As somebody who is obsessed fascinated with writing and words, on the one hand, and interesting ground surfaces, on the other, I know too well how rarely the two actually overlap. So, I was enthralled when I realized that we are staying in Madrid’s Barrio de Las Letras (Neighborhood of the Writers). The area used to house some of the great authors of Madrid’s 16th-century Golden Age of letters — Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Quevedo, and its pedestrian streets are now covered in brass-lettered poems, quotations and literary passages written by them and other Spanish writers.
I vaguely remembered walking in the area and being very charmed by the literature-paved streets the first time I was in the city over six years ago and, although I had no idea which part of Madrid they were in, I intended to find them again this time around. So, you can imagine my rapture when, on my first night out, while running around the city, I gazed down to find myself standing atop one such a brass-lettered passage. Adding to the glee was the charmingly obliging Spaniard who surprised me by throwing himself onto the ground and into the frame as I took a picture.
As I walked around the neighborhood the next day, I realized the poems and passages were everywhere, they were too numerous to read carefully, even if a better grasp of Spanish on my part could make that possible.
Some of the writing and writers were easily recognizable nonetheless.
Others, even without much punctuation, just looked beautiful, even though I had no idea what they meant:
For a while, I could not get enough! But eventually, I stopped snapping photos every few meters, put my camera away and just enjoyed walking on top of literature, literary.