Greetings from Madrid! I can’t believe it’s been nearly a month since I arrived in Spain, but throughout this time, I’ve solidified my love for this country and this city. The food is incredible and the activities are endless, and I am certainly improving my Spanish.
So let’s catch up! First of all, the food! Let’s just say that I am not struggling to eat over here. I’ve had paella, fresh bread, jamón y queso, more bread, churros con chocolate, bread again, and tapas. As you can probably guess, the theme of the trip thus far is bread. [Side note: Spain has some of the best bread I’ve ever eaten in my life.] But besides eating all that bread I’ve so enjoyed all the tapas, which are more often than not free (!!) with the purchase of coffee or a drink. This concept was completely new to me, but obviously very much welcomed. I mean, who doesn’t love free authentic Spanish food? Of all the tapas I’ve eaten thus far, the best were in the town of Cáceres after a long walk in the cold rain. My friend and I arrived at the restaurant cold and wet, and ordered four plates of tapas to share. Of the four, my favorite was “carrillera melosa con orejones, higos de Almoharín y pimentón de La Vera” (braised pork cheeks with strips of dried apricot, Almoharín figs and La Vera paprika). A M A Z I N G.
Okay, okay so I could go on and on about all the food I’ve eaten, but that would quite literally be a book, so I’ll move onto the next point: the activities. The program that I am studying through offers activities nearly every weekend. They’ve hosted trips to Segovia, Cáceres, Mérida, the Real Monasterio de Yuste, three museums here in Madrid, and next weekend they are taking us to Toledo. I’ve gotten to see a lot of Spain and learn a lot as well because of these trips and activities. But I’ve gotten to see and learn a great deal on my own trips and adventures, the next being this weekend as I head to Salamanca!
But Madrid has much to offer as well. Besides visiting the museums, I’ve also adventured throughout the city on walks and have been able to discover some hidden treasures along my runs (one time getting slightly lost). There is always something to do in this city, even just going for a walk with friends (kind of like DC!).
I absolutely love this city, and am so glad that I chose to study abroad here. Madrid is a mix of old and new, ancient and modern. The neighborhood where I live is on the newer side, but on my runs I run past old buildings that have such rich Spanish history. These observations have made every day interesting, and have provided me with just a hint of the culture and history here in Spain, more specifically Madrid. I cannot wait to learn even more about the country as I continue my studies here!