I feel as if I’ve been in Spain for only a week, and somehow, I have already finished my first “semester” of classes here.
However, before finals week, I decided to make a quick weekend trip to Valencia. My friend Ariana and I booked our trip the week of, and by the time Friday came along, we were well on our way to the beautiful beach town. Coincidentally, we weren’t the only ones who had Valencia in mind that weekend, as we ran into about twenty people on our bus that we met from the UF program and Nebrija classes in general.
We spent the first day soaking up the sun on the yellow-sand beach. Living in Madrid for the past month, Valencia was definitely a change of pace. Everything seemed slower in comparison to Madrid, where everything is always going and the city never seems to sleep. To make the days even better, I tried the absolutely mouth-watering paella from the heart of its origin in Valencia.
For day two of the trip, we explored the center of the historic city, running into beautiful architecture and landmarks as pictured above. The day was hot and long, as we had to explore until we had our flight late that night.
Moreover, we visited the City of Arts and Sciences, which was a one-of-a-kind experience. It was as if you walked into the future of some alternate dimension. The sheer size of the buildings and architecture, combined with their simplicity made my very own existence feel so tiny, creating those moments of self-reflection which make life worth living.
Once back to Madrid, finals week had come upon us all at the University of Nebrija. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a month passing by so quickly as I had with this past month. I could not have asked for a better educational experience that was filled with the most wonderful and caring professors that made four hours of courses everyday enjoyable and fly by. Finals came and went, but the bittersweet thing of it all was saying goodbye to all the new friends I made that were here on different programs that ended after this first month.
With the end of first “semester,” Ariana and I made our next weekend trip to Lisbon, Portugal. For a second time, coincidentally running into people from Madrid. Truly, a small world.
Once again, the first day of our travels in Lisbon, we headed to the beach. However, on day two we explored the city through a pre-planned walking tour. Out of all of the places I have visited, Lisbon was one that took my breath away. Every street, every corner, every stop within the city had something different. The city was bright, beautiful, colorful, and with the weather being about twenty degrees cooler than Madrid, much more walk-able despite all of the hills and stairs.
As a foodie, I can’t go without mentioning this little cafe we ran into called Augosto Lisboa. Its lovely “hipster” aesthetic, combined with the local, fresh, and healthy food, was just the energy boost we needed to keep adventuring until the sun started setting.
This upcoming week, my second semester begins. However, I will only be taking one course in the afternoon, so hooray for only an hour and twenty minutes of classes instead of four hours, and not having to wake up early anymore. This past week marked the end of part one for me in Madrid. I can’t wait to meet new people once again and continue my exploration of Madrid, and other places (spoiler: I just bought tickets to Budapest).
Until next time,