I don't know where to begin or how to say it all, especially in a pretty format, or some poetic stanza. It's pretty much all just a jumbo puzzle in my head. Can you say confetti!? So here are my scatterbrain thoughts in writing (in no particular order, with no poetic grace) but the people asked for it, so here it is:
Most used word to describe trip: Amazing!
Madrid is so old and beautiful (bet you never thought those two adjectives can be used in the same sentence)
Barajas International Airport…very cool looking, frosty glass walkways, wide open spaces, clean, simple, yes, I know I'm odd like that!
The Metro was clean and used by us very much, except when we needed it most; after 1:30am (when it closes down).
The whole city was clean and very green, environmentally green.
I found the eclectic mixture of architecture throughout Madrid highly appealing.
Favorite painting: La Guernica by Picasso.
Favorite museum - Reina Sofia Museum
This museum housed the most emotional driven painting I've ever seen – La Geurnica. I don't know how long I was there for, standing alone and later with G. I started crying at one point. I felt the sorrow and agony of the grieving mother with her dead child in her arms. I hope to never feel that agony for even a tiny moment in my life time. I cried thinking of the innocent, defenseless lives lost in a senseless, barbaric war. Naturally, my thoughts led to the current war in Iraq (70 years later). The same innocence lost, the same barbaric war. Children left without mothers or fathers, parents left without daughters or sons. And for what? A painting darkened in the shadow of death, devastation, and desperation, still found powerful, hidden symbols and images of hope and light. It's hard to think that one painting alone can evoke so many thoughts, emotions, ideas, and meanings. If ever there were a painting, this one is it!
I was an unruly museum visitor – I was told to 1) keep my voice down 2) don't touch the glass 3) stay away from the roped off areas 4) standing too close to La Guernica and 5) remove your book from the pillar that's holding a statue (G- that last one was your fault).
El Escorial: awe-inspiring monastery and palace, el Greco paintings, striking inlay wood doors, with a roman influence basilica. The basilica was thought provoking and truly amazing. Hard to look at a basilica now without comparing it to Rome's St. Peter's Basilica…but it reminded me of it. Also, a good day of bonding time with Ali!
Toledo: a quaint town with heavy Arabian architectural influence. Found a stray cat too! Lots of stairs, uphill and more uphill on cobblestone roads! Common phrase of that day: "when in doubt, go down." Walked for miles and miles and miles and miles! I met some very hot fireman in Toledo (incomparably hot to the US fireman), worth all the extra walking.
Freaked out Ali Moment – kissed her on the lips! Muah!
Plaza Mayor – reminded me of Piazza San Marco in Venice, with all the cute terrace bars and restaurants.
Funny, embarrassing, and disgraceful moments – molesting statues
Laughed so hard, peed in my pants moment – in Segovia when taking a picture of Carrie in a small hole…LMAO! You just had to be there!
Madrid Favorite: the food
Pimientos de piquillo (stuffed with meat) or seafood too!
Chorizo, queoso, croquettas…oh the list goes on!!!
Tortillas – homemade by Ali – awesome!
Chocolate con churros – yummy!
Cervez con limon
Oh and I ate ham during the observance of Yom Kippur! Ha!
Favorite park: Parque del Buen Retiro – trees, trees, trees, I love trees! Miles and miles of green, a crystal palace, one smelly, large lake, and the only public monument sculpted after the fallen angel, Lucifer.
Worst attribute: SMOKE! *cough*
A couple days into the trip I started feeling sicky-poo, which I contribute to the smoky atmosphere!
Painful Memory – walking into one end of a metal kitchen towel holder bar! That left a mark!
Puerta del Sol (need I say more)
La Noche en Blanco: a part of the Europe-wide White Night series of cultural city festivals - enjoyed William Kentridge's animated artwork. Finding a cab that night was misery!
The roman aqueduct of Segovia - built in stone without mortar - a brilliant masterpiece of Roman engineering still intact.
Best compliment I ever received was told to me in the room of tapestries in El Escorial by one of my greatest friends, Ali-baba!!! I'm not quoting perfectly here, but the gist coming from a friend who wasn't sure she wanted kids of her own "you're the reason I want to become a mom. I see you and Mathew together and what a great job you are doing and how it comes so naturally to you. I want to be a mom just like you!" Damn that was the best ever!!
El Rastro – flea market hell
Palacio Real was so palatial! Lol
Perfect hair weather (minus the drizzly day in Segovia)
My faith in "good" men existing has been restored. Unfortunately, the population of Drama Kings are accumulating faster.
Heartbreaking moments – making phone calls to Mathew…oh how I missed him so much. Next time, he's coming with!
Common phrases used during this trip: "Vale!" "No, no, no, mama, no!" "Seriously, is that necessary!?" "Not so much" "Hola" "Claro que si" "Y tui"
Don't ask what that last one is, I made it up! During this trip, I was mixing all the languages up, between English, French, Italian, and Spanish, I started having my own language!
What I didn't get to do: the city of Salamanca, El Prado Museum, and Templo de Debod (sadness). I guess I'll have to go back!
I hope these tidbits of useless knowledge about my trip helped paint an image of my moments in Madrid, Spain. If you want to know more, call me. If you have any questions, let me know. I for surely have left a lot out…intentionally and otherwise!
All these scraps of thoughts have pictures to accompany. Coming soon!
Before I go, let me leave you with this:
Can you believe it…Mathew will be turning two next week? What am I doing for his birthday you ask? Why, I'm taking him to Disney World (either Magic Kingdom or Sea World, still undecided). We'll be going in November, during slow month, cooler weather, and time enough to recuperate financially.