Spain

Adventures in Madrid

It is fall break here in Alicante, Spain for CIEE students so some friends and I went to Madrid for the weekend. I was kind of worried that I wouldn’t have anything to do the rest of the week, but between homework and working on my 4 year plan (I think it’s technically a 3 year plan now since I’m a sophomore. Wow) and sleeping I’m sure fall break is going to go by just as fast here as it does in the States, leaving me wanting more. My beautious Kodak became ill with some sort of (I’m thinking sand induced) screen blankness last week, which turned into complete death on Saturday. RIP Kellie’s camera number 3 (or 4). Rar. So I’m currently looking for a really cheap digital right now in Alicante so I can take pictures for the next 2 months. We have a trip coming up in 2 weeks to Granada, Valencia the second weekend in November and then Barcelona (yay!) the weekend after Thanksgiving. Yay travels. Madrid was so fun this weekend we’re hoping to go back the first weekend in December before we come home but I’m not sure if I’ll have the money to do that yet or not. Granada and Barcelona are included in the program costs but any other trips are on Kellie (thanks to my helpful bankers Mom and Dad) not and eating in Spain can get kind of expensive after a while.

Huge thanks to my friends this weekend for letting me use their cameras! Madrid is so fun, it doesn’t really feel like Spain since it’s so touristy and metropolis-like. I liked it. We visited the Museo Nacional centro de Arte Reina Sofía and the Prado (we found out when they were free. yay free museum visits). I really enjoyed the Sofia museum, they had this huge exhibit on Surrealism (which we’re talking about right now in my film class actually, yay inadvertant extra credit) which was AWESOME and a lot of more modern, contemporary abstract displays. The Prado was cool too. We all moved through at different paces so we split up at each museum and Jasmine and I ran into each other, both kind of bored, so we went to McDonald’s. I got the sweetest Happy Meal toy ever. Europe can do Happy Meals.

The only thing that was very interesting about the Prado to me was the immense number of paintings of Mary and Jesus. It was really interesting to see the immense Catholic influence in all of the depictions of them. They love them some Mary. Also, Mary and Jesus were both quite the blonde bombshells with giant blue eyes in nearly ALL of the paintings. There was one painting of the crucifixtion (I should have written down the artists or something…) where there was a tiny bit of blood painted on Jesus’ wrists and ankles and it was a huge controversy for being so gory back in the day. Wow. I like art. I also like McDonalds.

After the Prado on Sunday we pretty much just hung around the city. We found a nice tapas restaurant and shopped a little bit (I got a pair of jeans and a shirt on sale at this store called Blanco and I only spent 17 euros. That is amazing.) We didn’t want to pay for a hostel last night because our flight left so early today so we went to a 24 store and bought salami, bread and cheese and coke and camped out in the Madrid Airport. It was so fun. We met so many interesting people. We met a family from Bombay (who invited us several times to come visit so if anyone ever wants to go with me, it’s on!) that had been at a Chemical Engineering conference in San Sebastian. The daughter was 20 and she had one of her classmates with her, they are developing a synthetic blood compound and caught the eye of Bill Gates’ Aids foundation thing (Thanks for knowing things Marshall:) ). According to Annie, Bill is very excited to fund their research. Wow. They are 20 years old. And on a fun note, my Intensive Spanish Professor Silvia worked for Bill Gates, translating. Fun tangent. Yay for meeting interesting people. I’m keeping track of how many people I meet from different countries. This weekend alone we met a Hungarian, a Peruvian, a Brazillian, a family of Indians, an Ecuadorian and a man born in Spain who claims to be an Italian (who thought we were from France and called Jasmine J-LO).

The world is so big. The God we serve is even Bigger.

My apologies, this was not intended to be a long blog. I was really only going to post pictures. Haha. Yay distraction.

anddd the uploader is being weird so here’s a link to a facebook album. Collectively we probably took about 400 pictures. This is about 30.

http://meredith.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2021856&l=684dc&id=47302215

and I really want to watch Music and Lyrics, The Phantom of the Opera, My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Aladdin.

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