Stephanie in Madrid

Stephanie is a sophomore majoring in accounting in Cox School of Business and Spanish in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, with a minor in music in Meadows School of the Arts. During spring 2013, she is participating in SMU-in-Spain and is looking forward to immersing herself in Spanish culture.

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Andalucia Part Two

The next day, Thursday, we loaded up the buses and headed to Granada. When we arrived, we checked in at Hotel Carmen and then had lunch. I don’t know how SMU does it, but they are on point with all the restaurants they take us to. We were so full off a number of some of the best tapas I’ve had in Spain. We had mini hamburgers (their meat and burger in general is different in the States and better than in the States, though “less meaty” and greasy, which I can appreciate), tortilla, multiple orders of calamari, and octopus! Normally not a fan of slimy seafood like squid or octopus if it isn’t fried, it was actually really good. Of course, it helped that the octopus was covered in a bell pepper-y, savory sauce.

We spent a few hours on a guided tour of the city, where we were shown the city’s cathedral as well as the heart of the city. I spent my free time walking up and down the shopping strips. There were so many shops and markets – a shopaholics dream. Luckily, I spent more money on food, which was worth it because I had the best churros con chocolate. Three euros for a taste of heaven? I’ll take it. I love the chocolate in Spain because it’s not artificial or overly sweet. If you ask for “chocolate caliente (hot chocolate),” don’t expect what you’d get in the States because their version is a thick, creamy, borderline pudding consistency. It’s not easy downing a cup of that on its own, which is where the churros come in.

On Friday, we woke up bright and early to see the Alhambra and the Nazaríes Palaces. It was really cold that day, but seeing the outside view of Arabic baths, palaces, and the iconic courtyards with the fountains, made the frostbite I almost experienced well worth it. (Granada is bordered by the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and since it was snowing up there, the cold weather traveled down to the city as well.) And with that, our journey to Andalucia ended, and we embarked on our five-hour journey back home to Madrid.

The group at the Al Alhambra in Granada

Madrid has been really cold the past few days because the northern part of the country experienced two meters of snow, and the cold just loves following me everywhere… I guess it’s not too bad since I forgot to pack any clothes not winter-related. Lucky for me there is a Zara (which is originally from Spain) on just about every street…

The next couple of weeks should be relatively normal. I don’t have any trips planned until March, and midterms are in two weeks. A hard hit of reality, that’s for sure… But once March comes around, I will have so many things to look forward to, like the fact that one of my best friends (Lauren) from SMU is visiting me for five days!

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