Last night was La Noche En Blanco (White Night). This is a thing that's been happening in Madrid for the last four years, but it's the first time we've actually been. It started in Paris in 2002, and now happens in Brussels, Riga, Bucharest, Valetta and Amsterdam and other places. It's basically an all-night arts festival. Traffic is banned from the centre and the streets are thronged with people. Galleries throw open their doors (and vast queues form). Places that are not normally open to the public host events. There's a beautiful garden on the corner of Cibeles; it's part of the Army's HQ, and normally you'd stand a good chance of being shot if you tried to get in.
MamaDuck arrived back from the UK yesterday afternoon and said she wanted to go. So we hadn't really planned an itinerary, and just spent a few hours wandering around. Lots of people had white balloons, and we finished up in Plaza Mayor where they were being inflated and handed out. There must have been about twenty inflation stations, but the queues to get balloons were lengthy. Being a bit geriatric, we were home by 1am, but the events continue until 6am. The Metro stays open till 3am, instead of closing a 1am as it normally does.
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