Monday, June 6, 2011

First Weekend in Spain

Friday night I went to my first discoteca. Almost my whole group went so we had a lot of fun together on our first free night in Segovia. It was a great time not worry about our classes, get to know each other and enjoy ourselves. There was a creepy 30 or so guy that kept asking me to dance and of course I said no, but some other people in my group danced with him and it was quite entertaining! I went back way earlier than most because I needed my sleep for a big trip to Madrid Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday the group left for Madrid at 8:30 am (which was really early for a weekend). It took us about an hour by bus to Madrid. In Madrid we took the Metro to Puerto del Sol (reminds me of Times Square in NYC). It is one of the busiest spots in Madrid. There were people with tents and signs protesting about things going wrong in the government. Most of them stay there 24/7 so they have their own mattresses out there! It was really interesting. We split up into groups and my group walked through a street that had names of famous Spanish writers, some of which we will be studying in my Literature class. Afterwards we ended up in Atocha which is the major train station in Madrid.

El Prado was next on our list! Maddie and I went to El Prado which is HUGE! There are so many paintings and works of art that our feet were killing us when we were done. I had been to this museum before when I went to Madrid in 2008, but I was excited to go again because I love to learn and see Spanish art. We saw “Las Meninas” by Velázquez and others by Goya, another famous Spanish artist. After we went to Parque del Retiro!! It is like Central Park in NYC, but probably ¼ of the size. If you haven’t caught on I kind of compare Madrid to NYC because I see A LOT of similarities. But of course there are a lot of differences too.

At Parque del Retiro we went to the area where there is a huge lake. We went rowing in the lake. It was so much fun and I actually was able to row this time because in the past I didn’t have much coordination.  It was such a beautiful day to be in the park! After we tried to return to our hostel…. We thought we knew where we were going be we took the wrong way (passed up our street, and walked for a long time) And it started pouring on us! The Spanish people were giving us weird looks because we were still walking while they were standing underneath a covering. Once we found our hostel and dried off we went out for dinner. After dinner we went to Chocolateria for churros and chocolate. Delicioso! We returned to our hostel to go to bed at a decent time since Sunday was going to be another full day! Luckily the other two people that were supposed to be in our hostel room didn’t show up so we had a room to ourselves which was nice.

On Sunday morning Maddie and I went to El Rostro which is this street that has TONS of vendors. They were selling anything from shoes, jewelry, and decorations. It was a great place to buy cheap things but it got so busy that we left. After, we went to the Royal Palace. It is beautiful and gigantic! Carlos III, IV, and Fernando were some of the kings that lived there. The last thing on our list to do for Sunday was visit Reina Sofia, which is an art museum. It closed at 2:30 pm and we arrived at 3 pm so we were late. But it was ok because I had been before, but I was still looking forward to seeing Guernica by Picasso. Since that was all we wanted to do we headed back to Segovia. I was exhausted and slept all the way back on the bus! Overall I had a great weekend in Madrid and I had a good time exploring and navigating independently. 

 Friday Night
 La Plaza Mayor in Madrid
 Outside El Prado Musuem
 El Parque del Retiro
Royal Palace in Madrid

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