This past weekend, CIEE took us to Madrid! I didn't really know much about Madrid, other than the fact it is Spain's capital, before going there. The trip started on Thursday, classes were canceled, at 8:00 A.M. followed by a 6 hour bus ride. I was very happy I had my pillow and blanket! When we arrived in the city of Madrid, I felt like I was back home in the United States! It had all American stores, food places, and the overall feel was very NYC-like. Once we arrived to the hotel, which was actually very nice and right in the middle of the city, we headed out to Dunkin Donuts, THE ONLY THING I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR! I had a donut and an iced coffee. The Donut was the same, the iced coffee, not so much but it was still exactly what I needed. In spain, they don't understand the concept of making the espresso weaker or mixing it with milk or even water, but that is how we drink it in the U.S., it is not strange, just different! After our excursion, we went on a walking tour of the city and before we made our way back, we went to a chocolatería for some churros on chocolate. I personally am not the biggest fan of churros, solely for the fact that they chocolate is normally too rich/dark for me, I know call me crazy. After the tour, we went back to the hotel to get ready for the night out. A group of friends and myself went to get food and returned back to the hotel.
The night life in Madrid is definitely very comparable to NYC nightlife. There is a discoteca called Teatro Kapital which is 7 floors. I unfortunately could not get in because I did not have a hard copy of my drivers license or passport, only a photocopy of my passport.
Friday, we were able to have our choice of what to do for the day. We could have chosen a Bike tour of the city, the Reina Sofia, a tour of the congresso, or a tour of Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. I chose the stadium because that is where the Real Madrid futbol team plays! It was AMAZING! We were able to see the locker rooms, the bench on the side of the field, and all 10 European Cup trophies and the Fifa World Cup trophy, as well. I am not much of a soccer fan, but after taking the tour, you can understand why soccer is apart of the Spanish culture! After the stadium, we made our way back near the hotel and had lunch at a restaurant and then had free time. I didn't take as many pictures as I would have liked to while we were there, but I got a lot of the Stadium.
On Saturday, we started back to Alicante, but we stopped at El Escorial, which is historically known as the residence for the King of Spain! It was so big and seemed as though we were trapped in time! It was very cool! We were not permitted to take photos in there, there was security every where making sure we did not take any!
I really liked Madrid a lot! It was almost comforting to feel as though we were back in the U.S! I am very happy I am in Alicante studying because if I was in a city like Madrid, I would not be able to focus at all! We were warned a lot about the pick pocketers in Madrid, luckily none of our belongings got stolen thankfully! This weekend, I will be heading to Interlaken, Switzerland! I am SO excited!