I feel like the image that the world is giving us right now is of a lost and forgotten Atlantis world. I’ve started remembering places I’ve been to and I’ve started seeing them like old gem stones hidden under the dust, places you can only uncover now in your memories. Beautiful landscapes, all covered in the dust of the coronavirus situation.
Physical freedom is lost for now, but we can surely rediscover that nothing can steal our true freedom: the freedom to dream, to imagine, to hope and to plan. This is the time to plan your future adventures and to rest in the memory of the old enchanted stories and fairytales you’ve lived so far.
Now it’s not the time to despair, but to appreciate, truly appreciate the opportunities you’ve had, the gifts and blessings you’ve enjoyed up until this point.
On that note, may I ask, what is the last time you’ve looked at photos from your last trip and relived those memories? One of the places that has really started sparkling in my memory in this time is Madrid.
I’ve been to Madrid in the summer of 2019 and I can clearly remember the babel-like noise of all the people rushing through the metro and through the streets. I remember Madrid like a very dynamic and colorful city. Paintings on buildings, colorful food, colorful laughs all around. Paella, tortilla, tapas, gazpacho, gambas, crema catalana. Yum.
Another thing that I really enjoyed is the feeling people gave me. From hotel receptionists to coworkers, everyone was surprisingly fun, lighthearted and friendly. I went to many European countries in business trips and no other country and people made me feel so well received and at home. Smiles all around, relaxation even at work, jokes at every corner.
The people I met were acting like they’ve known me forever, even thought it was the first time we met. Starting with the first traditional and mandatory kiss of the cheek, to sharing food and experiences, I felt like camping in the mountains and sharing stories around the fire with my best friends.
Advice: when you go to Spain (hopefully soon when this virus situation is over), don’t just visit the place, but talk to people, start conversations and test this out for yourself. Travelling to a place and only enjoying the landscape and landmarks without getting to know the people means to totally miss out on the truest and most authentic cultural experience of the place.
Take a tour, say hi to people, start a conversation with the waiter, taste the spanish lifestyle, let that sweet spanish accent tickle you on the inside.
There are few places that I remember from Madrid and hopefully you can enjoy visiting very soon as well:
1. The Crystal Palace – the glass-like building is super majestic and probably one of the most instagrammable spots in Madrid. To get to this beautiful palace, you need to enter the park called El Retiro, the city’s most famous park. The park itself is literally a retreat, a place to rest and to breathe probably the freshest air in town. You will find many lakes and many tree types that will surely revive your spirit.
2. Plaza Mayor – the vibrant and colorful square, the epicenter of the city. The place where most tourists gather, a starting point for all Madrid tours, a meeting point for the most Madrid citizens. When all this is over, let’s meet at Plaza Mayor! Ole!
3. Regal Palacio – the royal palace, a gigantic palace with 3418 rooms, the biggest royal palace in Europe. I couldn’t understand why they needed so many rooms, but hey! I wasn’t there to judge, but to enjoy!
4. The ancient Templo de Debod – the temple is dating from the 2nd century BC and was built in Egypt but then it was brought to Madrid in the late 20th century. Definitely a good photo spot and a good place to enjoy the sunset. The temple is altogether different than all the rest of Madrid, it’s a different story and a different architecture style so don’t miss this gem. (see first picture)
5. Last but not least: the streets of Madrid! It’s nothing of the ordinary to just walk and enjoy the streets of Madrid. From beautiful buildings, paintings, caffes, and monuments, just walking down the streets with no expectations will offer a lot to your overall Madrid experience!
by Ramona Braticevici (wife of Lorin Braticevici) – Let’s connect on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ramonne.b/