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Exploring Madrid

In today’s blog, students from an ISA High School Sevilla, Spain program describe their second day in Spain, exploring the city of Madrid. Check back tomorrow for information about their pre-program excursion in Toledo!

C CampbellThe first stop on our tour of Spain was Madrid, Madrid is a beautiful city where rich heritage clashes with modern ideology.  We began the trip with a walk around town and I saw many shops and bars and had a Coca-Cola (with real sugar).  One interesting thing was all the foreign cars and motorcycles parked up and down the street. We did many more things in Madrid but my favorite visit on the excursion was the market, it was all fresh and everything looked delicious. The metro was a challenge at first but we soon learned how to use it correctly. – Andrew Degges

We took a bus to the center of Madrid. Other sights on our tour included the former home of the Spanish painter Diego Velázquez and the Mercado de San Miguel, where various shops sell fresh seafood, chocolates, and more. Afterwards, we walked down some very old streets, which included the oldest restaurant in the world, Sobrino de Botín! Next we walked to the Plaza Mayor and the Puerta del Sol, two of the most famous squares in all of Spain. – Cole Campbell

Camden MarksIt was cool to see such an alive, bustling city that was in many ways similar to the ones I know back home. The major difference, and issue for us, was the navigation. The streets are very confusing to us Americans; we got lost many times, but in the end it all worked out. I loved experiencing the everyday culture and routine of Spain’s largest city. It was a memorable couple of days; ones that I will surely never forget. – Forrest Zimmerman

The Museo del Prado, so far, has been my favorite museum because of the amazing history behind all the art. We learned about El Greco, Velazquez, and Goya. We saw many famous paintings such as Las Meninas by Velazquez. The rest of that day we had free time for lunch and dinner. – Camden Marks

A Degges MarketAishah, a fellow ISA student,and I went to El Mercado del San Miguel for tapas for lunch. Next, we picked a random street and started exploring the city! We stumbled upon the Palacio Real de Madrid (Madrid’s Royal Palace), where the king and queen used to live, but moved because it was too big—the palace contains 3,418 rooms! The floors, ceilings, and walls were elaborately decorated and were extremely elegant and breathtaking. It was here in the palace that Aishah and I realized that the Spanish really like lions—they’re a symbol of power of the country and its people. Upon our exit of the palace, we were greeted by an accordion player and his melodic tune drifted down the street with us as we continued down el calle.

Our next destination was the Museo De Reina Sofia, but it was a long walk and we had a lot of time left in the day, to we took the long way and rested at a park near Atocha. Around 7pm, we went into the museum and viewed a couple floors of the contemporary art, but we didn’t know that Picasso’s Guernica was there, so unfortunately we completely missed it! After the museum we walked around Atocha Plaza and up El Paseo del Prado and had dinner in a little café. We then took the metro back to our hotel and got some much needed rest. Thus our second day in Spain came to a close, and I was very excited to see more of Spain and spend more time getting to know the country. – Natalie Turton

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