Wow! It’s hard to believe that I’ve already been in Madrid for 5 days, and yet at the same time it feels so familiar and comfortable as well. Part of moving to a new city, and my personal favorite, is the exploration phase. Now, yes, sometimes it is confusing and I have no idea what direction I am going. However, the excitement of seeing things for the first time and enjoying new foods and stores never ceases to amaze me.
Since my roommates arrival, we have done a little exploring around Madrid! I am already impressed with how seamlessly historical and modern parts of the city are intertwined.
So far I’ve visited:
- Plaza del SolHome of the Bear and Strawberry tree statue! This plaza is right off of Plaza Mayor- one of the major areas of Madrid. As you can see in the left side of the photo, many characters are out and about looking for money in exchange for photos. I was super careful and held on to the top of my bag the ENTIRE time.
- Plaza MayorAnother place where you have to be super careful! This is also one of the most touristy areas, so you’ll spend a lot of money if you eat in this area. We went down one or two blocks and got food for less than 6 euros.
- El Mercado de San Miguel A crazy cool place! There are just rows and rows of food stations. You can find anything ranging from crustini’s to eel Sandwiches to beers and pastries!
- Retiro ParkI wish the United States had something like this! It combines recreation with food and quality time with friends and family. The spanish definitely have a more slowly paced lifestyle – never in too much of a rush. They succeed at creating a work-life balance in a way us Americans never will. ***We also ran into a huge Book Fair in the park…. 350 stalls!
- El Palacio de CristalA truly beautiful place. However, it’s very warm in there. Most people didn’t stay in it for very long.
I’d say that, along with completing my orientation and spanish oral exam is the definition of a successful first few days! I am so looking forward to exploring more of this wonderful city and to learning more about people in Spain.