Sunday, February 5, 2012

Madrid, Part 2

It was a full day of driving to get from Granada to Madrid, and well after nightfall when we arrived at our hotel near the Barajas airport terminal. As it was our last night with Judy before her flight back to California, there was melancholy for all of us, but we tried our best to keep the mood cheerful and enjoy each other's company. We decided to stay in and have a hotel-room feast, and went to bed late.

In the morning, we drove the short jaunt to the airport and returned the rental car together before seeing Judy away at the security checkpoint. It was a difficult goodbye for all of us, but made easier by the wonderful week we'd spent together. Once she'd disappeared behind the gate, we boarded the metro and made our way into downtown Madrid, where we would check into our hostel and re-group before planning our final days in the city.

The next day, we met up with Roy's aunt Bethany, as she had expressed interest in showing us around a slaughterhouse-turned-community arts center called El Matadero. We were both amazed by the size of the complex, which featured a number of studios and galleries in addition to event space, a cinema, a playhouse, a cafe, and a public media center. It was an an inspiring example of a successful, large-scale art project, and left us all enlivened and hopeful.

We would meet up with Bethany once more, on our last day in Madrid. After wandering around together, the three of us decided to go see The Artist after hearing a lot of buzz about the new film. It was a great way to cap-off our Madrid experience, and we would go to sleep that night excited by the week we'd spent exploring Spain's magnificent cities, but also at the prospect of another workaway opportunity in the mountains to the south.

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