I’ve been to Madrid once. Didn’t get a chance to let it make much of an impression.
I showed up at 7 a.m., after a night-long train from Lisbon, and I left at 9 p.m. on a return trip. My sleeps were miserable, across from and beside an old lady who dragged European mini-mall bags behind her.
I walked around, discovering what Spain was and eating frail, crackling bits of bread covered in tomato sauce and that squishy green stuff they call pesto. I hit up a market and sat next to fountains when I didn’t know where else to go. I had to talk to a pretty middle-aged woman and her husband in some grand city centre… I’m convinced she wanted me, but I had to turn her down. (Just let me have this one.)
I never went to the Prado. I walked in and out of Lacoste outlets, the Real Madrid store, and El Corte Ingles just to pass the time. I couldn’t walk all that time, and fruit cups and seafood cones are expensive when you add them all up and up.
It was only when I decided to make my way back to the Gran Via to catch the metro to the city’s train station – about 6:45 at night – that I saw the sun go down and the nightcrawlers slowly creep out. I realized there was a city I had spent all day in but never seen, maybe because I was forced to buy coffee from McDonald’s just to take a piss, or maybe because I was forced to see it all by myself, but probably because I came and left at the wrong time.
I showed up when the party ended and left right when it started.
There isn’t any proof of my one day in Madrid, and maybe I wouldn’t care. (I don’t even have photos… the one above was hawked from the royalty-free site Wikimedia Commons and an author named “Felipe Gabaldon”.)
The only tragedy of it all is that, once I saw what I was about to miss, I didn’t want to leave. There was a nightlife here and it was ready to explode. And I had to get on an overnight train to Lisbon – back so I could spend a night in Lagos (which would be completely worth it) and then return to Portugal’s capital to meet my Pops, who was coming in hot from a flight from Vancouver.
Madrid: I’ll see you again soon. Hopefully. Well, then again, it’s a big world. And there’s alcohol everywhere.
- Beautiful Madrid! (nikolasp98.wordpress.com)
- What to do in Madrid? Visit Prado Museum and Other Areas in Madrid. (whattodoinmadridtravel.wordpress.com)
- Musings from Madrid #2 (abritgirlabroad.com)
- Ronaldo – ‘I want to finish my career at Madrid’ (footballviews.co.uk)
- 10 things to do Madrid on the cheap (louisiananomad.wordpress.com)