Palacio de Cristal, Madrid

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Exploring DT Madrid: Botanical Gardens and Retiro Park

January 14, 2014

{Andrew and I had plans to meet up for a sandwich and explore Retiro on a random Tuesday.  I got to the city early with the intention of going to the Reina Sofia Museum.  Sadly though, the museum was closed on Tuesday, so I had 3 hours to aimlessly wander the city while Andrew was in class.  I found myself in a completely deserted garden in the center of the city.}

It was raining, so I had the whole place to myself.  I walked in, and obviously it’s winter so a lot of the things are dead, but it was like this beautiful secret place I had all to myself.  I can only imagine what it’s like in spring and summer.  This definitely isn’t an attraction in January, but I think that made me like it even more.  I can picture this place on a Sunday afternoon in Spring: so many lovers kissing and families, and old people with strollers, and kids running around with ice cream.  At first, that thought made me feel really alone, but it wasn’t the bad kind of alone.  I just felt my mind is wandering to a lot of different places, like my friends and family back home.

Gardens are weird places in winter. Things just all shrivel up so fast and then come back to life so routinely.  I guess being in a garden where things die and come back to life so routinely makes me think of all the people in my life, especially the ones I haven’t seen in a long time but when we are together it’s like nothing’s changed at all.  Relationships as well: you’re in love and then you’re not and there’s no reason to hold on to anything because everything’s constantly being reborn.

I thought of that time that grandpa planted all those strawberries and they took over everything, but we weren’t that mad because we had so many strawberries, even though we lost some of the flowers.

Wandering alone is sort of interesting.  Instead of having conversations with other people, you have to have them with yourself.  This is a new feeling for me.  Read about it here. 

{It was freezing, so I decided to go have a beer to warm up.  I felt like such a tourist, sitting in a café drinking a beer, but whatever.  It was freezing and raining and my California-ness was killing me.  I met up with Andrew in the afternoon.}

I wanted to go to the Palacio de Crystal, which is this huge structure made of glass and metal in the middle of the park.  We were worried because it was raining, but decided to embark anyway.  We ate a sandwich under an umbrella and when we were finished the sun appeared!  It was like a crazy little miracle.

We head over to the Palace and I was instantly amazed.  It’s right next to this beautiful pond and surrounded by flowers and evergreens.  The palace is shaped like a Greek cross with super high ceilings (over 22 meters high) and a ton of open space.  You walk in and it almost warps the way you see the world.  With the perfect symmetry of the metal beams that separate each pane of glass, the Philippian flora and fauna surrounding the building, and the quiet open space within, it’s like you’re seeing the world from an artist’s perspective.  Every blink was a different picture, and every picture was like an elaborate painting.  It didn’t feel real.  I could have lain on the floor and stared at the ceiling for hours, but I wasn’t on drugs and I’m sure people with dog poop feet walk there all the time.

This is life for a while.  That’s all I could think about.  A year ago this time I was pulling days off of a calendar, setting deadlines for an escape that I couldn’t face and now we were looking at some huge piece of art in huge landlocked city where we understand about half of what is being said.

Andrew got here back in September and I remember his first email said that coming to Madrid was the best thing he had ever done.  He told me to come too because I said I was afraid to leave.  Security at work and in my home became such an excuse that I couldn’t seriously make any plans.  And now here we were 4 months later, looking out at some pond in the middle of an art.

My favorite part about the Palacio de Cristal was that everything was so real around it.  In my opinion, the best part of the art wasn’t the structure itself but the illusions it created, that weren’t really illusions at all.  It forced me out of the art and into the scenery, which was there the whole time and only complimented by the building.  It was a beautiful day.

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One thought on “Palacio de Cristal, Madrid

  1. Efrain says:

    Hello! This post could not be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my
    previous room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this post to him.
    Pretty sure he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

    Like

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