Rainy Madrid, Spain — August 28, 2017

The weather forecast yesterday morning called for a 100% chance of intermittent but violent thunderstorms, and there had already been loud clashes of thunder during the night. However, after breakfast the sky was overcast, but it wasn’t raining, so I set out on foot with the goal of walking to El Retiro Park, which is an immense park in Central Madrid that is reported to have several remarkable cultivated gardens. It is alleged to be one of Madrid’s top places to see, and I had never been there.

I stupidly walked a course that took me mainly through parkland with no place to find shelter if it did start raining. I didn’t bring an umbrella on the trip, and I didn’t carry my rain jacket on the walk. We innocents have luck, however. A light rain fell at times, but it didn’t start to rain in earnest until just as I was leaving the park. I found a niche at the front of an apartment building just big enough to keep me from getting soaked and with a ledge that I could sit on and read Nathaniel Hawthorne on the Kindle app of my cell phone. Here’s what the weather looked like peering out from my niche. The picture may not show it, but the rain was very heavy. You’ll notice an absence of pedestrians. Even an umbrella would have been little protection in that downpour.

The torrent eventually turned into a sprinkle, and I left my niche, but I decided that it might not be such a good day for sightseeing after all. I changed direction and walked under the railroad bridge that you can see in the background of the picture above to an area that was more built up.

I stopped in a café and ordered a coffee and an American-style muffin, you know, one of those pastries that looks like an over-sized cupcake with no icing. I had to point to the muffin, because, as I told the man behind the counter, I didn’t know what it was called in Spanish. He told me he didn’t know either. It’s not a type of pastry that is usually found in Spain. However, it was delicious. The Spanish rival the French for making heavenly-tasting pastries of a quality that is almost impossible to find in the USA.

It was still raining lightly, so I lingered over my coffee and muffin in the café as long as I could, and then I decided to hoof it to the nearest subway station and ride back to the hostel. it wasn’t raining when I emerged from the subway, so I went to a nearby grocery store and bought a beer and a salad to have for supper and then walked the half mile to the hostel. I took the following picture of a building near the subway station that I hadn’t noticed before with its cross on a tower. It’s not a remarkable building, but I felt I needed some sort of photo to remember the day.

I arrived back at the hostel before noon, and  all afternoon there were intermittent very heavy downpours interspersed with lighter showers. Today is forecast to be partly cloudy, and then there are to be two more days of scattered rain showers, I hope not as heavy as yesterday’s were. I want to make another attempt  today to walk to El Retiro Park.