Entry 1: Friday, June 15
Today was our second day in Madrid, and I woke up exhausted from the previous day’s travels. However, I was very excited to see all the excitement in Madrid as we explored the city. Lucky for us, Dr. Wade began our day with a very nutritious breakfast at “Chocolateria San Gines”, where we gorged ourselves with hot chocolate and churros. I joke, of course, about the nutritious part, but it was a great start to our day! If you don’t know, the hot chocolate in most of Spain is very thick and creamy, and churros are, in my opinion, the Spaniards’ version of a funnel cake. Therefore, this was by far my favorite meal yet!
Next, we headed to the Museo del Prado, where we were able to have an audio guided tour of the entire art museum and explore it independently. The museum was huge, and it was difficult to see all that it had to offer, but I spent two hours trying to learn all that I could about the history behind the most famous works. It was awesome to see, in person, the famous works I had learned about in my Art History class at Meredith. I saw Las Meninas by Diego Velasquez, The Governess by Goya, The Family Portrait of King Charles IV by Goya, The Third of May by Goya, and other pieces by Titian, Carracci, and Rubens. It was such a wonderful experience, and I was able to not only see and admire the works but also to learn about the history and explanations behind them. After the museum, we moved onto lunch where we found a quaint restaurant outside. I had a lovely meal of duck, rice, asparagus, and mushrooms; a much needed quality meal after only eating small tapas the previous day.
Next, after lunch, Dr. Wade gave us a challenging, if not impossible, scavenger hunt to complete. We were divided into two groups as a sort of competition to see who can find the most places on the list without having a map or guide to find them. We were completely on our own in the enormous city of Madrid. Kayla, Carly, Cassondra and I were placed into a group together, and we had many adventures during our journey to find the 11 mysterious places on the list. Many people couldn’t understand us, which was a little frustrating but comical at the same time. When we would ask, “Donde esta el lugar que tiene una poesia escrita de Quevedo el la calle?” (Where is the place that has a poem written by Quevedo in the street?), most people (5 in total) responded with, “Necesita la policia?” or “Tiene una problema?”(As in, “You need the police?...You have a problem?”) It was very funny but a little discouraging that all the Spanish we knew couldn’t do us a bit of good if nobody could understand it when we talked. Also on our journey, we talked to many different people, got off on a few wrong stops in the metro, Kayla accidentally told someone she didn’t have any pants, and much more. Despite our obstacles, we found 7 of the places on the list and had a lot of fun along the way!
After our long day on our own, we met up with the rest of the group and explored El Museo National Centro de Arte Reina Sofia for a few minutes to see the painting Guernica by Pablo Picasso. It was so much larger than I had expected it to be, and I was amazed at its vastness and depth in person. Then, for the night we went to a restaurant to eat tapas and spend time together as a group. Overall, we had a very nice, interesting day, and it was a great day in Madrid!