Madrid, City Life/Day Tripping

Madrid is a dream. We are staying at Cat’s Hostel, a renovated palace with a beautiful interior, old style wood paneling and all the trimmings of royalty. The outside is not much to see though, embedded in a dark alleyway just a stone’s throw from the main streets. Unfortunately, it is just as loud (if not louder) as our previous hostel, HelloBCN. People have been very generous with advice and assistance.

Because we have been taking it a notch slower, every day sort of blends together. I can’t remember when we jumped out of city borders to Toledo, Segovia, or across Madrid to the other side of town. There are gems throughout. In Madrid, El Parque de Buen Retiro is the most beautiful park I’ve ever walked through. According to my sister, it is greater than or equal to New York’s Central Park. How lucky that it is autumn and the trees are beginning to show their plumage! We saw couples swinging arms together, breathing each other’s joy on park benches. A massive lake sprawls from the center and we saw more couples kissing in rowboats. So much goddamn kissing.

Segovia is breathtaking; the Alcazar castle rose out of the hills like a fairytale, its spires and romantic perch nestled over the plains and looking down at the scattered forests below. We had prayed for more mists but the sun shone brightly and burned off whatever layer might have desired to haunt those aging stones. There was also an ancient, still-functioning Roman aqueduct but then, who’s there to see that when there’s a castle in the sky.

Today is our last day. Tomorrow doesn’t count, we are plane jumping early in the morning to Chicago, then to California. But what a wonderful day it has been for a last day. We ambled throughout the shopping district of Madrid, listening to music for three hours at FNAC, and then coming out to watch Devil Wears Prada (today is opening day in Madrid) in Spanish. I couldn’t understand a word of it but the most important thing is that Anne Hathaway made that movie because she knew my sister would drag me to watch it.

Ironically, we caught an open air fashion show going in full swing just as we stepped out of the movie. I have pictures/videos of some Spanish supermodels on my camera, but the battery’s dead and I’ll have to save the drooling for back in the States. Okay. This will be the last post I write from Europe. It’s too loud to concentrate here and no breathing room for musing. Especially when there´s live reggae going on. It tight.

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