Federico in Spain

Federico is a senior majoring in political science and foreign languages, with a concentration in Spanish and French, in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. The recipient of a Marion Tower Study Abroad Scholarship for Fall 2009, Federico is studying at the Fundacion Jose Ortega y Gasset in Madrid through SMU-in-Spain. He previously studied abroad in 2007 through SMU-in-Paris.

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Modern Madrid

DSC02569.jpg Friday afternoon we had arrived back to beautiful Madrid. We had left rustic Toledo behind, and now our weekend in modern Madrid would begin. The city was full of life, vibrant and overwhelming.

My roommate and I explored our neighborhood, Barrio de Salamanca, and instantly fell in love with it. High-end clothing stores, small bars and restaurants, and large sidewalks make up most of this exclusive area.

DSC02584-1.jpg Word had gotten around the Fundacion Ortega y Gasset that our first night out in Madrid would take place at Kapital, Madrid’s famous seven story discoteque. Students from both SMU and the University of San Diego partnered up for a memorable night in Europe’s capital for nightlife. The following timeline explains the events that occurred:

12:00 a.m. Agreed meet-up time
12:30 a.m. Actual meet-up time
1:30 a.m. Entrance into Kapital
4:00 a.m. Discoteque at its capacity
6:00 a.m. Opening of Madrid’s Metro
6:30 a.m. My departure

When leaving Kapital, my safety was at no point in any danger. The streets were full of taxis and the people of Madrid were beginning their Saturday errands. I arrived home with no problems; however, I had no time to rest as I had agreed to visit my host family’s vacation home that day. We left around 10 a.m. to El Escorial, where the historical residence of the King of Spain is found.

DSC02619.jpg We were taken on a horseback adventure through the mountains near Cercedilla, a neighboring town. Our journey was spectacular, even though I was running on only two hours of sleep. My roommate and I were treated to an amazing lunch which consisted of Spanish chorizo, cheese, potatoes, salad, fresh bread. We took a short nap in the garden, and I am glad I did.

DSC02708-1.jpg We returned to Madrid around 10 p.m. on Saturday in order to repeat a night of dancing once again. This time, Joy Eslava was the discoteque of choice. Joy, as the locals call it, had a more exclusive atmosphere and a higher pricetag. Nonstop hours of techno and house music did not seem to wear out the dance floor, as the discoteque was full when I left around 6 a.m.. Sunday was my day of rest. School would begin the following day.

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