For somewhere as relatively far south by Europe standards as Madrid, it’s a city which gets incredibly cold in the winter. And I mean incredibly cold. True, I have become acclimatised to the balmier climes of the island of Mallorca, where in a mere 3 months of being here, I have begun to believe that there is no such thing as a minus temperature. But how wrong I was on that front. For when the need arose for me to jet off to Madrid last week for work, I experienced temperatures that made me feel as though I was facing an attack of daggers from all sides.
It was my first trip to Madrid for several years, and I was therefore keen to spend the little free time I had exploring the city streets and remembering past memories of walking around the Prado, the Retiro, through the Puerta del Sol and along the Gran Via. But no sooner had I stepped out of my hotel I realised that a few blocks of walking was all I was going to manage before I had to duck inside a warm tapas bar for shelter.
Ice cold streets, a bitter wind, and temperatures which made my gloved hands feel not just cold but broken… these were the sensations I suffered in this short dip into winter in Madrid. Yet just as clear skies bring a fierce winter by night, in the day, those cold temperatures are tempered ever so slightly by the presence of sunshine, and the photographs you see on this post were taken on a brisk morning stroll as I headed from my hotel to my place of work near the beautiful neoclassical monument, the Puerta de Alcalá.
Those photos are very evidently characterised by the grandeur of the city – the beautiful roof tops of the Gran Via in the distance, the architectural details of the Puerta de Alcalá and the Plaza de Independencia, and the large palatial buildings and parks which fill the area. Everything is brightened by a pale winter sun and clear blue skies, but as you (hopefully) enjoy these photos, please remember the pain which I had to suffer to take them – they involved taking off my gloves, a sensation which brought to my hands a thousand daggers of pain. Oh what I suffer for The Daily Norm…
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