After three flights, three different countries, and a solid 24 hours of traveling I finally
landed in Madrid [with my my bff of course] where my study abroad journey begins. We made our way to the NH Hotel with other students from our program where the afternoon included a much need nap, wandering the streets for food (eventually ending up in a Starbucks – which is the first time we actually had to speak in Spanish to a local) and the first meeting as a whole group.
We woke up the next morning (still jet lagged) to tour the city by foot and visited El Museo del Prado, y El Museo de Reina Sofia. El Museo del Prado had many famous works from artists such as Velasquez with Las meninas and Goya with El 3 de mayo en Madrid. El Museo de Reina Sofia contained many modern art pieces with artists such as Pablo Picasso (and his huge painting of Guernica) and Salvador Dali (with Endless Enigma o Enigma sin fin). We made our way back to the hotel that afternoon with a detour of watching a bride walk into a church, strolling through beautiful park, and some initial struggles of trying to figure out the metro.
Over the weekend we visited the beautiful city of Toledo where we toured the city which included the 4th largest cathedral in the world and where we had the most beautiful scenery from a hotel room that I have ever experienced before in my life. After another group meeting we rushed to the buffet and spent the night on the balcony watching the stray cats looking for food by the pool.
Finalmente, we had a four hour bus ride to Valencia where we met our host-mom outside of the soccer stadium. So far the hardest transition has been the times of eating which consists of a small breakfast (8-8:30am), a large lunch at 2pm and dinner around 9pm. The night life begins at about midnight and walking everywhere makes me miss my car a little. Fortunately my visits to Europe in the past has made me use to the way people drive, the small cars, and the small streets, much quicker than most other people in our group.
You could say my Spanish still needs some work but that’s why I’m here. I’m ready to explore more over the next five weeks and I’m sure there will be many updates and photos to come.