I am being so slack with these blog posts! Sorry everyone. I promise I will get better these next couple weeks. I only have about a month and a half left in Spain! Crazy! My time here has just flown by, and like every Spring, it is getting busier and busier.
Last weekend my roommate and I went to Madrid and Toledo. We took a 5 euro flight (that's like $7 dollars!!) to Madrid on Thursday and came back on Sunday. Our hostel was a bit different...it was more like a hotel with a private room, private bathroom. It was a very refreshing change! We had fun exploring the HUGE city of Madrid. It has lots of plazas with old shops, fun restaurants, people, markets and more. Very international city.
We visited the Prado museum which is like the Louvre of Spain. We spent 5 hours in the museum (I enjoyed about 4 of them) because my roommate is an art history major so this was her heaven. We saw Goya, Rubens, Titian, Rembrandt, Velasquez and many more. Such magnificent pieces! My favorite was a triptych called “The Garden of Earthly Delights” by Bosch. Its not very well known but you should look it up.
We also went to the Reina Sofía Modern Art museum and got to see Picasso's “Guernica”, many Dalí pieces and more. I was a little art-museumed-out at this point though. After the museum we treated ourselves to Madrid' famous calamari sandwiches.
On Saturday, we took a 30 minutes train ride to Toledo. When you enter the city, you feel like you are walking into a medieval town from when the Moors ruled over Spain. The city is built on a hilltop and has layers upon layers of streets, buildings, castles and churches. Marzipan is the famous food of Toledo so Kara and I made sure to stop at an authentic nunnery for the traditional treat. I got a present for my family here (hinthint)! The Cathedral of Toledo was mild-blowing! I have become a cathedral snob because I have seen so many, but this one was perfect. It was also a mini-art museum because it houses some works of Goya, Velazquez and Titian.
On Sunday we visited the Royal Palace of España. It was modeled after Versailles and it is almost as big...doesn't have the big garden Versailles has though. So that was really fun! Then we walked about Madrid's “central park” area until our flight home.
This week, I splurged and bought myself a present...a gym membership! I know, I know. It doesn't sound much like a present, but it is! I am so excited I am going to tell you all about it. Ok, it is an all women's gym and it is like a gym/spa. It has different classes that go all day (pilates!!) and all sorts of fun machines. With my membership, I get free facials once a week and access to the sauna and “cool” pool. This is the first time being an American in Europe has been great. Ok, so I speak Spanish. I am not the BEST but I can hold my own for sure, but all the trainers and instructors at the gym flock to me when I walk in and want to speak English with me and help me workout. I am not complaining because every time I have gone (everyday since Monday) I have gotten at least a one hour personal training session. GREAT! I love it. Happy birthday me!
I think that's about it. I am staying in Valencia this weekend to celebrate my birthday. Discoteca Friday night and salsa night on Saturday! Turning 21 loses its appeal in Spain, but its ok, because I am in Spain. =)
P.S. I am going shopping this weekend for gifts for everyone. If there is anything that you REALLY want from Europe/Spain let me know!