*We went to the island of Tenerife. It looks a lot like Hawaii, but less pristine, like if Mexico had a resort island maybe. It was really nice every day, with a steady breeze. I didn't really take pictures because we spent our days at the beach, which were pretty standard in appearance, but exactly what we were looking for. It was a much needed relaxing trip. The islands are pretty cheap as well, so it was nice to save a lot of money over break.*
Now to when mama y papa visited! They arrived late Friday (March 19) so we just went out for a paella dinner that night at Café Principe. They loved it, and personally I think it's the best paella I've had in Spain. Then Saturday and Sunday I exhausted them by taking them all over Madrid by foot and metro :) We went to Plaza de España, where the Royal Palace is; Plaza Mayor, the oldest plaza in Madrid; El Rastro, one of the largest flea markets in Europe; and Retiro Park among the random places we walked through on our way to everywhere. We also had delicious dinners and lunches! One of my favorite was a restaurant built into Plaza Mayor called Las Cuevas (The Caves). We sat and watched all the tourists that seemed to have came out of no where all week! Saturday night we went to Real Madrid vs Sporting Gijon. Another good game! Real won of course, even though they had a slow start.
Dad and Mom in Retiro Park
Las Cuevas in Plaza Mayor
Real vs Sporting
The flowers are blooming everywhere!
In Plaza de España
Monday I had class all day, but I met them for dinner. They went on the Madrid open-top bus tour that day and apparently I had already shown them everything it drove to so they just rode it around since the weather was perfect.
Tuesday we took a day trip to Segovia after my morning class because it is only 30 minutes away by train. The castle there is supposedly what the Sleeping Beauty castle was designed after. The streets were small and winding and retained an old village feel. A Roman Aqueduct greets you at Segovia's center. It's a really amazing sight to see.
Wednesday I didn't get to see them all day because I had class then a flamenco performance to go to for my class. They went on another day trip to Toledo, the old capital of Spain.
Thursday we went to the Museo del Prado, one of the most famous museums in the world. It was pretty cool, but like Mom mentioned, I wish it had more than just art. The Louvre in Paris was really cool because it had artifacts and sculptures and a variety of art rather than just paintings. I had to go home and take a nap because I was so tired, but we met for dinner later.
Friday we took the train to Barcelona. We took the hop-on hop-off bus and got off to walk around Park Guell designed by Gaudi. It was like nothing I've ever seen before! The houses looked like gingerbread houses and colorful tiles covered the walls. It was really pretty and I loved all the color. On the bus, we got to see all the amazing architecture Barcelona has. I never realized how rich it was in that aspect. We saw lots of buildings by Gaudi and lots of gothic inspired buildings as well. It's a really beautiful place and the weather was really nice!
Tiles lining the walls of Park Guell
Mom and Dad in Park Guell
One view of Barcelona from Park Guell + Gaudi's old house on the left
"Gingerbread" houses of Park Guell
One of Gaudi's designs. The roof of this place is amazing
Saturday we went to La Sagrada Familia and Las Ramblas. Once again Gaudi's architecture blew me away! I have never seen such a cathedral. Gaudi is all about combining color and nature with architecture and I really liked how everything in the cathedral was inspired by something from nature. Then we went to Las Ramblas, a street filled with shops and kiosks and street vendors. I love street vendors so I liked it a lot. There were also a ton a street performers just like Madrid, but even more over-the-top! That afternoon we went back to Madrid.
Inside La Sagrada Familia
Explanations of Gaudi incorporating nature
Resembles a forest
Gaudi loved all things Barcelona & Mediterranean; Mediterranean amphibeans on La Sagrada
La Sagrada Familia has been in construction since the 1800s and is scheduled to be finished in 2020...
Dad outside La Sagrada
Since their flight was delayed until Monday, we spent Sunday walking around. We went to El Botin, the oldest restaurant in the world. It was really delicious!!!! Later that day, I introduced Mom to chocolate con churros and we ate the whole plate! Nothing new for me and my friends when it comes to churros ;) Then we had our last dinner before I had to go to my friends place so we could split a cab to the airport at 4 am since our flight to the Canaries the next day was so early in the morning. It was a great week and lots of fun! Love and miss you all!