In the spirit of staying positive and being thankful (it is currently Thanksgiving day), I’d like to take a moment to appreciate the Most Valued Player in my life. La reapertura de Línea Uno, or the reopening of Line One, on Madrid’s metro has reminded me just how bien conectada the city is. It now takes me twenty minutes to get to the program center (it used to take forty to fifty minutes), less than a fifteen- minute metro ride to get to Sol and Gran Vía (the central, downtown, shopping hubs of the city) and about twenty minutes to get into Malasaña (my favorite area for cafés), making Lavapiés and Chueca that much closer to me. These three barrios are the downtown areas for a lively, boutique-y, slightly hipster and trendy vibe.
Line one opened less than two weeks from when I am writing this post, after a very long repairing process. This line was, you guessed it, the first metro line in Madrid. It was opened in 1919, almost one-hundred years ago, and was in great need of some retrofitting. In these past couple weeks, I have already fallen head over heels in love. I waited so long for this moment—two and a half months—and it has lived up to all my hopes and dreams.
But—cue the record scratch sound effect—it is important to note that most parts of Central Madrid are just a short, less than half hour walk away. As I only have about three weeks left here in this incredible city, I have been trying to walk between places wherever possible and take a good look around me. It’s disappointing that I have to remind myself to do that, particularly because it is something I remember to do so naturally when I travel somewhere new. Usually, if the walk will take less than forty-five minutes, I don’t even question it. But just like anyone caught up with a busy life and an unlimited metro card or abono, it is far too easy for me to get sucked into where I need to go next and all the things left to check off on my to- do list. In the last couple weeks, I have made the decision that if I am already downtown, and not running horrifically late, I will walk to my destination and enjoy the journey getting there, in true slow paced, Hedonistic, Spanish fashion. I am that person walking around, staring at buildings, appreciating the history and details, and of course, bumping into people left and right, hearing many a Spanish mutter under their breath.
This commitment to being more observant has only added to my love for this city. It really is a beautiful place! It is now a city I call home. I feel comfortable here, navigating my way through the large and small streets—particularly when equipped with a GPS as a backup ready in my pocket, por si acaso (just in case) it becomes necessary. I am beyond grateful to have had this time here and abroad, and even more so that I still have three more weeks to enjoy!
Esta canción de Joaquín Sabina hace un homenaje a la línea 1