The first night in Madrid was very restful, and I woke up early the next morning and went for a run in one of the large parks about 10 minutes from the hotel. The city is not too used to runners but Dr. Sample pointed me to the nice place he normally goes to run. The hotel served a great breakfast, you can almost always count on there being fresh fruit, yogurt, cereal, pastries, and meat and cheese. The group headed to el Museo del Prado, a very famous art museum that features art such as the original Las Meninas. The art in this museum was much larger than I had anticipated and it’s really cool to be able to see the art on such a large scale instead of just featured as tiny pictures in our textbooks. We also toured the Modern art museum en el Centro del Arte and got to see a lot of Ashley’s favorite, Picasso! The grandiose La Guernica is featured here and it is captivating, only using grayscale as the color scheme, which is very different from all of the other paintings we had been seeing.
After these art museums, we had the chance to walk around and shop a little bit, the streets were very crowded this afternoon because it was Promenade, where everyone dresses up all fancy and walks around, kind of to show off in a way! We joined a larger group for dinner at an American Mel’s Diner (figures…) and enjoyed one of our last American meals for a while, with the best milkshakes we’ve ever had (with flavors like Nutella, Toblerone, Sweetarts, etc.) Might’ve topped cookout Kayla….
The entire group then got dressed up in fancy dresses because we were going to experience the famous 7-story club in Madrid called El Kapitol. People who came were dressed to the dime and this club was said to hold 8,000 of these people. Each floor had a different theme, with the VIP area being the roped off roof-top lounge and bar on the top floor.
The next day we were all downstairs for breakfast by 9:15 and then began the tour of Madrid with our favorite guide, Ricardo, a history professor here in Madrid. The tour took us around to some of the statues, monuments, and grand buildings, but the heat was pretty intense and everyone was exhausted by the time 1:00 rolled around. A couple of us grabbed bocadillos (foot-long sandwiches on baguettes) and headed back to the hotel for a really nice siesta. Two hours later we are all re-energized and a group of the girls head out to shop a little more, and then join up with almost the entire group of students to go out and find a good spot for dinner. The places for dinner around here hardly ever open before 8, a normal dinner time in Cadiz is going to be approximately 10 pm…..uh oh! After dinner, about 9:30, I went for another run in the park, it stays light here until a little after 10 pm! My roomies and I started packing up our bags then, headed to Cadiz at 7 tomorrow morning!