A few days before the beginning of the SMU-in-Madrid program, I was welcomed by a Hitchcock-like quietness throughout the city on a Sunday afternoon. I had arrived early in Madrid in order to adjust to the city and pick up the European rhythm.
Surprisingly, Madrid appeared lifeless, with very few cars and people throughout the streets. However, I was excited because of what I would see and who I would meet in the four months to come.
Once our orientation had begun in Toledo, I had still not gotten over my terrible jet lag. Our arrival to the picturesque medieval town just an hour south of Madrid was spectacular. The weather was a bit warm; however, the sky’s blue was remarkable. The town sparkled with its delicious restaurants, cute boutiques and arms and armor shops.
We learned that Toledo had previously been dominated by Christian, Jewish and Moorish cultures throughout its history. We visited the remnants of these cultures with guided visits to both the Alcazar and the Cathedral of Toledo, and to the Synagogue of El Transito. During our free time, we aimlessly walked through the tiny streets and visited the world-famous Toledo sword shops.
We left for Madrid on our third day, and a full weekend in the capital was in store.