A little bit late with this post, so where do I even start?
Madrid is such a big city, but it’s becoming smaller now that I know it pretty well. I’ve never had to take public transportation before, but I can finally say I’m pretty comfortable with the transportation here. Except for when there’s so many people on the metro, and I feel like we’re sardines.
Every day feels like an adventure here. I get out of classes around 12:30, and I have the whole day to do what I want! Sometimes there’s so many options it’s a bit overwhelming. When in doubt, my favorite places are Parque del Buen Retiro (a park that reminds me of Central Park), the museums and of course browsing through shops on Gran Via.
Small cafés have become my new favorite thing. It’s so relaxing to just sit down with a friend after class, drink some coffee and people watch. The funniest thing: they sometimes sell “American Pancakes” with croissants at cafes!
This past weekend I adventured to Barcelona. Barcelona is only about 3 hours away from Madrid on the high speed train, making it a great weekend trip. However, Barcelona deserves more than a weekend.
The city is spectacular! From the second I got off the train, I was hooked. It’s interesting to see the language differences (they primarily speak Catalan) and personality differences in the people there. I felt like one of the Cheetah Girls when they went to Barcelona.
I hit all the major tourist spots in Barcelona: Park Guell, La Sagrada Familia, La Rambla, and various buildings designed by Gaudi. La Sagrada Familia is still under construction but still took my breath away. In my hostel room, everyone was from a different country. I spent a lot of time hanging out with a girl from Scotland. Nothing like travel to bond two strangers!
Even though I could stay in Madrid for much longer, there are a couple of things I miss about America. The biggest definitely being air conditioning. It’s very hot in the city and without AC in my classrooms/apartment I can’t ever really get away. I also miss showering in hot water – not quite as common here. However, it doesn’t bother me too much because I get to live in the city!