The truth is that I didn’t like Madrid when I first met her.
I was lost and the world seemed sad. It was winter, and she doesn’t like the cold. Her statuesque buildings are tall, and her streets narrow, full of shade. But even then no matter where you looked there was always something beautiful to catch your eye. She draws you in, but she seemed aloof, indifferent to your gaze.
When I returned in Spring her charms grew, the empty plazas began to fill, the stately trees began to blossom. The narrow shaded streets, so cold before, now reverberated with friendly chatter. And oh my god how she plays with light. Me encanta. I had fallen. I could not believe my luck. When the world seemed darkest, I had found true beauty.
Now after nearly 5 years on this bittersweet morning we are moving on. We will always love Madrid–and ASM–for welcoming us so warmly. Madrid reinvigorated my love of life, and gave me the two lovely ladies that are the lives of my life. I am so incredibly lucky, but the next chapter beckons.
But I will always love Madrid, the true queen of cities.
All photos copyright Shadrach J. PIlip-Florea, but feel free to use them if you also love Madrid.