The picture in the heading is from one of the streets in downtown Madrid where I went with the other students in the program last weekend. It was a lot of fun. Madrid is very different from Sevilla so it was interesting to get a different look at the Spanish lifestyle. Madrid is a lot more westernized than Sevilla even though the latter is filled with foreigners as well. Sevilla maintains some of that southern Spanish flair most likely a remnant of the Arab inhabitation.
We took the AVE from Sevilla to Madrid. It was an interesting ride and I was surprised by how swiftly it moved across the landscape. We spent the first few hours on Friday visiting el Museo del Prado and I got a chance to see some rather famous paintings, my favorite being Las Meninas by Velazquez. Truly it’s a beautiful masterpiece. We spent the rest of the day exploring the city and at night we went to a very nice churros and chocolate place. I love churros! They are absolutely amazing. I find the chocolate to be a bit on the thick side though. I like chocolate milk a lot better than just melted chocolate that is apparently supposed to be a drink. It’s not! It’s melted chocolate; you EAT chocolate.
Saturday was our free day and we went to the Catedral next to the Palacio Real and walked quite a lot checking out the different monuments, museums, and parks. That night we went to a seven story nightclub called el Kapitol. It was insane! The dance floors had light shows and crazy cold air blowing things and bubbles and dancers. Every floor had a different theme; there was even one floor for karaoke which I sadly didn’t get a chance to try out. We partied until 6 am or so and then headed back to the hotel for an early morning. It was ridiculous trying to find a taxi to get to el Kapitol in the first place though. At 3 am the streets are lined with people trying to get taxis; I guess because the Metro shuts down at 1:30 am and reopens at 6 am. Most ridiculous thing ever to my mind.
Sunday was the Palacio Real tour and a visit to el Museo de Reina Sofia to see Guernica by Picasso. We weren’t allowed to take any photos at the museo which made me very sad since they had a pretty decent Dalí collection that I would love to have photos of. He’s one of my favorite artists. The rest of the day we spent just wandering around (we tend to do that a lot, no?) and eating at lots of cute little restaurants. I’ve always been a major proponent for food. Then we came back on the AVE and to Sevilla to prepare ourselves for the last week of classes.