For the first 4 days of my journey I was in Madrid. I decided to go to Spain a few days early to:
- get over jet lag
- get used to spanish culture
- get used to spanish language
- have something to do because I was bored at home and everyone else was in school already
I accomplished none of these things while I was in Madrid. I did very little sight seeing until the last day there. I also only got about 4 hours of sleep each night due to jet lag and limited my siestas (in vain) in hopes of sleeping through the night. Needless to say I didn't really enjoy my time in Madrid because I was jet lagged, lonely, and homesick. My hotels were right in between Plaza Mayor
and Plaza del Sol.
Both of which were very beautiful. I spent some time walking around both of those. I also go to spend some time in El Corte Ingles which is a big department store (it seriously has everything) because my computer cord stopped working. Eek! Fortunately, they had ones that worked for which I was very grateful.
The day I went out sightseeing I took the Metro (only 1 Euro per ride and so much nicer than BART!) to El Retiro which is this big park (think Central Park) that one of the Kings built.
I walked around for about 2 hours mostly people watching. There were lots of street performer type things going on as well as a ton of cute kids, dogs, and old people.
My people watching observations in El Retiro:
-Full length fur coats are a must for any mature woman
-Not pants are just as popular here as they are in the US
-People do but should not wear multiple articles of leather clothing that are touching each other.
ex. pants + boots = malo
jacket + boots = bueno
pants + jacket + boots + gloves + purse = too intense
-All of the super cute kids clothes are put to good use here (on super cute kids)
-If you have 2+ children who are close in age it is fashionable to dress them the same. (also applicable for dogs.)
-People touch each other a lot.
So during my not quite so fun stay in Madrid, I hopped on a train to Cordoba. The train played Slumdog Millionaire en Espanol! We had our orientation in a hotel in Cordoba and then our host families picked us up. I am very lucky and I get to live right next to La Mezquita which is a Mosque turned Cathedral after the Moors got kicked out of Spain. It is very beautiful.
Here are a few other funny pictures from Madrid such as
El Museo Jamon
Fat Spanish DogsA Rose Garden without any roses.
The Crystal Palace