Thursday, August 7, 2014

Breaking up with Madrid

Monday Aug 4

Dear Madrid,
We've been together for 2 ½ months now, and I've fallen in love with you. I love the quiet corners of your Parque del Retiro, the majesty of your architecture, the reverence I've felt while immersed in the art of your Prado. I mostly love your people. I love their sense of humor, their deep voices, rising intonation, and the friction in their pronunciation. I love their kindness to strangers and their willingness to love and accept foreigners. Yet, it's time we go our separate ways.

You are the heart of Spain, and your heart is what you've given me. Through you I trekked the Camino de Santiago, I fell in love with the genius and inspiration of Gaudi. I met Velazquez, Goya, Zurzurban and Rubens in person. I observed el Greco in his natural habitat. I walked the “path” of Don Quijote. I toured your castles, and swam in your beaches. I ate your food and learned your language. We progressed from strangers to lovers on our journey together, and I will never forget you.

You even introduced me to your neighbor where I gawked in awe at the majesty of her Pyrenees and I loved her cheeses and chocolates. I became reacquainted with her language and built new and strengthened old relationships.

I've learned so much from you, and I hope that in some small way, you're different because of me. I hope this will not be goodbye forever, but that we can remain friends. I hope to return to you again someday. So, as your people say, not adiós, but hasta luego. Or shall I say “ahta luogo.” ;)

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