Madrid, Spain

Madrid was Hotel Opera, Mercado de San Miguel, Puetro Del Sol, Plaza Mayor, and watching the revolution of the Spanish people rise. Tent after tent, sign after sign, shout after shout. Sangria, Madrid’s National Library and Museum, and Plaza del Toros for bullfights. It’s interesting partaking in such an ancient tradition, watching the energy from a muscular bull slowly drain as the blood drips and pours onto the sand beneath their hooves. It’s sad, but because it’s such a part of Spanish culture, being involved was remarkable. The mannerisms portrayed that day were inspiring beyond anything else, the way a certain confidence can be laid out before a bull’s eyes and the reactions given are like nothing else. Dancing with old French painters in the early hours of the morning, Madrid’s National Cathedral, the Royal Palace, and the largest selection of street performers I’ve ever seen. Flamenco dancers at Carmen and the beginning of a life I’ve never known.

It was visiting Aran Juez for the Royal Palace and fresh strawberries on an antique wooden train. It was visits to Toledo for a mix of old and new. Cobblestone streets and fisherman, birds making nests on the inside of old arches, cartwheels on the edge of the world, and silent moments of reflecting on the fact I was a million miles away from anything. It’s been five course meals with a group of strangers, chocolate con churros, Museo del Prado for Rubens, and the making of the Milky Way. Ancient wedding dresses, royal cribs made of blue silk, and feather caps. Protests meeting in the silent corners of the city, crusty feet and painted chests for a cause. It’s a revolution of street performers and beating hearts that scream from the pits of their tents. I’ve never met more passionate people in my life.