follow, but seeing the dimension of the stadium and standing in the field, having a tiny perspective of the expectation and pressure players feel was an amusing experience.

The parks… How many do you even have? They’re inviting, fresh, stage to love affairs and midnight runs. The Retiro park was our little lost paradise in all the rush the city offers. Another little breath of fresh air in such a busy city was the book fair happening just outside the park. If only I’d learn any Spanish…

I have to admit, one of your best characteristics has to be the free museums. How I loved getting lost in some of your galleries, six days is not nearly enough for all you have to offer. “Guernica” will forever be engraved in my memory (how are you so so big? I felt like an even smaller dust in the universe). The paintings  at Thyssen were definitely my favorite, I adore the explosion of color ever so present. The Prado Museum was… impressive. I flike to be exposed to the various artistic currents, but the collection on the Prado was not one I liked. It felt heavy, I can’t relate to the motives portrayed and I do not know how to appreciate it. Maybe in a few years time.

But your Royal Palace… What a magnificent exhibition of wealth and power. Every painting in each sealing was a piece of art on its own. The crafted gold filling the room; the amazingly big chandeliers with all the crystals; the jewels exposed; the draped, patterned curtains; the massive furniture much needed to fill the huge divisions… You were one of the best surprises and reminded me of Versailles, the luxury being mandatory in both.

We also made a quick stop in Mercado de San Miguel and the colors, smells and sounds found were rich and full of life. My little chaotic side loved the La Boqueria in Barcelona, but this market was much more organized, the building had a better fit and it resembled more a store than a market. We then went to the Plaza Mayor, with a beautiful building surrounding the square with lovely places to enjoy a nice fresh sangria.

Toledo, what a pleasure getting lost in you. Your panoramic view is indescribable. The cathedral rises above everything else and stands tall in between your walls. Putting my foot on the ground felt like entering a different world. You keep your history in every single stone, the medieval air is still so present and your crocked streets hold magic in them. You were impossibly hot and demanding, your narrow streets going up and down with stones not suited for the human foot, but I wouldn’t change a thing. You have such a distinctive personality and remain so strong through time, it’s amazing to see you so present in such a new reality.

I had very low expectations about Madrid. Never planned on going there, my boyfriend was the one pushing the idea and I’m oh so glad to let him get his way this time around. I left another little part of me in Madrid.

Love, Ana

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