Heading Home: The Scenic Route

Hola,

When I asked around on what the weather in Madrid was like I was told that it was similar to California weather. Being from the city of Long Beach where the temperature is always somewhere in between 70 and 85 degrees most of the time I expected the same here. Little did I know that the summer here in Madrid is the same as a summer in Merced, and for those of you who don’t know what that’s like.. well let’s just say you can cook eggs on your car’s hood while cookies bake on your dashboard.

Today was 104 degrees Fahrenheit, and to make matters worse today just happened to be the day my monthly Metro pass expired. So there I was, already late, scrambling for some change to buy a one way ticket to get to work. After work I had no choice but to walk home since all I had on me was a credit card; which the machines for the Metro don’t accept! So there I was with about 2 miles in between my apartment and I.

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Amazing apartment complex in the middle of the city engulfed with green (credit: Esteban Martinez)

My walk took me about 45 minutes since most of it was uphilll, and I also stopped a lot to get some shade. What I found very surprising was how often I caught myself staring up. You see, when you take the Metro to work, all you see is the same people everyday. There really isn’t much to look at since the entire Metro runs underground like a subway; so there really isn’t any view. Today on the other hand, I saw some really interesting things. I saw kids play at a park, I saw a lady get a ticket, I saw a strangers help another stranger push his car out of the way because it was having issues. I also so many amazing buildings, and tall ones at that! On the metro people always look down; they are either on their phones or reading the newspaper or a book. Meanwhile, on my walk I was looking all around and constantly looking up and admiring the architecture I saw.

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Street intersection in Madrid (credit: Esteban Martinez)

With so much heat it actually led me to a discovery. No I am not talking about finding a Pokemon. I found out why the buildings are so close to each other – SHADE! In Merced it is very rare to see a building have more than 4 or 5 stories, bu there in Madrid that is as short as they come. As you can see from the picture the height of the building allows it to cover almost the entire street so that people can have shade from the very powerful sun. Believe me, powerful is almost an understatement.

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Perfect example of some wonderful wonderful shade (credit: Esteban Martinez)

So here goes, let’s hope this summer heat simmers down a bit since I’ll be walking for a while now.

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