October is just around the corner and the days are drawing in. My summer vacations — spent in Spain and Scotland — are now just memories and photographs. I’m thinking ahead to places where I’d like to go next year: five very different destinations. Which places — cities, countries, regions — are on your must-visit travel list?
If you read my previous post, you’ll know that at the beginning of June I flew to Madrid for a four-day mini vacation. Four days isn’t a long time, but it’s surprising just how much you can see, do and experience in that time. I spent three days in Madrid and one day in Toledo, a nearby city.
A view of Toledo, looking back across El Puente de San Martin (Bridge of St. Martin)
At the beginning of June, I spent four days in Madrid, visiting a Spanish friend who is living there and studying for her Master’s degree. I am already longing to go back. The city is beautiful, filled with gorgeous architecture, elegant parks and expansive boulevards.
On the first day of my visit, we went on a three-hour walking tour around the city. I chose to go on the Spanish-language tour, but it is available in English too. We began in Plaza Mayor. Like many Spanish cities, Madrid is a city filled with plazas (squares), but Plaza Mayor is the main square — popular with locals (madrileños) and tourists alike.
The largest and most central square in Madrid, Plaza Mayor is lined with tapas bars and restaurants.
The European Parliament, Strasbourg. Public domain photo by hpgruesen.
On Friday morning, I woke up to the news that I didn’t want to hear. I had gone to bed quietly confident that the Stronger Together campaign would prevail, but the result shocked the world.
This vote could easily have gone the other way — out of a 72% turnout at the polls, 51.9% voted Brexit while 48.1% voted to stay. I believe that if we had another referendum tomorrow, we would not be facing the uncertain prospect of a future outside the EU.
And I am sad. I feel bereft, as though part of my identity has been stripped away. Oh wait, it has. As it stands, within the next two years, I will lose my European citizenship.