I can’t even think about having to leave this beautiful city and the amazing people. I’ve made so many friends around the world in such a short period of time. It’s crazy to think I might not see everyone again (but you can never say never). I’m going to miss it all so much!
But before I get too sad, I get happy thinking about all the wonderful things I’ve been doing. This past week I’ve been hustling around the city, getting last looks at everything it has to offer. And eating lots of food. Lots of food.
This past weekend, I went on a bit of a “field trip” with everyone in my USAC program. We went to El Escorial and El Valle de Los Caídos (Valley of the Fallen). They were both sites filled with lots of history. El Escorial functions as a monastery, royal palace and is even where kings of Spain have been buried.
El Valle de Los Caídos is a bit of a controversial place for natives. It’s a monument to honor those who died during the Spanish Civil War. Many people do not support this monument because it’s where Francisco Franco is buried, and it’s been shut down in the past before.
Sunday I took a trip to Toledo, a great day trip from Madrid. It used to be the capital of Spain, and has Christian, Moorish and Jewish influences. It’s a beautiful city, though very hot and hilly. Best part is that it’s only a 30 minute train ride away!
I’ve spent a lot of time recently hanging out with my host family and friends. Even though I’m going to miss Madrid very much, I’m going to miss these people equally. Being in class, however, I won’t miss very much. I will miss my Masterpieces of European Art class though – I don’t think I will ever be able to take an art class inside museums in a city ever again.
As final exams and projects come up, you’d think I’d be stressed. Normally during a semester at UF, I’d be up all night cramming and studying. Here, it doesn’t worry me much. I think the Spanish vibe of go-with-the-flow suits me very well!
Studying abroad in Madrid has been an adventure of a lifetime, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I know this isn’t really the end of my travels though, because I will return one day. Thank you, Madrid!