Templo de Debod is one of my favorite places in Madrid. It’s a 2nd Century B.C. temple gifted by the Egyptian government to Spain in the 70s, transported to and reconstructed in Madrid stone by ancient stone. It’s not very big, but there’s a mini-museum inside it, worth a visit particularly since it’s free to enter. Although if you’re claustrophobic you might find the narrow corridors a bit suffocating.
The temple is quite near my house, and I usually pass through it as part of my Sunday strolls. I also make it a point to bring my visiting friends there during sunset, when the views are very pretty. There’s a viewing point that overlooks the city, and sometimes there are musicians who perform for people sitting on the grass or athletes practicing seemingly impossible feats, always very entertaining to watch.
As Spain relaxes the rules of quarantine, we’ve had a few more freedoms in Madrid, including the chance to go out of the house to exercise during a window of a few hours each day. I finally had a chance to see go for a walk and visit Templo de Debod again after months of staying inside the house like a hermit.
I observed that just like our hairstyles and our weight, Templo de Debod has suffered from a lack of maintenance. There hadn’t been water surrounding it for quite some time because of the scarcity of water that Madrid has suffered in recent years, but now there are weeds sprouting up around it. It looked unkempt, of course understandably so.
It’s not going to take much effort to spruce it up, but seeing the temple neglected was a reminder that some things in the outside world had changed, maybe in small ways, while we remained cooped up in our homes. Things have definitely changed during the quarantine, and we have yet to see what needs to be spruced up, shaken off, or kicked out of our lives in the new normal.