European Euphoria July 2, 2012Posted by sidsinha in Travel Log.
Tags: europe, gtl, Madrid, Sid Sinha
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Hola de Madrid. Es día bonita! Madrid is the number one city I have been to, I am convinced. From the inordinate amount of Plazas (pronounced Plathas due to the Spanish lisp) to the delectable tapas, Madrid epitomized my idea of Spain. Of course I enjoyed Barcelona and its almost fantasized life, but Madrid gave me a true sense of Spain, I felt. I am slightly biased towards Madrid, because on of my friends gave me a personal tour of much of city. He knew his facts, and best of all, he enjoyed showing us around.
I am currently at Madrid-Barajas, waiting to board my flight to Rome. Yesterday marked the beginning of our mid-summer break, five days. Some friends and I are going to Italy (within Italy, most likely to Rome, Florence, Pisa, and Cinque Terre). Before Italy, however, I wanted to take a trip of my own. So two nights ago, I came to Paris and met up with some Oxford friends. Then the next day, I took a flight to Madrid to meet a good friend of mine. Finally, I am about to head out to Rome to meet the rest of the gang.
The craziness is a small reflection on my summer. In the last 5 weeks, I have been to 11 cities, taken more than 40 trains, and eaten over 20 kebabs—sometimes what I would define as my cause of sustenance. The kebabs are a delicious conglomeration of vegetables, tzaziki, red pepper, and meat (usually chicken) in a thick piece of pita bread. They are phenomenal AND cheap (not necessarily a combination representative of Europe).
My next few weeks consist of canyoning in Switzerland, Running [with the Bulls] in Pamplona, running around in Prague, relaxing in Budapest, and fulfilling my aspirations in Istanbul—the top city on my list of places to visit for much time. Stay tuned.
La Adventura de Andalucia! July 30, 2011Posted by annasulimirski in Travel Log.
Tags: Granada, Madrid, Spain
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The third weekend I was in Spain we took a trip as a class all over the southern region of Spain, Andalucia. We visited the cities of Granada, Sevilla, and Cordoba which were all extremely beautiful! I loved how the entire region has so much Arabic influence. We left as a class on Thursday to travel around southern Spain. We started out in Granada, which was the last Spanish city to fall from the Arabs to the Christians. It’s architecture is to die for, and mountains with snow on them are in sight even though it’s boiling hot! We visited the Cathedral and the Alhambra there. The Alhambra is incredible. It was considered to be one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world at one point. It is like a palace/fortress building of the Arabs on the huge hill. It’s gardens and geometric designs were marvelous!
Next we went to Sevilla where we saw the 2nd largest Cathedral in the world and an old palace modeled after the Arab style. They were both incredible. I loved the feel of Sevilla on the riverside.
We then drove to Cordoba, which felt like we were in a desert. There we visited the Mezquita. It was my favorite building of the whole trip. The site originally had a cathedral that was then ruined for a mosque, and then the mosque was converted into a cathedral again. It’s mixtures of two cultures is fascinating!
I then traveled back to Cadiz for a week before leaving for Madrid. I finished up my finals in Cadiz and had to say good-bye to my home and Spanish mom, which was really hard!
Madrid was slightly overwhelming because of it’s huge size compared to the cities we had visited before then. I grew to love it, though, especially the huge parks that all the locals spent so much time at, especially at night. I visited the Royal Palace, the train station that practically has a rainforest inside, many monuments, and took a day trip to the little town of Segovia. Segovia had roman aqueducts from the first century A.D. and the castle that Walt Disney based the Sleeping Beauty castle on.
It was an incredible 2 weeks
¡Bienvenidos a España: Primera Semana! July 13, 2010Posted by awheble in Travel Log.
Tags: Kilometro Cero, Madrid, Spain, Tetuan
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Monday at 5:00, I said my goodbyes to the US and boarded the huge, double decker Boeing 747 on our way to Paris, France. After having dinner and reading, I went to bed with a setting sun only to wake up 3 hours later to the morning sunshine and breakfast. After spending an hour in the Paris airport, we headed on our connecting flight to Madrid. Even as I exited the airport, I could already tell that I was going to love this country.
From Portugal to Spain (At last!) May 30, 2010Posted by Becky Byler in Travel Log.
Tags: flamenco, Madrid, protests, Spain, valencia-lisbon program
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We arrived in Spain today! Madrid is gorgeous, but so much has changed since I was last here, that I could barely find my way around. We took the metro to our hotel (Hotel Muralto), and then walked around the streets for a few hours before dinner. The best find was the El Corte Inglés less than two blocks away… everything you need in one enormous store! By the time we returned from our walk, we were famished, but we didn’t have to wait long for our flamenco show and dinner.
Dinner at the flamenco club was absolutely amazing. I was so excited to eat paella, drink sangria, and watch a flamenco show, and the club surpassed my expectations! The first plato was a fried potato and egg dish, and the second plato was chicken paella. The flamenco show started while we were being served dessert (chocolate cake), and I was so absorbed in the dancing and rhythmic beats that I almost forgot to eat it!
There were four dancers in the flamenco show, three females and one male, and each person took turns dancing while the others accompanied the musicians. I loved the flamenco show since it is a blend of dancing, singing, and playing instruments, and all three of them blended seamlessly throughout the performance. Also, the stamina of the dancers was phenomenal- one woman tapped her feet for over 15 minutes! It was also interesting to note how, depending on the dancer, the style of the flamenco dancing changed slightly. This ability of flamenco to adapt to the current situation is what makes it so unique, and, as a result, no two shows are the same. (more…)