...Madrid! Spain, finally.
So we get off of the plane and it is finally feeling real that we won't be reading or speaking much English for the next five weeks. We get our stuff off of the plane and we are little confused as to where to go to get our luggage, but we kind of just followed the crowd. So we are standing at the conveyor belt, as the luggage goes by and its not ours...and some more goes by and its not ours...wait a second, isn't that that pink bag we saw earlier? Heidi started to hyperventilate just a little bit, but we decided to just wait it out and see. Nope- no baggage. I think we may have been sweating or freaking out, maybe all of the above. Then we realized- wait a second, are all of these people still waiting? Yes, and finally our luggage did come through, and for the first time this trip, we are smart enough to get a trolley for our 6 bags of luggage- yes, I said six. This is not a joke- don't ask me how we are going to lug it all around Europe yet. Thats TBD.
We get to the table to ask for directions and we decide to take this hotel bus. As we get on the bus, Heidi speaks to the driver and we get on. As it starts moving, she turns to me and says, "I just had my first Spanish conversation!! ¿Para dos?¡Sí!" Yes, she was apprently really excited about it. Anyway, we get to our hotel which is AMAZING (NH Nacional in case you ever want to go there) and we went out to eat with a couple of other girls from our program that got in a night early, Sam and Lauren. Now, in case you don't know much about Spain, their eating schedule is way different than ours- dinner is at 9 or 10 at night. Too late for us, so we went and ate around 6 PM and there was just no one in the restaurant. I had some paella which was really good :) but there is a serious lack of spicy foods in Spain, which is terrible for Heidi and me. Mom, send us some Flamin' Hot Cheetos if you are reading this!! ;)
The next day, we met up with our ISA group and got all the basic info and what not but you really don't want to know about all the boring details. We went out later that night with some new friends we made, and it was just amazing fun! On the first Saturday, we finally got around to some sightseeing, including the Reina Sophia museum which was amazing, lots of Miró y Dali. We then went to the Catedral in Madrid, which was so impressive- so many huge rooms with the most intricate designs!! Gold, silver, silk tapestries...I can't explain how great it was, but I still need to figure out how to post pictures...hopefully soon! Of course, we went out later the night for some more fun, more drinks, more Spain :) We walked all the way to Plaza Nueva (bear in mind, Heidi and I were both wearing 4 inch heels at the time, walking on cobblestone. Do not ask me about my feet the next morning) and went into this Irish bar, sang, danced, and then walked to a discoteca to do the same, where we met some authentic Spanish boys which whom to practice our Spanish with! So we had a late night, and then off to Toledo the next morning.
Toledo was absolutely beautiful! It is a walled city, we had to go in and walk around. We saw the Catedral, the famous painting of El Greco, and an old synagogue called Santa María la Blanca. It is amazing how these buildings are still standing after so many years...that is definitely something that is missing from the US, we don't have the amazing landmarks of history like Europe does. We arrived at the hotel late that afternoon, but were very tired from having partied the night before that we decided to make it an early night. The next day, to Sevilla! Which will be the best part of our trip so far, but I need a whole other post to tell you about it :)
Adios amigos, ¡queremos a ustedes demasiado!
PS- I swear we will post pictures very very soon!