September 1, 2017

Today is my last full day in Madrid or in Europe for that matter. Assuming everything goes as planned with United Airlines, (and most of the time when I fly United to Europe things do not go as planned) I will be in Phoenix tomorrow night. Today, around midday, I am moving from the hostel to a hotel within walking distance of Terminal 1 of the Madrid Airport, which is the terminal that United flies from.

Yesterday morning my Greek roommate left as did a heavily-tattooed Ukrainian guy, who only stayed one night. When I got back from my daily outing, I was the only person left in an eight-person dormitory.

When I set out for my morning walk yesterday, I didn’t have a goal in mind. I decided I would walk to wherever my nose pointed, which was in the direction of downtown. I didn’t pass any famous landmarks on the way, so there will be no photographs of them in today’s post.

Over the years, I’ve posted scores of photographs of centuries-old European churches in my blogs and in my ebook, A Senior Citizen Walks the Camino de Santiago. Sometimes it seems, even to me, that there are no new churches in Europe, but today I found one. I didn’t note its name, but here’s a picture of what it looks like inside.

Most urban dwellers in Spain live in condominiums  called pisos in  medium-rise apartment buildings. Stand-alone houses are not common. Even in the countryside, many people live in multi-family dwellings.

During the real-estate bust of 2008, which started in the USA but hit Spain much harder when it arrived here, many large apartment buildings were left standing empty. Now construction is beginning again. Workers were busy in the lot behind the sign shown below preparing the foundation for a building that I suppose will look like the one in the sign. Notice the name of the development, Riverside Homes. It is considered chic in Spain to insert a few words of English in advertisements, even though most Spaniards don’t speak English.

If I were Spanish and lived in a building called Riverside Homes, I would feel myself to be part of the privileged class, even if the place were a dump. In fact, I’m thinking of naming the shack where I live in Phoenix La grande maison de Jack. Few people will know what that means, but that’s not the point. It’s French, so it indicates prestige.

I took the picture of the apartment building shown below because of the metal structure on top of it. I am mystified. I have no idea what that metal structure is or why it is there. If anyone who reads this blog entry does know what that structure is, I would be grateful if you would leave a comment below the post and explain it to me.

Finally, almost man major roundabouts or traffic circles (whichever name you prefer to call them) in Spain have fountains in the center, always surrounded by carefully manicured grass and other vegetation and sometimes accompanied by a statue. I walked past several such fountains yesterday but only thought to take a picture of this one.