Perhaps I should begin this post by saying my new average bed time is 4:00a.m. It’s not something I’m proud of…I REALLY need to begin working like a regular person soon.
In my defense, last night it was completely normal to be out all night. In Madrid it was the annual “Noche en Blanco” (White Night). I had fond memories of Noche en Blanco because last time, when I moved here with Keira, it was our first real night out in Madrid.
Last time, all we did was drink, walk around in the completely crowded streets, and listen to some street bands play. I found out later that Noche en Blanco is not just a street party, but a night in which all the museums are open (and free), and you can also visit other places like the Bank of Spain or the Madrid stock market.
I was glad that the people I was with this year wanted to enjoy both the party aspects and the cultural aspects of Noche en Blanco. With that in mind, we began our evening at the Zombie parade.
Clearly I’m not in this picture because I took it. But on the left we have Jeff, Marcus, Alyssa, Annie, and Samuel.
At the Zombie parade, they wanted volunteers. So if you wanted to be in it, then they would paint your face and teach you the zombie dance. We declined. But we did see an excellent rendition of Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
After this, we decided to walk all the way across the city to an area called Legazpi where we stumbled upon dancers from the Madrid Ballet Company.
We found them on accident because we were actually searching for an outdoor concert, but it was really fun to get to see them. After their performance, we journeyed on and finally found the concert we were looking for. It was outside. I think it’s usually a tad bit warmer for Noche en Blanco, but we liked sitting on the “Flying Grass Carpet” as it was called even though we were slightly frozen.
The stage was behind this huge factory-like building that reminded me of an art gallery. For some reason, there was a giant, lighted orange tunnel. We had an excellent time taking pictures against the backdrop.
After being cultural and seeing dancers, a cellist, and a band called Boat Beam whose nationality was a mystery, we went up into the city center to join in on some of the drunken action.
This is Gran Via (Broadway). Here, you get an idea of how crowded the streets were. Gran Via was called the “Light Walk” because they made all the buildings different colors with lights. I wish I could have gotten more pictures, but at this point we were starving and on a mission to find food.
It took a while, but we finally found a place that still had a kitchen that was open. It was 3:00a.m. We had sandwiches, and chips, and someone ordered a big plate of fried potatoes with bacon and Ali-Oli sauce. Here is a photo of Jeff and Samuel eating some soggy pieces of Spanish bacon dipped in the thick, creamy garlic sauce. Yum.
So, this Noche en Blanco was much different from the last one. But you’ve got to admire a city that says, “Hey guys, let’s have an all-night, city-wide party!” People were drinking in the streets, dancing, and generally having a good time. But also visiting museums, seeing dances, and enjoying everything the city has to offer.
I didn’t get home until 5:00a.m., but I didn’t drink at least. I figured since I had gone out drinking Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, that I might take Saturday off.