Last weekend, we took our very last excursion as a program. It was the longest excursion, too- we spent 5 days in Madrid, Toledo, and Segovia. It was a lot of fun! Doing the historical tour of the city made me fall in love with it. It reminded me of a cross between San Francisco and Granada because it definitely has a metropolitan feel but it also is very Spanish.
We went to the Prado Museum the first day and the Reina Sofia Museum the next day, both of which were very cool because we had learned so much about the artists that were featured there. I saw the paintings of El Greco, Picasso, Velazquez, Miro, Salvador Dali and Goya. As someone who has not studied or understood art previously, it was really cool to get excited about the paintings that I recognized because I knew the significance and the stories behind them.
We spent a day in Toledo and Segovia each, and both cities were quaint and beautiful. There is a castle in Segovia that Walt Disney used to create the castle in Snow White. It was so picturesque that it did not even look real! It almost looked photoshopped into the sky.
In Madrid, we also decided to eat well. We had Italian food one night, Thai food another night, and Indian food a third night. The program paid for a few meals for us as well that were delicious. I experienced real paella, where one must break open the seafood to get to the meat. This was Sebastian:
The trip to Madrid also coincided with Halloween, and since Madrid is infamous for its Halloween celebrations (at least according to the people who had been on the program previously), a bunch of us took a taxi to a 7-story discoteca called Kapital where we danced the night away. Halloween is definitely not the same here as in the United States- for example, people dress up in scary outfits rather than using it as a way to wear minimal clothing- but it was definitely fun! I also really enjoyed seeing all of the children dressed up as little witches and ghosts.
My favorite part of the trip may have been that we found fall! We had been told that Spain pretty much goes from summer to winter, and that is true for the most part in Granada. But in Madrid we found parks with fallen leaves and trees changing colors and it was magical.
We arrived back in Granada on Sunday to find that the temperature had dropped considerably and that the city was beginning to put up Christmas decorations! I have heard that when Granada is lit up for Christmas, nothing is prettier. I’m very excited!
Now I need to study for midterms because- guess what- the program ends in 6 weeks!