Some say that first impressions aren’t always right impressions, but in the case of Madrid, I would give all my marbles to tell you that mine was right.
The first time I spent a night in Madrid, we literally spent only the night in Madrid. It was less than 12 hours, but it will forever be imprinted in my memory. We were catching an early flight the next morning and we also accompanied our friend Emanuel on his last night in Spain. It was our last goodbye of the semester, and Madrid (and later Paris) was neutral ground that linked our first half of the year with the second half.
Emanuel introduced us to Takos, we wandered the streets, him showing us Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor, and eventually headed back to our hostel for a few hours of shut eye. And in the midst of a week full of all the feels that goodbyes bring, these few hours were pure joy. Ever since that night, Madrid has always held an inexplicable charm. It’s a city that brings people together, and while I’ve never fallen in love, I imagine it being similar to experiencing Madrid. Life-giving, hopeful abandon.