School is out, and now the real vaccaciones can begin! I can fully concentrate on what Madrid in summer is really all about: las terrazas y las copas. We spent one day moving from terraza to terraza, sampling the wares at every stop. From desayuno among the barrio residents to a fabulous menu del dia across town, we dined, drank and giggled our way towards the evening’s main event: tickets for flamenco at Teatro La Latina. OMG. The show was Carmen and I cannot do it justice, you’ll have to look for Kat’s review, because it was above and beyond. We laughed, we cried, we agreed that we must see it again next week, desnudo. That’s right, Flamenco in the Nude.
The Chocolateria de San Gines was a real find, in a shady back alley for chocolate and churros. Near the Madrid Opera House we enjoyed croquetas and beer. All I can say after viewing the “Europa In Conflict” exhibit at Museo Reina Sofia is WOW. Some of my favorite artists were represented in a curatorial tour de force that included 1) art as advertising, showcasing some of the period’s most well-known artists on magazine covers, broadsides and other everyday applications, and 2) some of the art of WW II. Magritte, Dali, Miró, Calder, and of course, Picasso. Incredible to see la Guernica and other pieces, such as Calder’s wild insect-like metal sculpture, a label reading “Alemania” hung around the neck, a blood red drop hung out before it like a carrot before a donkey. Simultaneously chilling and awe-inspiring.
So sad to return the keys to my lovely little apartment and settle into a hotel! I was very happy there, Kat really liked it too. Muchas gracias to Lourdes, my landlady, who assured me she would welcome me back on my next trip to Madrid. We spent a lovely afternoon on the grass at Parque Retiro, lying in the sun and reading, soaking up the greenery and eating perfectly ripe nectarines.
We hopped aboard a SpanAir flight to A Coruña on Sunday and couldn’t stop laughing with joy as we discovered our room, up a spiral staircase, and out onto our private terrace over the sea. Por dios, it took our breath away. I ordered a bottle of Crianza Rioja and we settled in to let sunset wash over us. I took a really deep breath and tried to imagine leaving this country in a week. No matter. For now, the wine is as exquisite as the view, and the company is everything I could wish for.