My days in Madrid were few.
My last days in Spain were in Madrid. My work visa expired. A plane was coming to take me from home, to my former home. I stayed in Madrid but three nights. While there, I had three stops: visit the Prado Museum, Plaza de Toros, and La Venencia. The Prado to see original Picasso, Plaza de Toros for posterity, and La Venencia for Ernest Hemingway. On the first day, I toured the Prado and saw an original Picasso, as well as many others. That afternoon, I strolled by Plaza de Toros and ended in La Venencia. La Venencia was Hemingway’s favorite hangout during the Spanish Civil War. There, he’d drink, and receive updates on the war. Hemingway’s For Whom The Bell Tolls was his historical fiction account of the war. It was my mission, to drink in Papa Hemingway’s favorite bar. Indeed, it hadn’t changed, though pictures of Hemingway adorned the walls. I sat at Hemingway’s table and toasted Papa Hemingway. One drunk toasting the ghost of another. But the man could write.