Europeans in general can be partially credited for the “invention” of the balcony. Most of these appear in HOT countries like Spain, Italy, Greece, and even southern France.
To me it’s amazing to see thousands of balconies around Madrid city and rarely ever see anyone ON them! Why not? I imagine it’s a privacy issue. What a waste of good space and freedom. I guess a balcony is ONE thing but a terraza is quite another. On a terraza you can have your meals, sit and talk with friends or family, or just take a nap in the sun. On a balcony you can do little more than lean out over the street and pedestrians below.
Now it’s wintertime in Spain and the temperatures are cool to cold. In Madrid, now after midnight, it’s downright cold. BUT I LOVE IT because I’m “a hot body“. I’m dreading the arrival of late spring and summer. Ugh.
My balcony and my kitchen are my two handy escapes from the (gas) heat of the house or just to take in some fresh air. The kitchen is handier because in there there are no radiators, no heaters. Only the gas appliance itself is present and the kitchen window must be kept ajar to allow the light gas fumes to escape.
I always keep the kitchen window open but the kitchen door always closed. It must be an odd sight to my neighbors across the way – all of whom have their windows closed – to look here and see this kitchen window open at all hours of the day and night.
There’s nothing more refreshing for me to enter the kitchen, all fresh and cool, and to lean out the window at night to marvel at the strikingly clear Madrid night skies. It seems I can see every star. And yet I can also clearly see fine details of the few passing clouds. I love it. I lean out the window, take a deep breath of that cool air, look up to the sky and thank those lucky stars for bringing me here.
The balcony in my house is enclosed with a sliding glass window from waist height to the ceiling. There I go sometimes in the summer to take in the sunset or to also fill my lungs with fresh, cool air during these winter days. Again, it must be an odd sight to anyone whom MIGHT be able to see me 5 flight above street level, leaning out of his balcony on a at-freezing-temperature night.
The kitchen window gets the wonderful sunrise sun, filling the room with that brilliant glow as I make my breakfast. Sometimes it’s so inviting that I actually sit and eat my breakfast there – although it’s almost too small to move around. But with the window open and the sun shining it makes it all worth it.
The living room gets all the afternoon and evening sun – or at least it did until they constructed a 5 story building in my line-of-sight to the sunset across the street. That’s quite sad for me. Still, the sun is wonderful until late in the afternoon.
I can’t get over how wonderfully clear the skies are here in Madrid. Low humidity, I suppose. Kind of reminds me of those clear and rare cloudless winter nights in rural north central Ohio – except for the 2-feet of snow on the ground – when I’d go to the backyard and stare up to the mesh of stars hovering over our house in the country. The Milky Way seemed like a blanket I could almost reach up and touch. Just spectacular. So quiet, cool and fresh. So clean. That’s when you really feel in touch with your planet.
So often when considering the possibility of buying a (larger) house here in Madrid I think I’d REQUIRE a place with a balcony, a terrace, or at least a great view of the skyline or the mountains. Those flats come at a premium price and are hard to find. I hope I can get it someday. Having the simple ability of going “outside” from your own flat – without having to go down to the street level – really does a lot for one’s peace of mind. For now, I’m so happy to have that possibility here at my home.Share THIS on Facebook!