Allison in Madrid

Allison is a junior majoring in international studies in Dedman College, with minors in Spanish and political science. Allison is the recipient of scholarships including the SMU Distinguished Scholarship and Marion Tower Study Abroad Scholarship. During spring 2011 she is studying in Madrid with the SMU-in-Spain program and is looking forward to exploring the country’s culture, people and cities.

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First adventures

london%20012.jpg After being sick for the past month, I’m finally feeling better and enjoying Spain more than ever!

london%20022.jpg Last weekend my roommates and I went to London and had a great time. We stayed in a hostel that looked like a jail, but the location was great due to its proximity to King’s Cross Station, where Platform 9 and 3/4 is located.

Upon seeing King’s Cross that first night as we were exploring the neighborhood, we immediately set out to find the hallowed ground of Harry Potter fans everywhere. However, due to construction in the station the original platform cannot be seen – thus, we had to accept a cardboard cutout of the platform hidden in the corner, but we enjoyed it nonetheless.

london%20016.jpg After a good night’s sleep, we woke up early and hit the streets of London, visiting such famous sights as Big Ben, Parliament, and Buckingham Palace. The next day we wrapped up our sightseeing tour with exploring Camden Market, the Tower of London, and the Tate Modern Museum. After those two tiring days we were thankful to return back to our home in Madrid, although we enjoyed our time in London immensely.

andalucia%20102%5B1%5D.jpg After one short day of school, the other students and I departed on our first official extended excursion to the southern region of Spain, known as Andalucia. Our first stop was Cordoba, home to the mezquita-catedral, whose unmistakable arches and interior are known worldwide.

After that stop, we continued onto Sevilla, where we would be staying for the next day. In Sevilla we visited various places, including Los Reales Alcazares (a Mudejar palace) and the main cathedral (photo left) where Christopher Columbus is buried. We also enjoyed an excellent lunch that included swordfish, and later we were treated to a flamenco show that was fantastic. My roommates and I also did a bit of shopping and visited El Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, where the local soccer team plays.

andalucia%20166%5B1%5D.jpg We soon departed once again for the city of Granada, the last stronghold of the Muslims back during the reconquest of Spain by the Christians. In Granada we experienced the cathedral where the Catholic Kings (Isabel and Fernando) are buried and La Alhambra (photo, right), a Muslim fortress/palace that is the second most visited place in the world. Eventually, it was time for us to return to Madrid, and after a long bus ride we were finally back home. Next up, Barcelona!

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