Virginia, ¿americana o madrileña?

Hello again from Madrid! Since my last update, I’ve explored more of Madrid, traveled to Salamanca, and most recently trained to Lisbon, Portugal. We had some spectacular spring weather for a little while here in Madrid, so I was outside practically all day everyday, and so was every other madrileño (Spanish for ‘people from Madrid’) and tourist visiting this city. It was magical.

One weekend here in Madrid, my friend and I went to explore the outdoor market called El Rastro, similar to DC’s Eastern Market but about 50x bigger and filled with more people. We walked around looking at all the antiques, crafts, books and clothes that vendors were selling, and then walked 20 minutes until we got to the Palacio Real and its gardens, where we sat for the next hour or so soaking up the sun and speaking Spanish. That is the ultimate study abroad experience!

I also had the chance to visit amazing Salamanca, and discover its historical charm. The buildings and cathedrals were all constructed in similar style, and were absolutely beautiful. I would describe the town as a large, small city. Salamanca is not only famous for its breathtaking cathedrals and Plaza Mayor, but also for the historic university nestled within its walls, appropriately named Universidad de Salamanca. It’s one of the oldest university’s in all of Europe, and illustrates the style of a historic and traditional university. In total, Salamanca proved to be one of my favorite Spanish towns!

But my most recent travels have brought me to Lisbon, Portugal, which I have concluded as being one of my absolute favorite places in the world. The bright sun, stunning river, and charming buildings were magical. There is no other way to describe it. I traveled via overnight train one Thursday night, and spent four full days exploring and walking the city as much as possible to see as much as I could. The food was some of the best I’ve had in Europe thus far, and the people/culture were amazing. My friend and I stumbled upon an outdoor concert one night and a random dance party the next afternoon, if that gives any sort of idea of how fun Lisbon was. It was really difficult for me to realize that I had to eventually travel back to Madrid and go to class. I can’t fully describe the beauty and magic of Lisbon, so I’ll just have to let you try to imagine it through these pictures:


All in all, it’s been an amazing month (even though it randomly snowed the other day in Madrid) – and I can’t believe it’s already April! There is still so much to come though in my adventures here, and I will continue to keep you all updated!

–Virginia

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