This last weekend, a friend of mine and I went to the Imagine Dragons concert in Madrid. It is only a 5 hour bus ride to Madrid and the tickets were fairly cheap, so we decided to go. The concert was absolutely amazing and it was really cool to see the entire Palacio Vista Alegre filled up with fans for a band from Las Vegas that has only been popular for the last year. Either there are a lot of American students in Madrid or the people of Spain just love American music! Most likely, it is both. Most stores and discotecas play American music, and because tourism is so prevalent here, many clothing stores have styles that closely follow what we wear in the U.S., which influences the way young people dress here in Spain.
Since the concert was the main reason for going to Madrid and we had already been there the month before with our program, we didn’t have any plans for how to spend the rest of our time. We ended up walking around the center of Madrid, exploring parks, eating at delicious cafes, and experiencing the way Spain does Christmas. Each major plaza is surrounded with booths of Christmas candies, toys, wigs, and belenes (nativity scenes). In the center of each plaza are at least a dozen people dressed up in crazy outfits making strange noises trying to sell things. The best part is the decorations. All major streets and plazas have huge lights hanging above them. it’s absolutely beautiful.
Saturday night, we went to a fun tapas place called El Tigre where we got a large mug of Sangria and a huge plate of tapas for only 5 euros! Then we found a cute bar decorated with a Christmas tree and lights and we had a glass of wine. It was there where we met a fun group of people! We ended up speaking half in Spanish, half in English to a guy about our age, his ten-year-old brother, and his 30-year-old friend. The 10-year-old spoke English the best. It was great practice for our Spanish and for their English!
Overall, we had a relaxed and fun time in Madrid! And now we only have another week and a half left in Spain! I am so excited to get home and see my friends and family, but I am also really going to miss Spain. I’ll miss the beautiful buildings and art and decorations, the little shops, the fountains. I’ll miss my host mom, my host uncle and brother, and my host puppy. I’ll miss all of the new experiences I have all the time here- all of the opportunities to travel, to meet new people, to try new foods (I will really miss the food!) And I will miss speaking Spanish every day, developing my vocabulary and my confidence with the language.