By Jack Wright
There’s some kind of truism in Madrid that if you haven’t been to the beach yet – or other popular summer destinations in and out of Spain – before the Fiestas of the Virgen de La Paloma (Our Lady of La Paloma) on 15 August, time has about run out on you. You could still catch the tail end, of course. But don’t wait a minute more. Go!
This year the feast fell on a Monday. Not one to ever let a long weekend go to waste, the Madrileños – and many of the Spaniards, for that matter – launched themselves into a frenetic and absolutely exhilarating race to the coasts and the mountains. More than six million road trips were taken across Spain from Friday to Monday. Madrid was so depopulated it was a virtual ghost town except where the La Paloma fiestas were being held.
Actually, 15 August, as a national public holiday, celebrates the Feast of the Assumption. But Madrid prefers to think of the date as the celebration of the feast of one of its favorite saints, the Virgen de La Paloma, its unofficial patron saint.
Now many of those who’ve rushed out have come back. The longer-term vacationers too, for gradual decompression before facing the looming grind of post-holiday life.
Luckily summer still lingers in Madrid. And, besides, there’s life outside the sandy beaches actually. The traditional Veranos de La Villa (Summers of the Villa), a program under the auspices of the city government, doesn’t come to a close until the end of August in this vibrant asphalt jungle.
It isn’t the complete list but here are some of what the Veranos has in store for those who are back in Madrid after the La Paloma (and the few who never left).
Featured Image by Max Alexander/PromoMadrid, CC BY-SA2.0 Generic
Chotis on the street: Madrid Council
Royal Palace by Evan Bench, CC BY2.0 Generic
Tapas by Kal Hardry, CC BY2.0 Genericc
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