As our director told us at the beginning of this trip, “el tiempo vuela,” or time flies. This sentiment could not be more true, and if I have learned anything from this trip, it’s to make the most of the time I have been given, and to see the most possible. Although I think everyone in the program can agree that we are all exhausted and a bit homesick, I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to El Escorial.
This past week, we ventured to El Prado and La Reina Sofia, two art museums in the heart of Madrid. We were able to see artwork from El Greco, Miró, Picasso and my favorite, Salvador Dalí. As always, we had the option to stay in Madrid and return later on our own to El Escorial. Being our last week in Madrid, my friends and I decided to take advantage of this option. We visited El Mercado de San Miguel (our favorite!), Kilometro Cero, and Parque de Retiro. In the past, El Mercado was used as a market for selling groceries: bread, fruit, vegetables, and so on. Today, the market is home to local vendors and restaurants who offer gourmet tapas a drinks. It’s the perfect place to stop for a mid-day treat, if you can restrain yourself from trying every tapa in the market!
For anyone traveling to Madrid, Parque de Retiro is a must-see. In the park, you can relax with a picnic, grab some sangria or a glass of beer, or even take out a paddle boat on the pond located in the center of the park. After a day of walking around the museums, visiting the park was the perfect way to relax.
As I write this last post, I find myself having to rewrite Spanish words as English. If one thing is for sure, my vocabulary has certainly improved! I’m sure my friends at home are sick of the Spanglish text messages and emails they’ve been receiving, but I am incredibly grateful to have had this experience not only to improve my Spanish but to explore Spain.