After 2 days in Marseille, we took a flight to Madrid, which lasted only 1.3 hours -- and I remember almost jumping in my seat with anticipation and Kartik had to literally hold me down. As soon as we cleared immigration, picked up our luggage and walked through the terminal towards metro - something jolted me out of my trance...in a pleasant way that is. I kept walking but I could not get it out of my system, and then it was clear to me -- Madrid was my sense of smell, and this musky whiff of a man passing by was what had shook me out of my dreamy state. Now, I was ready for Madrid for it had already defined how my days will be spent there.
Fervent travelers that we were turning out to be, we freshened ourselves up quickly after reaching the hotel, and off we were on our touristic expeditions.
Every corner I passed, it seemed as it was infused with a tantalizing aroma dragging me, hypnotizing me into a world that I did not know existed. When I walked into a cafe, it wasn't the smell of the pastries, coffee and sandwiches that I noticed- it was the sweetness of how welcoming the servers were and how fast they were working to keep the orders flowing - its the smell of their hard work and their dedication that I remember. Next we went to Plaza Mayor around 1pm, and guess what? Afternoon siesta was on, and I could tell - and I don't have to tell you why. It was something my breathing orifice could pick up like a snap!! Well, the entire day and the next was spent exploring the little streets and history of the city-- everything enhanced even more so because of how it all smelled -- fruity, saline, rich, fun, desparation (for some), joy (for most), fearlessnes, artistic (tons of museums) and seafood (paella, tapas, anyone!!)
Madrid was a beautiful city, the people even more so. I am so lucky to have visited this place and to have made it as the final destination my trip because I was able to hold on to the memories a little longer.
Pics coming later...but before that I am sure you want to know what happens to my fifth sense - the sense of touch/feel. Without thinking too much about it, this was my lovely husband Kartik. Because of him, I had such a blast and was able to really enjoy each city the way I did. I was able to absorb and feel the eccentrities that come with traveling so much in such a short time. It was because of him that all other senses came together perfectly.
I am so thankful to you Kartik, for being so accomadating (with my inane requests for 3pm tea breaks), patient (with me taking all the bathroom to myself and that too for 2 hours) , obliging and loving throughout the entire trip, that I couldn't have asked for a better traveling partner. Thank you for a wonderful time - especially since this time was invested in making my dream come true!
***UPDATE: Pics below -- enjoy!
Street Signs -- very artisitic
Catedral de Santa María la Real de la Almudena
Plaza Mayor - a must
Candy shop at night -- flame to the moths :)
Me enjoying helados...yummm