In nine days I leave Madrid, which still feels odd to say. Nine days is not much time left in a city that has given you so much over the past four months. I arrived in late August ready to learn Spanish, explore Europe and eat lots of delicious food. All of these things have happened, and more. I visited six countries not including Spain, and got to experience the distinct cultures of those places. The city of Porto in Portugal has a special place in my heart for its aesthetic of decay and its ocean’s breeze. Prague is a city of fairytales. Edinburgh blew me away, literally; it was that windy. But, with all the cities visited and explored I am sure I will miss Madrid the most.
It was not love at first sight. Madrid and I didn’t quite understand each other, and I kept comparing the capital city to Barcelona. There was an ocean’s breeze missing, I hadn’t yet discovered the best food spots and Madrid just seemed too serious. I’m not going to lie; it took a while for me to like Madrid. But, Madrid has a way of finding your heart.
I’ll be truthful when I say that it was difficult to find delicious food in Madrid at first, which made me so sad. I love to eat! I love to sit down with friends over a meal and scarf down delicious food. But, once I did some exploring and asked people their recommendations, I found lots of great spots of Madrid. It took a while, but I found places that didn’t just serve jamón or pimientos de Padrón (even though I love both of these things).
Madrid has a charm to it. It boasts large plazas and small hidden streets. It’s sunny almost all the time. The sun is ever-present, always illuminating the sky in bright blue. It rained maybe twice or three times in my entire time here. The public transportation here is also some of the best I have ever experienced. The trains come on time and can take you almost anywhere in the city, which is very different from Boston. The buses have Wi-Fi! It’s also easy to get lost in the museums of Madrid. The Prado is enormous and boasts incredible works of art. Velasquez, Goya and Dali all grace the walls of the museum. The Prado building itself is beautiful, and I got to drive past it everyday. It’s a little thing I’ll miss once I return to the US.
Madrid, I’ll miss you; but I’m sure I’ll be back. I want to once again walk down your narrow streets and drink tinto de verano on your terrazas. I want to eat churros y chocolate late at night with friends at San Ginés. I want to push past people in Puerta del Sol. I want to have brunch in Malasaña. I want to explore all over again.
I’ll see you again one day, Madrid.