A fear I had about moving to the city was losing all of my greenery and shrubbery. I have never lived in what I define as a "city" and I consider myself a small-town girl for the most part. (My college town of 80,000 was too big for me! Needless to say, moving to a city was a big, crazy step for me.) For most of my life, I have been surrounded by trees and agriculture, but have seen pictures of places that are sparse in the plant department. Finding all of the parks and plants and trees and labyrinths in Madrid has changed my perception a little bit. The trees have even begun changing a little bit for the fall! I could not be more excited by all of the outdoor beauty in the parks around here!
So, Retiro. I have been there, discovering its many trees and its beauty, everyday for the past three days. It houses the Palacio de Cristal, which is an amazing sight, as well as a pretty creek and lots of trees. Reminds me of Bidwell, except with a crystal palace and alcohol...
...I got a margarita... I'm such an American girl sometimes, it's not even funny. Me and my tequila.
Palacio de Cristal
Another fear I had about moving to another country was not being able to have easy access to bookstores. Actually, my fear was broader than that. I was mostly afraid of not being able to access old-fashioned, paper, bound books. They are literally my favorite thing in the world. Set me in a library for all of eternity and I will be happy! I have found that books (although not necessarily English books) seem to be easier to access than my hometowns in California.
First of all, there seem to be librerías on a lot of street corners, like these ones:
I also bought a book in Spain for the first time (a week. I lasted a week.). I bought Ted Hughes' Gaudete. It has it in both English and Spanish, so, I can get my Ted Hughes fix while practicing my Spanish.
And, today, I found my first biblioteca.
EEEE!!! I FOUND THIS FITZGERALD COLLECTION AT THE LIBRARY! The sad thing is, I was able to translate all of the titles, not because I knew the words, but because I know Fitzgerald's work that well!!
Mansfield Park! In Spanish!