Down to the Line: Our Last Weekend in Madrid

Who would’ve thought that I would actually be spending my last weekend as a student in Madrid NOT glued to my textbooks?? Oh wait, everyone BUT me. The last exam of the semester is generally the exam that students score the poorest on, according to my professor, and needless to say, I can totally understand why. Our final was scheduled bright and early on Monday morning, most of our flights leave sometime on Thursday, and everyone wants to make the most of their remaining time in town. Who wants to study when chances are this will be the last time that most of us are abroad?? No one, that’s who.

But me? I’ve been consistently burned out since I never have a moment to just kick back and let my hair down, so to speak – Monday through Friday I am either in Spanish class, in a tutoring session, or in transit between tutoring sessions; one of my two weekend days is dedicated to spending time with my t-oigo family; the remaining day is “me time,” spent sleeping late, watching movies, and catching up on homework. Needless to say, I checked out of school and work a long time ago, and have been going through the motions for a while now. This past weekend, though, I made the most of my last official “day to myself” in town by getting out of bed relatively early and visiting the Reina Sofía museum for the second time since I’ve been abroad. This time, however, it was for a reason – to see the new Salvador Dalí exhibition.

Now, if you know me well, you probably know that I have a love for modern art and a more-than-slight obsession with the surrealist movement. When I came to Spain, I knew that if I did anything here, I would have to go to Dalí’s hometown to visit the Dalí museums located there. Thus, I was more than a little excited to here that the paintings would be coming to me. The exhibition features more than 200 of Dalí’s works from collections all around the world and chronicle his entire career as an artist. All I have to say is that the 30 minute wait to get my ticket, and the additional hour wait to enter the exhibition was well worth it.

Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening (1944)
Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening (1944)

Every single painting that I have ever loved by Dalí was featured in this collection, and to be completely honest, I was moved nearly to the point of tears to see these amazing works in person. The amount of detail in these paintings – some of them no larger than a sheet of paper – was breathtaking. I don’t think I could be more satisfied by a collection! If you happen to be in Madrid before September 2nd, I highly recommend visiting it.

Playing the waiting game was well worth the wait!
Playing the waiting game was well worth the wait!

After my damned near religious experience at the Reina Sofía, I met up with my favorite lady, Ashley, for Wine Time and conversation. As per usual, our brief date ended up lasting late into the night, when she convinced me last-minute to go out to a gay club with some other friends from USAC. Now, I don’t go out into the wild very often here, but when I do, I always have a great time (even if I am exhausted for DAYS afterward).  Every 30 minutes it seemed like we were making new friends with the other club-goers, and we danced to our hearts content while enjoying the view of the very attractive male bartenders and go-go dancers.

My #1 gal pal in Madrid!
My #1 gal pal in Madrid!
Madrid night life - you're doing it right!
Madrid night life – you’re doing it right!

The hours passed by so quickly, and before we knew it, the sun was up and we were making our way home. Unfortunately, I needed to be awake just a few hours later to meet my t-oigo family, but it was well worth the exhaustion, as we had an absolute blast. Can’t imagine a better way to close out my semester abroad than that!!

Bidding "good morning" to the symbols of Madrid!
Bidding “good morning” to the symbols of Madrid!

Now, with finals over (I feel pretty confident with them, but we’ll see for sure when grades are distributed), tutoring classes ending this evening, and my luggage on its way back to the USA without me, I’m ready to close this chapter of my life and enter into the next one – that of a wandering vagabond. Morocco is in t-minus two days and counting and I truly can’t believe I am about to embark on this amazing journey. Here’s to the next adventure!!

¡¡Viva la vida – siempre!!

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