I've just come out of the most depressing place I've ever visited. And I know a lot about depression. I imagine only Auschwitz could have a greater impact on me.
This was the basilica in the Valley of the Fallen outside Madrid. The location of the tomb of the tyrant Franco, which I had the pleasure of walking over. Twice.
This vast, dour memorial to the fascist dead was carved out of the granite mountainside by republican slave labour, who are not even mentioned in the memorials to the glorious dead.
Both its preposterous exterior and interior are reminiscent of every Nazi construction you've ever had the misfortune to see. And the interior tells you everything you need to know about the grim and guilt-ridden relgion in which I was indoctrinated.
There are huge virgins and angels on all sides. Not to mention the several gory representations of an agonized Christ. All offset by a gaudy giftshop on the way out
As i left. I felt I should have been even more angry but my primary temptation was to vomit.
As Franco was Galician, the restaurant next door is naturally called something like 'The Pride of Galicia'. I feel ashamed eating my lunch here
But I plan to sleep in the car and to try to dream of Franco's month--long death agonies. The will of God, you understand. Which, as a good, stupid Catholic, he endured without medical help. Once a fool, always a fool.