Once in Christmas, I moved to train in Madrid. Legazpi and the Madrid slaughterhouse are the starting point of my new route towards the marathon: Madrid Río and 8 miles go and return. Two months to run the Sahara. Contrasts of lights and shadows.
Madrid Río, the refurbishing plan on the brooklets of the Manzanares has changed the whole landscape of the only river in Madrid. The empty plots and stubbles surrounding the river have changed into green areas as well as leisure and sport activities spots.
However, likewise almost every single project developed in Spain in the last decade, Madrid Río offers rather lights and shadows.
The later Madrid slaughterhouse was transformed into a cultural centre by the end of the 90′. The old livestock market which used to be the selling point of traditional gastronomic dishes of the Madrilenian cuisine such as ‘gallinejas’ or ‘callos a la madrileña’, made out of the trips of the animals, has become a new cultural and leisure centre. Although spaces for documentaries, theatre, music and design increased the cultural activity in the old slaughterhouse, many of the 40 buildings forming ‘Matadero Madrid’ are still empty. And this is not due to the lack of ideas from artists living in Madrid…
Following the winding paths leading the river from south to north, one arrives to the west side of the Royal Palace. However, before making it to the Sabatini gardens that surround the palace and more than five years after the beginning of the engineering work in the river, the area nearby the Vicente Calderon stadium is still under construction… I hope cyclists, pedestrians and apprentice of marathon runners can enjoy this pathway anytime soon.