Michał Karzyński

Ni un dia sin poesia!

So, finally. After many adventures I ultimately arrived in Madrid. I am staying with a bioinformatician friend of mine called Alvaro over the weekend and on Monday I will move into my own room in Plaza de Espana.

Adventures I did have. After leaving Bradford, arguably one of the least pleasant places, I traveled to unquestionably the most beautiful places on Earth: south of France, Costa Brava, Barcelona and finally Madrid.

My first stop was sunny Barcelona, where I was to spend one night. The city welcomed me with a scene from an Almodovar film. A ride on a train from the airport to the city accompanied by classical music and beautiful, rested, full of live Spaniards and curious holiday makers. All bathed in surreal colors of Catalan sunshine. I left the train full of hope and joy, took out my hand-drawn plan to direct myself to Kabul Hostel, where I was to sleep. At this point however Providence decided to teach me a lesson and send me on a heedless trek in the opposite direction to the one I was to follow. After about half an hour I realized my mistake and had to turn back… Finally after about an hour and a half I arrived at the hostel, but after dragging my 30kg suitcase for so long I had blisters on all my fingers, on some fingers more then one, and three of them already burst :|
This was not a good start to my journey and on top of that the hostel was fully booked. Thankfully I found another, but after all that I had not much energy to go site seeing. I slept for a while and walked only a few hours before really going to bed.

The next day I traveled to France — to Perpignon and then to a small town nearby called Elne. There I was welcomed by Marcus, a relative of Dean my Bradford boss. What a wonderful person he is, wonderfully disorganized and passionately in love with the South of France. I understand him fully however, as over the few days I stayed with him he showed me some places which were so breathtaking that no words of mine will do them justice. Cliffs hundreds of meters high dropping straight into the blue-green Mediterranean sea, small villages where life is a constant appreciations of infinite beauty. I chanced to be there on the 14th of July, the French independence day, when each of these villages had a fireworks display. We watched one and then drove back to Elne surrounded by the Pyrenees and brightly illuminated colorful sky… I will also never forget swimming in the Mediterranean and looking back on mountains forming the background of a coastline covered with palm trees. Amazing. It is no coincidence that so many famous painters come from this area.

Marcus is a painter and our long talks about life and art awoke a curiosity within me which I hadn’t realized was dormant for many years. I have not picked up my sketchpad yet, but I would really like to try drawing… Maybe someday.

On one of my days in Elne I took a ride along Costa Brava to Figueras. There I visited the Museum of Salvador Dali, rightfully named ‘the largest surrealistic object in the world’. The museum is constructed as a sanctuary for Surrealism and it was designed in its entirety by Dali himself. As you enter you see a car standing in the room ahead of you. As you enter that room you realize that it is a beautiful shining black Cadillac, filled with plants and algae covering a motionless plastic driver. The Cadillac forms a pedestal for a 10 meter high column made out of car tires atop of which a statue stands. This statue is reminiscent of the ancient Gaia mother-figures and she stands there with open arms, naked, covered only with gold. Behind all this on the wall is a gigantic version of one of Dali’s paintings… You really would have to see it to believe it :)
The museum is filled with Dali’s paintings, drawings, objects, holograms, stereoscopic paintings, jewelry… I saw there one of my favorite Dali paintings, Leda Atomica and others: Galatea of the Spheres, Poetry of America, The Specter of Sex-Appeal, Portrait of Picasso, Soft Self-portrait, The Specter of Sex Appeal just to name a few of the more famous ones. The most amazing exhibit was Dali’s jewelry however. Made out of gold and precious stones, basing on motives from his paintings. In this jewelry his painted surreal dream visions materialize and come into life in our world. And they come to life, because they move, pulsate, they live, the Royal Heart actually beats.
Oh and by the way, the room which looks like the face of Mae West… it’s on floor two :)

Reluctantly I finally left beautiful Catalunya and came here. Of Madrid I will now only say two things. For one, until you live here, you just don’t know what living in a city can be like, and two: I think I’m falling in love… with Madrid.