Sorry for the late post, I’ve had trouble connecting but here’s a recap of my final week in Spain!
We started off our day in classes as normal, and taking our class break to eat and drink some good ‘ole Starbucks. As soon as we got out of class, me, Maddie, and Kayla headed to Mu! (which was that cheap and tasty menu del dia). After gaining some energy from the food, we headed on over to Primark. Primark is a giant European store (theres 2 in the US I believe) with low prices clothes, and the one in Madrid is 5 floors….Needless to say this was a great way to escape the heat for a day. We spent hours in there trying things on, and I left the store with 5 or 6 items all for 30 euros. I do love to shop. After the exhaustive afternoon in Primark, we headed home for dinner. I took a short siesta before, and woke up covered in sweat. This last week was unbelievably hot and I could hardly stand it. One cold shower and meal later, we headed to meet our friends at Passenger, a cocktail bar that was designed to be like a train. Now, the pictures made it seem a lot more artsy and cool, but it was still a good time. We then headed to an 80s bar in Malasaña called Tupperware. It had the coolest vibe about it, and murals all around the bar. I appreciated the alt. rock from the 80s to now, as I ended the night jamming to good tunes. Or so I thought. I ended up getting on the wrong metro because I thought it would be faster. I eventually got home, and then headed to the snack store near me where I bought a cheap sandwich I would later regret.
I barely slept due to the stomach ache induced by a questionable sandwich and over 100 degree temps, and spent most of my morning sick. After I missed this morning of classes, I gathered the strength to get a sprite and crackers, and headed to the Reina Sofia Museum. I actually enjoyed this one as we saw a lot of Picasso and Dali. Dali’s work all held a lot of significance, and this dude was messed up. Salvador Dali was named after his brother that died before he was born, so he grew up under the understanding he was a reincarnation, weird right? After the museum, I headed over to Sol and I finally purchased gifts for my parents (which I spent a lot of time thinking about so I hope they like it!!) After this my stomach was dying for some substantial food at VIPS. A giant sandwich and fires later, I hung out at a friends Air BnB in the AC watching Monsters University. Am I 5? Possibly. Later that night, I took the metro home to do laundry and get some rest finally not getting sick at everything I ate.
Today started out good. But again, this last week in Madrid hasn’t been to kind to me. I fell down some stairs at school, and ended up with a bruised elbow and severely bruised back. For me, I consider it an accomplishment that I almost got through without an injury, but hey the bruise makes for a story. We spent the rest of class time reviewing for our exam and working on our projects. That afternoon, I studied in VIPS trying to memorize the best of Spanish literature and I began to pack up my things over the past month.
Today was a day of exams and presentations. As both went better than expected, we still had a cultural class after. I began to become frustrated because I slipped down the stairs again, not nearly as bad. I should probably never wear flip flops again. But after, I needed some alone time. I headed to sol for a Calamari Sandwich which was still WONDERFUL After, I went back over to Menedez Pelayo and stopped at the Latin American cafe and grabbed a fanta and a dulce de leche cookie. I came home to nap before our Flamenco event. Around 8, we headed over to Las Carboneras for a flamenco show and free wine. It was interesting to see this very traditional dance, but as my teachers said, it’s something you see once and probably never again. The venue was right next to Mercado San Miguel, so I stopped in after for some tapas of paella. I later met up with one of my new roommates from Samford for sangria at the market and some of the BEST macaroons.
Bright and early we headed to the school to meet for our excursions to Segovia. After an hour and half bus ride, we arrived in the town of Segovia near the aqueducts. It was hot but I was excited to see the pretty little town. We ventured around, of course getting McDonalds as a snack as the only decently cheap thing in this town, and we took pictures by the aqueducts that were standing purely based on gravity. We then walked pretty mice the entire city, to the churches, plazas, a giant cathedral, and last but not least the castle (Alcazar de Segovia). It was gorgeous, as it overlooked mountains. At the end of the castle tour, we took what felt like 1000 steps to the top of the tower of the castle to see an overlooking view of Segovia. I twas worth it but I have a fear of stairs and 200 steps up later, I felt a tad exhausted. After, I walked with some friends to find food. We stopped at a restaurant near the aqueducts and snacked on some cheap eats. It was a long, hot day so needless to say, when the bus departed back to Madrid, we were ready and tired. And to literally nobody’s surprise, I was burnt nice and red. I got home to Madrid and began to pack my things in preparation for my flight the next day. That night, I went to Dubliners with my roommate from Samford and met students from Louisiana that were studying at my university. They were really cool honestly, and I’m bummed I didn’t meet them sooner. 2 drinks later, I headed home so that I could wake up for the airport just in time. Or so I thought.
I was so exited to get home today, until I woke up to find my flight was delayed until 6pm. I went to go back to sleep for a little bit, and woke up to see my flight was now delayed until 8:35pm. Then rumors were going around of a cancellation, so I had to call my sleeping mother in the middle of the night there time. Eventually, after dealing with terrible customer service of nobody having correct information, I had officially no way to return home today. Suspiciously, there was no flights from anywhere in Europe that I could connect to, and so many delta flights were getting cancelled due to mechanical issues. Despite this major hiccup, phone calls and tears later ( whoops I got frustrated), I was booked for a flight Monday at 11am. Today, I napped because of a lack of sleep the night before. Eventually, my roommates and I decided we needed to get out of the house. We went to Atocha, the train station, where the is a man-made rainforest type thing with a ton of turtles. Unsure if the heat and exhaustion was making me delusional, but seeing the little baby turtles made my day just a bit better. We then walked across the street to good ole’ llaollao, for some fro-yo to cool off of a 103 temp day. And nonetheless, lunch was again some McNuggets, as my money was now depleted from this extra day in Spain. I went back to the apartment to shower and actually pack up my things for good, and ate my last dinner from my host mom. After dinner, we headed to retiro which turned out to be the best weather we have had the entire time here. It was windy, and it even rained a few drops. PSA: IT DOES NOT RAIN IN SPAIN. But I sat there with Juliana, Mel, and Green, sipped on my mojito and looked out at my last Madrid sunset.
Currently, I’m on my flight back home. Well whenever I post this I probably won’t be due to the fact that I’m broke and don’t want to pay for wifi on the flight. But I am beyond content to be back on this flight. And as I write this I have about 4 hours and 45 minutes left, which isn’t too bad. My computers near dead and I want to edit the several videos I have planned for this trip. But all in all, I’m sitting here reflecting on the past month of my life. It has truly been changing. I became more independent, and I was pushed way out of my comfort zone. And while I’m thrilled to go home to my family and my sweet pups, I’m glad I did this, I formed memories I’ll never forget and met people that taught me a lot of life lessons. I also learned to appreciate certain amenities I have acccess to in the US, like air conditioning. Thank you Madrid, for showing me the beauty that is Spain. Thank you for giving me the adventure of a lifetime. Thank you for giving me the ability to get so much better at my Spanish. Thank you for allowing me to go to Dublin, a place I surprisingly fell in love with the city. Thank you for this month, as I grew from it and learned so much about myself.
Until next time & with love,
(will attach giant pic collage later)