Coming back to Madrid from Valencia made me realize just how much I love this city. While I loved the laidback, beachy feel of Valencia, I really missed the buzz and excitement of Madrid. While we were gone over the weekend, the city also decided to cool down. Making my walk to school today in a tank top and scarf a bit chilly! Thankfully, I had to walk rather quickly which warmed me up instantly, but my professors still looked at me like I was crazy, only made worse by the fact everyone else in my class was wearing sweatshirts. My bad.
The walk back from school though today was lovely and I am absolutely obsessed with how it feels outside. Without it being scorching hot, I’m not exhausted in the middle of the day, begging for a nap. It also made me forget that everyone else is siesta-ing around 2-5 which means a lot of shops are closed. After grabbing lunch with Taylor, I wanted to shop around but almost every place was closed down! I even walked into one little knick-knack store (the door was open!) but the owner rushed in telling me it was closed and I realized she was right outside loading things into a car. No wonder the lights weren’t on inside… I figured she was just saving electricity!
Speaking of lunch… We had our first Menu del Día experience today! Menu del Día is something that a lot of restaurants offer for lunch. It is a fixed price (usually around 10 euro) and it gives you a chance to try nice restaurants for a cheaper fare. You choose a first course, second course, and it comes with a drink and pastry! Since lunch is the biggest meal of the day for most, the portions are huge. Me and Taylor did not really know what to get, so had the waiter choose. For the first course, we got a spaghetti with meat sauce, and steamed spinach with shrimp (SO GOOD). Next we got grilled chicken in some sort of sauce with peppers, and potatoes. Also very very tasty. And we finished with a chocolate cake and postre de Santiago, which is almost like a shortcake! After all is said and done, I feel accomplished! Customs like tapas and el menu del día are things restaurants offer that have really intimidated me. Thankfully, workers are always really willing to help you out, but you with all the cafeterias and bars there are ways of doing things and if you do not know exactly what to do, it can be very nerve wracking walking in!
Today I also got my room cleaned so decided it would be a good time to take some pictures! So here ya go…
I have my first test tomorrow morning, and another on Wednesday. It is technically our mid-terms. Next Tuesday I also pick the classes I will be taking for the rest of December and so I am hoping that works out well and I arrange a schedule that I like.
Sorry this is turning out to be a long one but yesterday I also took a quick tour of el Museo Reina Sofia. It was once a hospital (one of my professors was born there!) but it is now a contemporary art museum, with its most notable piece of artwork being the Guernica by Pablo Picasso. After studying this painting for so long in so many different classes, it was amazing seeing it in real life.
I was also a fan of this one by Miró. We also some some really interesting pieces by Dalí. The tour was really quick so I definitely want to go back another time (all the museums here offer free days for students!) when I can walk around more and see more of what the museum has to offer.
Ok, I think that is enough for now. I am going to go to Pilates for the second time since I have been here. Surprsingly, it is very similar to the classes that I go to at home, but this one is taught by a large (but fit and skinny) gay man. It is a great way to stretch though. After walking around all day I always wake up super tight and achy so I do not doubt that incorporating Pilates into my schedule will help out mucho!
Hope you guys are all off to a good week! And if reading this is making you want to come visit me, please