Megan

El Escorial y Valle de los Caídos

El Escorial Hey y’all! Today we took a little field trip about an hour outside Madrid to San Lorenzo de El Escorial, a small town in the mountains. El Escorial is the home of a beautiful Monastery built by el Rey Felipe II of Spain. El Escorial is a monastery, palace, school, and library today; it is huge! Apparently, King Felipe II was very religious, and as we are learning in class, fought many wars for Catholicism against the Protestants during his reign. He decided to build this place to display the wealth and power of Spain after one of the battles, where he felt he had lost some control. It is a beautiful place and boasts many [...]

2012-11-01T15:04:42+00:00 October 31st, 2012|Megan in Spain|

¡España! ¡España! ¡España!

Notice all the flags! ¡Viva España! That was the chant of the night. Can you hear it? All the spirit typically associated with Spanish fútbol echoing in your ears. Well, it sure was all present at last night’s España vs. Francia FIFA World Cup 2014 Qualifier! Getting to experience a true partido de fútbol (soccer game) in Spain, where soccer is a matter of life or death, was such a blessing. Our sweet program coordinator, Tania, found these great tickets at really good prices, and despite our midterms the following morning we were all in! It was everything I expected and more. The Spanish believe in their team; they all wear the colors, everyone gets little plastic Spanish [...]

2012-10-26T21:21:47+00:00 October 26th, 2012|Megan in Spain|

In awe of northern Spain’s beauty

Speechless. That’s how I felt over the last couple days, during our group trip to San Sebastián and Bilbao, in el País Vasco in the north of Spain. I had heard how the north was supposed to be so green and rainy and more like Scotland than the mesa where Madrid is located, but I guess I wasn’t really prepared for the beauty I would behold. Now, I’m a sucker for green, trees and mountains (LOVE it! I needed a breather from the city!), then add the ocean, a beautiful beach, with Carlsbad-like weather and I was as good as gone (that would refer to San Sebastián, but I’ll get to that later). The group in Burgos, outside the [...]

2012-10-11T14:57:53+00:00 October 11th, 2012|Megan in Spain|

¡El Primer Día de Clases!

Today was the first day of classes! I have now experienced 3 out of 4 of my classes here in España. I enjoyed all my professors and believe I will learn a lot (OK, so really no doubt about that!). It was interesting having my whole day in Spanish, in the classroom, outside, todo — all of it. I know it will advance my Spanish rather rapidly, and, for that, estoy emocionada (I am excited). After my classes I got to help Sofía with her English (and she with my Spanish). She picked a couple of songs in English that we would listen to and then go over the lyrics. It is hard to explain lyrics to someone who speaks [...]

2012-09-14T20:23:37+00:00 September 13th, 2012|Megan in Spain|

Un Día Bonita en Segovia

Once again the twelve amigos embarked on a new adventure! An early morning bus ride found us in the beautiful town of Segovia (about an hour and a half outside Madrid) with the full day ahead of us to discover its treasures. Our profesora, and guide for the day, took us to the Alcazar first. Made my day, since alcazar is the Arabic word for castle/fortress! It was beautiful. It has a torre, tower, and real turrets, too. We toured the inside of the palace, enjoying the extravagant ceilings and hearing the history of Isabel and Ferdinand of Castille y Aragon, and saw some gorgeous views before taking the experience to the next level. Adrenaline rushing, we took the challenge [...]

2012-09-14T20:12:01+00:00 September 9th, 2012|Megan in Spain|

¡Madrid!

Today, we had a short tour of Madrid’s main attractions. We had the privilege of seeing el Palacio Real (Royal Palace), which we found out has 6,500 rooms! Yes, I said 6,500 rooms. Does the royal family live there, you ask? Nope. Not anymore. So the twelve of us are tempted to spend the night there … how can they refuse us? It isn’t like they have a lack of space :) Across from the palacio is the city’s main cathedral. Our guide was not impressed by it, saying el catedral in Toledo is más hermoso (basically, way prettier!). I have to agree. We then walked up to the Plaza del Sol. It was the main marketplace back in the day, and [...]

2012-09-14T20:07:15+00:00 September 7th, 2012|Megan in Spain|

Field trip to Toledo

Mi Escuela La Fundación José Ortega y Gasset. It is a small and very beautiful campus in Madrid. About a 20-minute walk from my home, and a quick jaunt on el autobus. Escuela (L) Toledo (R) Toledo I was just blessed with the opportunity to spend the last two days in the city of Toledo. Toledo is about an hour outside Madrid and was the capital of Spain. It is a medieval city set atop a rock surrounded by a river; essentially, it is una fortaleza, or fortress.  The streets are a labyrinth, modeled after many Muslim cities, narrow and cobblestone, and so very cool! Our group of twelve students stayed in la Fundación’s satellite campus. It is tucked [...]

2012-09-14T20:04:53+00:00 September 5th, 2012|Megan in Spain|

Bienvenido

My housemate, Margaret, and I at the airport. ¡Buen Viaje! After an uneventful flight we landed in Madrid, and the adventure began. I stepped into a world of Spanish, and quickly realized the pace at which I would be learning. It is exciting! I have learned mucho already. Sofía, the granddaughter of my host mom, or Abuela, taught my housemate, Margaret, and me a new phrase of “cool” or “that’s cool”: “que guay.” I can’t wait to use it! We had a quick view of the city while driving from the airport, but the exploring will begin tomorrow before we head to Toledo for our orientation. Abuela cooked some delicious spaghetti and offered Margaret and I some delicious [...]

2012-09-14T19:57:48+00:00 September 4th, 2012|Megan in Spain|

!Buen Viaje!

Today I embark on my adventure! I am saying goodbye to Carlsbad until December and head off to Dallas before it’s buen viaje y !Hola Madrid! on Saturday. I am beside myself with excitement, anticipation … and, well, a little fear. Mi gran aventura lies ahead and I’m ready to tackle it with confidence: so many questions, so many opportunities and so many blessings. I plan on learning a lot, and hopefully y’all will see that when I return! I’m so excited to share this adventure with y’all. Goodbye for now!

2012-09-14T19:56:39+00:00 September 3rd, 2012|Megan in Spain|