Gardens and more

UC3M, Leganés, Spain

Gardens and more

Flower in the botanical garden in Madrid.

This past weekend (which just ended for us) was our last long weekend of the term. I guess that we have been pretty spoiled with respect to days off so far this term, but I’m not complaining. One thing that I am excited about is the fact that the air conditioning is finally being turned on in the residence today. And about time, with temperatures reaching 40°C this weekend, it was getting pretty desperate.

But that’s not what I wanted to talk about. On Sunday we pried ourselves out into the heat – Daniel, Dima, Nenad, Nebojša and I and headed into Madrid. It was Nebojša’s last day in Spain and we had a few more items to tick off the list. Nenad wanted to go back and finish up at the Prado Museum and then they planned to catch a bull fight. So after a bit of time at the museum, we split into two groups with Dima and I staying at the museum and the others going to see if they could get tickets for the bull fight. Having had quite enough of the museum, Dima and I decided to head to the Botanical Gardens of Madrid which happen to be right behind the museum. Our student cards got us in for only 1€.

Inside it is a bit like the Public Gardens in Halifax (for those who know it) only a lot bigger with a larger diversity of plant life. While the Public Gardens are designed to be visually appealing – and they are, this garden is like a botanist’s wet dream. In addition to the large plot of outdoor land with a large number of flower, tree and other plant species, there is a climate controlled building that contains several separate bio-habitats ranging from desert to jungle. I must say that it was all pretty cool and while I’m not especially into the botany or biology of it, I am into unusual and unique subject matter for photographs. I’ve always said that I prefer plants for my photographic subjects, and so it was a useful excursion. Plus it generally smells nice being surrounded by thousands of flowers.

As per our arrangement, we called the other group to see whether or not they had been successful in procuring tickets – as there was some doubt as to whether they would. As it turned out, they weren’t able to get any tickets, so they wanted to meet up with us again. We decided to meet in Puerta del Sol which is the center of Madrid (the zero kilometer starts there) which meant a 15 minute walk for Dima and I. We made it without getting heat stroke so I was happy. We connected without any problem and decided to head towards Plaza de España. However, we zigged when we should have zagged and we ended up at Plaza Mayor. At this point Daniel vanished on us to return to talk with his father. The remaining four of us headed on and eventually saw signs directing us to Plaza de España. Along the way we came across the Palacio Real and the Catedral de la Almudena. We stopped and took photos as usual.

Eventually we ended up at the Plaza de España and took more photos. At this point it was getting close to dinner time and we submerged into the subway and whisked our way back to the residence. All told it was a very rewarding trip – at least for me.