Hola readers! This entry is yet another February update, focusing on the lovely Lola and her visit to the magical land of Madrid. Lola and I have been friends for over ten years now (I feel so old.) and she has been my rock for every single one of them. We went through the pains of GCSE science together, lamented over art GCSE coursework and even went on to study A-level Spanish together, and even though we’ve gone our separate ways for university, having her out in Spain was such a wonderful experience.
Since I’d already done a lot of sightseeing and museum-visiting with Alice two weeks beforehand, I pretty much had the tour-guide act down. Lola and I visited all the main Madrileño spots; the palace, the plazas, the Templo de Debod to name a few, and, Lola being an animation student and an avid art-lover, took so many pictures of the classic European streets: balconies either side of the cobbled roads, strong iron gates adding both security and beauty to the average home, tall thin trees, already green in February. We also visited the two main art museums in Madrid: Reina Sofia and Prado. And they were incredible. Seriously beautiful. Everything we saw in both museums was special and unique and clearly done by very talented individuals, but the highlight had to be Guernica.
Seeing Picasso’s Guernica in the flesh was an incredible experience. After a full day of exploring the city, entering the hushed room full of humbled people was an awesome experience (awesome in the sense that it filled me with awe). Having grown up knowing about the painting and studying it in art for a while, it was amazing to actually have it in front of me, huge and stark against the white wall, barriers and security guards around it, making sure tourists don’t get too close. Signs indicating that no photos are to be taken, no food and drink anywhere near the masterpiece. Your eyes work over the painting, trying to pick out as many details as you can, and every time you look again, you find something different; a new figure, more expressions, another brushstroke, the possibilities are endless, but the time wasn’t and we were soon ushered out by security as the museum was closing.
And of course, I couldn’t let Lola leave without introducing her to the madrilène night life; yet another visit to Space Monkey and Chupito with Spanish friends! Though a fun night, this one was bittersweet as it doubled as a goodbye party for a good friend of mine, who’s now living out in Helsinki, but all wasn’t lost! Three others in the gang have since moved to London; good news for me because it means I get to see them when I go back home!
As with Alice, there were no tears when I dropped Lola off to the airport because I’d be seeing her so soon! It’s always lovely to be able to catch up with old friends, and it’s been a decade since we’ve known each other and still going strong so… I can’t wait to spend another decade with her!