I love spring in Europe. And I love traveling in Europe in springtime, because of fewer crowds and the possibility of amazing weather. But it’s always a bit of a poker game — you never know what you’ll get until are really there: Last year, I saw beautiful Strasbourg on an almost summer-like April day, just to be massively rained on the next day. Back in May last year, I never needed a jacket in Switzerland, but was shivering in the rain in Holland for nine days straight. There’s honestly no way to speak of weather consistency during this time of the year — no matter where you are in Europe.
This March the my spring travel experience from last year seemed to repeat itself: I jaunted around three European capitals during the last few weeks and spring couldn’t have presented itself more differently: Berlin was cold and gray. Rome was perfectly warm and sunny without exception. And my girls getaway in Madrid? Well, in Madrid I experienced in true spring weather – meaning everything from pouring rain to storm clouds to glorious sunshine, all in just a few days.
I have often mentioned that I don’t mind to travel in Europe in the rain. In fact, I really like it at times. I love how rain creates an entirely new kind of beauty within some cities that is so much fun to photograph. But still, I obviously like sunshine better, and I knowing I’d spend a spring weekend in the Spanish capital I never worried about bringing an umbrella. I mean, Madrid on the sunny Iberian Peninsula after all, right?!
But it came like it had to come: It rained a lot during my days in Madrid (while the rest of Europe enjoyed a perfectly warm and sunny spring weekend by the way). I tried to make the best of it, but despite my numerous visits to Spain, this was actually the first time I experienced rain there. In the beginning, I enjoyed seeing this different, moody side of Spain, I loved photographing the wet cobblestone streets, puddle reflections, and compensating with churros con chocolate and a whole lot of girl talk in the coffee shops of the city.
But as the rain lasted, leaving our cozy GowithOh apartment to sightsee didn’t sound like such a good option anymore. Instead Ashley, Jessica, Amanda and I spent hours on our kitchen table eating strawberries and drinking coffee, hiding from the rain outside. Luckily, the sun did show at least a little bit eventually — albeit on a stormy day with gloomy clouds. But it turned out that this was the most perfect day for some tinto de verano rooftop drinks and sunglasses. Because a city from the bird’s eye view gets so much more interesting if you add proper drama clouds (and a cocktail) to it!
On my last day in Spain, I was finally lucky enough to see Madrid in the sun for a few hours. Really just a few hours, but it was a brief moment of bright light and warmth — just enough for me to get freckles, have a café con leche in the sun, and take a few nice photos with blue skies. And that was everything I could have asked for from a spring weekend in Madrid!
Spring travel in Europe sure has its ups and downs, but at least it never gets boring: I think I never took photos of a city in a course of only a few days making it look so diverse — and I feel lucky to have seen Madrid in so many different ways.
Have you traveled Europe in springtime?
How did you like it?