Michaela Merz

Madrid in a state of emergency

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We planned to go and see a flamenco performance and spend the rest of the evening drinking a good wine, eating tapas and just having a nice night out.

On our way to the theatre, we noticed that the streets were being barred and that there were police officers everywhere. Our cab driver surrendered and suggested we’d take the metro to reach our destination. Madrids Underground train is fantastic but who wants to spend a warm, sunny afternoon scrambling along like a tiny warm towards the theatre. Instead we chose to walk and enjoy the sunbathed streets of Madrid, that were filled with the fragrance of spring flowers. Google Maps helps you to find your target and will even tell you how long it will take you to get there.

We started to stroll and couldn’t get enough of this lively city. Approaching the city centre, the hightened police presence quickly became obvious. We were wondering why? Then we saw a demonstration. But there haven’t been a great many angry people, it was quite peaceful. Applying our modest spanish language skills, we could understand that the demonstration was organised by women, who were protesting against a lenient judge decision concerning rape. But the protesters were rather relaxed and it wasn’t a good explanation for the great number of police.

We reached the theatre and experienced an hour of boundless passion expressed through the traditional dancing and singing. It was beautiful and intoxicating an when the show was over it seemed like a very short one.

It was only when we sat in the restaurant at night that I as a non-soccer-fan could grasp the reason for all the safety measures in the city. Athlético Madrid wasa playing in France to win the Europa League. And they did! The next day the streets of Madrid saw a huge party.

Like many times before, our stay in Madrid has been exciting and action-packed. Madrid offers good wine and great food, the people have been very friendly and accomodating. If you are planning an extended weekend away, Madrid is a destination, that won’t fail you.

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