We set out to row boats on the small lake of Parque Retiro. It was something I had wanted to do since the first day we came into Madrid and we wandered into the central park-sized park. We decided to follow some fellow students to a park in Torrejon called Parque Europa first though. The place was very pretty and full of replicas of the most famous monuments in all of Europe. At first it was cool as we explored the Trevi Fountain and the Eiffel Tower. However, around the time we hit the statue of David, I started to feel uncomfortable. There I was, walking through a park full of very small, albeit nicely made, monuments that I could go see in real life. The whole thing felt so very fake. I know that was the point, but it felt too close to the fake tourism we had just discussed in our history classes.
So we left and ventured into Madrid. But before we made it into the park, we ran into the nice lady who sits with her typewriter and her floppy hat and creates poetry. It was fun to get to talk to her and we, of course, bought several more poems from her beautiful head. At this point it was getting quite late and as we approached the boat rental place, I felt a great sadness at seeing the closed sign staring at my face. However, we resolved to go during our last week and wandered over to the crystal palace that resides in the park.
The whole thing is made of glass and it’s a sound exhibition, so for the most part it’s silent inside as the odd dripping and scratching noises that floated through the big room. It reminded me so much of Beauty and the Beast’s ballroom that I asked Thew to dance with me. The waltzing was quite fantastic, I must say. On our way to Alcala to get tapas and on our way out of the park, we walked near a group of college aged people spread out on a blanket with a guitar singing the song Mad World. So what did we do? We walked right up that hill and joined in on the song. There was something mesmerizing about the atmosphere we created there together. 8 strangers that didn’t all speak the same language, but connecting over an obscure English song. yes, we set out to go boating on the lake of Retiro Park, but we accomplished instead was so much more than I could have imagined.
I guess plans are made to be broken occasionally?