Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hace Calor! One Woman's Survival Strategy (Madrid)

Please Click on these Pictures to See More Lovely DetailMadrillenos have their own techniques for dealing with the heat of the city in July.

Those who don't have a long commute back home may still have a big midday meal and an afternoon siesta before returning to work until evening. But many do commute. I imagine they take advantage of air-conditioned offices as much as possible.

A tourist wants to see things, but when it gets to be over 100 degrees, she gets more than hot.

After I more-or-less got over my jet-lag I had forced myself to stay out all day. I was just miserable. After I came close to passing out on the metro, I came up with my strategy for beating the heat. I developed a modified Spanish plan. I set my alarm and got up at 6:00 in the morning to got out walking different neighborhoods, and taking photographs. In the late morning I visited any museums or other tourist attractions. Once it got good and hot in the early afternoon, I went back to my hotel room, showered off the heat, ate my yogur y frutas and whatever I had scrounged from the mercado. Then I had a REALLY LONG nap, really the second part of my nights sleep. I got up really late in the afternoon and went out walking again. This always included hanging out in El Parque el Buen Retiro. That's where the locals were anyway. Once I got tired of walking in the park, I sat on various benches and read or sketched. I also hung out at the turtle pond and chatted to people. (See my previous entry, Getting Neighborly).

Madrid stayed light until after 10:00 at night in July. Several times I stayed out until past 11:00. The Plazas are well-lit and, since I saw other home-bound women walking home at that time of night. From the style of dress of the people I saw, I guessed that the walk back to the hotel was relatively safe. A casual supper in my hotel room, a little English language news on t.v. and I got in another 5 hours or so of sleep.
Early evening at El Lago in El Parque de Buen Retiro

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