It was broiling and steaming at about 38 degrees in Madrid that day. Looking out over the vista of Madrid during the peak of the siesta period it seemed that all the traffic had stopped and all of the sensible people in the city had retreated inside, except for the tourists like me of course. I was carrying the burden of the heat and my jetlag and so I have a memory blank about my tour of the Royal Palace in Madrid, which is to say that my body and my mind weren’t up for the exercise of memory and I have no idea if I actually liked it or enjoyed it.
Pretty soon after the tour, I sat down with some tapas of bread lathered in fresh sardines, cheese, basil and tomato sauce along with a huge jug of sparkling water and that was the part that I remember, not the actual palace itself. The food afterwards was like being plunged into an oasis of luscious sensory pleasure after being alone in the desert for eight hours. The meal was remarkable and filled with the flavours of the sundrenched country with a vibrant tomato taste of the like I had never experienced in my life before, also the sardines were fresh and piquant, it makes my mouth water just thinking about it.