Todo en un día

iBonjour y Hola!

I cannot believe how incredibly packed this day was!

This morning in Paris, the most delightful melon macaroon in the world melted on my tongue while I watched the sun rise into colors of whimsical corals and tangerines.  While everyone else spent our two hour layover shopping and socializing, I was not about to miss out on a morning of delightful French cuisine. I was aware that there was ample time to make friends on this trip, yet only a very limited time to revel in the heavenly foods of France. I am glad that I kept my priorities straight because I very much enjoyed picking out and consuming not only the perfect macaroon, but  also the perfect quiche, carrot soup, and pomagranate juice to tickle the insides of my tummy.

Perfection.

And then it was gone.

 

The flight to Madrid was beyond perfection. I had a window seat and was thoroughly engulfed in the climax of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray when I suddenly fell to a deep sleep only to awaken just before landing in the most beautiful city I have ever been in my life. I was told by my first grade teacher to always steer away from using the word “beautiful” as an adjective because everyone has their own definition of what it means to them.  As much as I long to find a word that suits Madrid that can transfer the instant love that it has ignited in my heart, I can only describe it as simply beautiful. There are no other words that I can use to describe it because it is unlike anything I have ever experienced. It is full of life and charisma, yet it is calm and peaceful, it is with the times yet embodies a history more ancient than most civilizations. Castilian is the most beautiful dialect of any language I have ever heard. It is gentle, exotic and full of love.  Every person I have encountered holds the utmost class regardless of social status and I find the people to be faithful, but never sanctimonious. They love visual art and the way they live their lives embodies all of the rustic, pure and joyous emotions that art evokes.

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I can only hope that Heaven has hotels as simple and spacious as the one in which I currently reside. It is in the middle of the city and on one side it faces a busy street lined with shops and markets while my window faces a wide patch of land barren from everything but a sparse assortment of wild grasses where the homeless commune. This evening I watched them come to their wide patch of land where they flattened boxes for beds and placed the day’s unsold items in the dirt beside them. Normally my heart aches for the homeless. Anywhere else this sight would cause me to risk my safety. I would have run from my hotel room to their dusty patch of land to provide them with anything I could give. But it is different here. As I look out my window I do not see thin, desperate, shivering and drug-confiscated bodies. I see happy and humble people who have little material possessions, but appear to have enough to eat. In fact, they seem to be far more content than any middle schooler in Northern Virginia I have ever met as I watch them greet their neighbors and stretch out beneath the warm and welcoming sky evening sky.

We toured everywhere in Madrid today and I couldn’t possibly retell all of the things I have learned. My favorite stop was the one we took to the Royal Palace of Madrid. We weren’t allowed to take photos, but the images I saw will be forever imprinted in my mind. It is impossible that any interior design of a building has ever been more ornate and carefully crafted as what I have seen today. Every centimeter of the palace was thoughtfully contemplated and diligently executed. One could spend an entire week in each room and never uncover every careful detail of each room. Never in my life have I been so hypnotized by art. I could not draw myself away from each room as the excitement of uncovering new details at each moment became more intriguing than the anticipation of finding out what will happen next week on a well-loved TV drama. I could write for days and months and years about the Royal Palace, but I have not gotten more than an hour long nap in thirty hours and should retire to my bed. My last words about the palace to anyone who reads this would be to please put it on your bucket list. Never before have I experienced such inspiration for so many different areas in my life through art. Each detail reminded me of how I must never complete anything in my life with haste. Each room opened my eyes to the capacity of human capabilities and creativity. The incredible difference between each room and the magnificent unity that it provided the palace as a whole reminded me of how our differences are what beautify the earth.

I wish I could stay forever.

El Palacio Real

El Palacio Real

El Aeropuerto
El Aeropuerto

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