Once I got off the Metro at Puente de Vallecas, (partly due to wanting to get McDonalds, although it was closed by midnight). I vigilantly walked home with loud sighs of exhaustion and sadness. I had just left 24 hours of rain/snow and tons of Nutella Crepes back in Paris. This was it. My last weekend in Madrid and 4 days left in this beautiful city. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye, I wasn’t ready to go back to reality.
The next few days would be crammed with last minute excursions, packing, souvenir hunting, plus a three part final exam. How was I ever going to say bye to this city, if I was too busy stressing over tedious assignments. In my last week I went to my final days of class, the El Escorial, and had a traditional (3 hour) Galician three-course meal. Oh, how could I forget, I went to Kaptial as well.
I unintentionally got lost in the city with my buds trying to find a specific souvenir shop. We turned on random streets, trying to remember any little hint that could help us find the store. No luck to finding the store, but we ended up finding a secret garden near one of the large churches. We walked underneath a freeway bridge, as Kyle and I debated policies from our political parties while Andrew took photos. I could smell the sweet aroma from Kyle’s vape under the dark blue skies. Madrid, you are beautiful in darkness or sunshine in every corner of yours. I never wanted to let go.
The first few days my stomach was able to handle a Spanish diet, with all the bread, olive oil and cheese. Slowly but surely my stomach was aching and I couldn’t stand anymore goat cheese by the time we were third week in. #GraciasPeroNoGracias Don’t even get me started on not having mayo on mis bocadillos y hamburguesas 😦 A donde hay RANCH para mis papatas fritas!? I miss watching my host mom cook me somewhat bloody thin pieces of meat and how savory the meat was. And I always ate too much to handle when it came down to plates of paella. Más por favor. Out of everything I tried, I will always choose paella as my favorite. Paella is traditional dish from Spain that has a ton of rice and can have either seafood or chicken in it. *Note: when moving to Spain, must learn to cook paella, if that means burning down the building or giving myself food poison.* I tried plenty of foods like croquetas, jamón (iberico, serrano), patatas bravas, spanish chili peppers and churros con chocolate. I also had this habit of eating crepes, even though that’s not from Spain. I once went on date to Five Guys just to get me a proper Americanized burger after having had a plain meat, cheese and bun burger (and to show this guy how amazeballs Five Guys was). I had never been more satisfied and content in my life. Sitting in happy silence, scarfing down my burger. Tasted just like home.
My last Wednesday in the city, I was supposed to day trip to Toledo as my final excursion but ended up getting a severe stomach and headache. I opt’d out of going on the trip and wandered around Madrid for the day. Looking for a cure through copas de vino. I got lost between Primark’s floors and bought more jeans than I needed. I roamed over to Círculo de Bellas Artes and spent the afternoon sipping wine and losing feeling in my fingers. Because only I would be the one to go to a rooftop bar during winter. #NoPasaNada Círculo de Bellas Artes came highly recommended and was supposed to be on my grand tour of the city but I was always late and could never go up in time before closing. This rooftop bar has the iconic view of the Metropolis building that shows up in every photo of Madrid. The Metropolis building has a beautiful black top with a statue and gold filling. Although my mission was to see this side of the bar, I totally forgot (possibly the vino may have gotten to me at this point) and never got to see it first had. I was also too short to see above the bars accurately. So I sat down on the grass section, sipped on some vino and giggled at a French group next to me jamming along to the tunes. I didn’t want this to end, I wasn’t ready to say goodbye.
I stumbled outside the bar and headed to my next destination, Parque del Buen Retiro. I caught the metro and arrived to the notorious park. On my checklist for the day, I needed to see the mini lake of paddle boats and the palace of crystal. Only made it to one of them but hey that’s what my soon to be year abroad is for. Trying to straight walk through the park, I made it to the lake and watched paddle boats go by. Trying to get back home for lunch since it was almost 4, I ended getting drunk lost in the park. The park is huge, reminding me a lot of Central Park in NYC. Snapchat saw first hand my slurs and trying to find the exit. After endlessly walking around and finding a ton of water fountains, I finally found the exit and the metro back to Pacifico.
I spent the night eating poras and watching the last minutes of a football game and embracing the cold in the blue dorm room, as I call it. Morning came and I walked outside with my new burgundy jumper, hopped into a cab and said goodbye to Malasaña and him. Should of been more like an hasta luego, but who would have known then. I spent the morning reviewing my notes and completely my two part final exam. My classmates and I headed to the Galician restaurant where we shared laughs over what we learned and experienced. Celestino taught us how to make tinto verano and cautioned us on the chili peppers, even though Ivette ate them all with no problema. Celestino and Dr. Gallego made their last speeches and wished us well on our trips back home. After everyone started stacking up plates, they took the hint we wanted to leave (I mean it had been like 3 hours). We all needed to pack our remanding things and get ready for the long night ahead of us. In the whole three weeks, we were finally going out as one and more better time than the last night, dancing the night away at Kaptial.
After lunch, I dragged Kyle and Andrew with me to Primark to buy a carry-on luggage. We headed out to Plaza Mayor for one last time. I convinced (begged a little) to take flamenco photos like true tourists. Then out to Plaza del Sol to catch our trains back home.
I unpacked the clothes from my drawers and placed delicate souvenirs in my carry-on. I folded the burgundy jumper and placed on top of everything. Officially packed and ready to go, it was time to get ready for Kaptial. I met the girls at Copas Rotas and had my last daiquiris con fresas. The boys showed up and of course Kyle was already drunk (I’ll explain Kyle’s drunkness later). We headed to the VIP and paid the whooping cover charge of 17 euros for two drinks. Already buzzed, I only made it through one Vodka with Redbull. We danced in the VIP section until we got kicked out of that wing. For anyone that hasn’t been to Kaptial, the notorious club has seven floors and gets pretty lit. Everyone in my class was trying to stay out the latest they could without missing their flights. After waiting a few minutes in the never ending coat line I walked out and stumbled to a cab. I went to go embrace the cold in the blue dorm room one last time. Not having wifi to call, I pushed a bunch of random piso call buttons and ran into an elevator door. #Perfection. Morning came and it was time I officially said goodbye to the blue walls and watched the small calle turn into Gran Vía in the distance.
I could feel the knot in my throat as I clung to the taxi’s window, knowing this was it. I watched the Atocha station pass me by and turn into the calle Av. de la Ciudad de Barcelona. I grabbed my luggage, kissed my host mom goodbye as I gave her my set of keys. I got into the co-pilot seat with my host dad and watched the city get smaller as we drove away. I checked in my luggage and ran down the countless escalators of Bajaras Airport with Andrew. I sat down with Tea and Stephanie as we recapped our mornings with tired sighs and dark eye bags. There was a silence of mutual feeling in the air trying to cope with how to say goodbye to Madrid.
We boarded our flights to London to head home from there. Waiting to leave the gate, I stared outside the window trying not to cry, knowing I had to say goodbye. I could feel the plane running, taking off as I mumbled Adios Madrid, I’ll be back, I’ll be back. I promise.