For the past four weeks my routine has been: be in Madrid Monday through Thursday, head to a different destination on Friday through Sunday. I’ve enjoyed my recent jet-setter life, but it is tiring. This past week and weekend I stayed in Madrid the whole time and it was marvelous. With everything I did, I fell in love with the city all over again. To make this week even better, primavera made an early arrival. The tiempo soared into the 70s, which means I donned nearly every short sleeved shirt in my armario. (Why hello, arms! You need a tan!)
The week began with a sweet treat on lunes. Reed, Emily and I went to Sol where we sampled the “best napolitana in Madrid” at La Mallorquina. I’ve had my fair share of chocolate pastries and I have to say, this was up there!
For weeks I’ve been telling myself to make better use of my Tuesdays and Thursdays as I only have class at 7:00 pm those days. This week I did just that. I visited two museums on martes. The morning was spent at the Prado exploring the new Goya exhibition and the afternoon was at Museo Arqueológico Nacional with the program.
On the agenda for miércoles was a picnic in Retiro in between classes. Sofia, Reed, Emily and I went to the gourmet market by school to purchase crackers, chorizo, manchego cheese and the cheapest botella de vino available.
We took our goods to Retiro and settled into a sunny spot in a concealed corner of the monument behind the pond. (Public consumption is not exactly legal, but not uncommon either – hence why we were hidden). We dined, chatted and saw happy people row by in the paddle boats. The sun was so bright that I think I got a sunburn! To round out the afternoon, Emily and I popped by one of the cafes in the park and indulged in an overpriced cono de helado. (Photo courtesy Emily and her trendy Euro jeans.)
Another highlight this week? Taking new
LinkedIn pictures with Madi and Emily in Retiro on jueves
…because why not! Thank you to my other pal Madi
and her amazing photography skills! Please feel free to connect with us, endorse us, hire us, etc…
USC must have known I was trying to do a lot in Madrid this week because they treated us to a flamenco show at Cardamomo
. I have never seen live flamenco
before and was blown away by how quickly the dancers moved their feet! Flamenco is powerful, emotional and energized, but not delicate. The dancers’ faces contorted into almost frowns as the passion flowed through their bodies. We were told that one of the dancers in the show, Paloma
, is the best flamenco dancer in Madrid.
To really have an authentic staycation in Madrid, I made my first trip to Kapital
, a seven-story discoteca.
I have to say I was underwhelmed, but that is probably because it was relatively empty. Thursday nights at Kapi just aren’t like Thursday nights at USC (not that I really go out there either…). I might return. I think it can redeem itself.
rolled around and I could not believe I’d enjoyed an entire week of sunshine. Friends and I explored Parque de la Montaña
where we admired the view and the Templo de Debod.
We later reunited for gelato from Amorino and a stroll through Plaza Mayor.
OK, so not the entire week was spent in Madrid. On sábado
I joined my IR professor and some classmates on a day trip to her hometown of Alcalá de Henares
. The small city located just 30 kilometers from Madrid is also the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes
munching on breakfast, tapas and candied almonds prepared by cloistered nuns, we toured Spain’s second oldest university
and Cervantes’s house
Fun Fact: Alcalá de Henares is known as La Ciudad de las Tres “Cs”
for its many cloistros
(jails that are no longer in use) and cigüeñas
(storks). Alcalá has giant storks who make giant nidos
on top of buildings. The nests are so large that it makes sense that people say babies come from storks. I could fit in those nests!
arrived signaling the end of my vacation
in Madrid.This week I felt lucky to rediscover some of my favorite lugares
and find new ones, too. That evening I captured this gorgeous atardecer
just around the corner from my apartment. What a perfect end to a perfect week.