Friday, February 5, 2010

Palacio Real, Toledo, and USAC Day Trip

Sorry I haven't posted in awhile! I've been busy busy busy.

Let's see. Carmen bought me peanut butter! They don't eat it here in Spain, but one of the girls she used to have loved it so she brought it home to see if I liked it. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY yum yum yum yum. I've had peanut butter toast the past two mornings! Some other things the Spanish need to be introduced to: salad dressing, butter for your bread, and casual wear.

Our class always gets a kick out of telling our teacher, Sara, about American things (like bumping fists, slang, etc). The other week we explained to her how Spanish people don't wear sweats or gym clothes. She thought they did. So we had to explain to her the art of college fashion. Sunglasses, hoodie with school name, gym shorts/sweats, and running shoes. She laughed when we told her pijamas were acceptable school wear. Therefore whenever I go to the gym here, I can't wear my workout clothes like I do at school, I have to CHANGE into them and out of them. Sigh.

We had our first midterm last Friday. Leave it to me to sleep through my alarm and show up an hour late. Thank God I'm a fast test taker. I eneded up getting a 91 too! Luckily my teacher is nice and understood.
We also discovered the art of picnicing! For 5euro each we get a feast! No more going out for lunch. Every Tues, Thurs, and Friday we have picnics in Retiro. It's looooovely. Mon and Wed we eat at the school restaurant for cheap. Yay for cheap meals!

Sandwiches, chips, popcorn, strawberries, pastries, huge waters, and coke for 15 euro
Strawberries: yummmmmm

Last weekend, I went to the Palacio Real (Royal Palace). It's gorgeous and I love the area around it (Plaza de España). We couldn't take pictures inside but these are the ones I got of outside:

Outside at sunset
The church in the distance
Outside square
Through the gates
Royal church

Also last weekend, on Sunday, I went to Toledo with two of my friends. It's about a 3o minutes train ride there. Once again, leave it to us to miss the first train (who knew there was a security check point for a short train!) and we had to buy another ticket there. Luckily it's not too expensive to cause tears. Toledo is the old capital of Madrid. It was so old, with tiny winding streets and a beautiful cathedral with intricate detail. We also ate really great food!

Castles everywhere!
Catedral Primada Santa María de Toledo: one of the coolest I've seen!
Military academy...we couldn't go in
Walking to Toledo

Last night I went to "Chicago: El Musical!" So cool! Jess and I knew the plot line because we've seen the movie, but Shae didn't and was still able to basically know what was going on. I wasn't able to understand word-for-word, but I would recognize words and get the jist of what they were saying. It was really cool. 'All That Jazz' is 'Al Son De Jazz,' in case anyone was wondering.

Then today, USAC had one of their free day trips to El Escorial and Valle de los Caidos. They are about an hour away. Almost everyone went and it was a lot of fun. We have a good group of people. El Escorial is the palace of King Felipe when he passed on his reign as king. It was pretty cool, nothing amazing, but a lot of royalty is buried there in these intricate tombs. Valle de los Caidos (Valley of the Fallen) is the burial grounds of the soldier casualties of the civil war and Franco himself. A lot of Spaniards won't go there because Franco is burried there. Unfortunately it is closed for restoration for the next couple months, but the outside is amazing. The building is built into the mountain side and there is a huge cross jutting above it all.

Getting ready: Our other friend has us in the air. It's awesome
The Group
View from the Valley
Walking up
Valle de los Caidos
View from the bus
El Escorial in the distance. We couldn't take pics inside and I liked the town

This weekend, we're trying new clubs/bars, buying our costumes for Carnaval in Cádiz next weekend, and going to El Rastro for some more cool shopping. Oh and we have our final on Wednesday. :(
Ok.... THE END.


  1. Cool pics! keep our list going.

  2. Looks cool, keep sending pics,good luck on your final.Love You,

  3. I have alot of trouble posting on my phone... I wanted to say in your last blog that you not knowing the entrance was two blocks away did not sound like big are those blocks?...but snow not sticking to the ground did kinda sound like you..HA Ha Ha lol... and being mexican and late to class... shame on you sounds like a stereo type....glad to see you are blending well .. how about some spanish blogging?


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