Postcard courtesy of Michelle Mock

During my last year of high school, my family moved to Madrid (city) from San Lorenzo de El Escorial, the small town where we had been living since our arrival in Spain.  Even in the United States, we had never lived in a tall apartment building, so this was another adventure.  Our piso (apartment) was just to the left of the river Manzanares and the Puente de Segovia.  We could take our dog, Charlie Brown, across a smaller bridge and into the large park you see above the bridge on the right bank of the river.

During my last visit to Madrid in 2005, I walked from the train station at Estación del Norte, attempting to retrace the steps I had often walked on the way home from school.  Things had changed.  I realized that I had to find another route.  Large highways had sprung up in my way.  You couldn’t get there!  I finally went the long way (the only way) up to the Puente de Segovia were I crossed the river and walked back along the left side towards our old apartment building at Avenida de Portugal número 1.  It was now in the middle of what I would call a freeway interchange!  Multiple lanes of heavy traffic passed along three sides of the building in every direction.  As I stood looking at the Manzanares River from the Puente de Segovia bridge, a song by England Dan and John Ford Coley kept running through my head: "As I stand on the bridge of the river...  Years have gone since I was here and I wonder how I differ...  Taxi cabs keep rolling by..."  After having spent so much time trying to get there, I was running late!  I flagged a cab to take me to the Puerta del Sol where I was to meet friends from the American School of Madrid.

Caption: Puente de Segovia


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