Month in Madrid: Day One

Sunday, May 19, 2013

As you may or may not know, I am currently in Madrid, Spain. I honestly feel so weird typing that and even when I say Spain or Europe, just because I cannot believe that I am here and that this is actually happening. I also cannot say thank you enough to my parents who made my dream of studying abroad a reality!

As for day one, I arrived at 9:30 am (Madrid Time). We went from the airport, took a cab, and arrived at our hotel, which is kind of an apartment, but more like a hotel. We are right across from the national library (where my window looks out to) and all of the students in my program are in the same area of the same floor. This is the front of the library, and our apart/hotel is just to the right of this picture! The architecture in this city is beyond amazing.

After unpacking, we were STARVING. We, being my roommate Natalie and I, met up with our friends Caylah and Jen to go explore, get some lunch, and try to find Caylah's iPhone which she had lost the night before. 

We ended up going into a hotel restaurant and ordered tapas, salad and paella.

This picture is from McDonald's.. Yes, that McDonald's. 

I didn't have anything but they sold macaroons! And they also had other pastries and cakes that surprisingly looked really good! Fast-food here is definitely not the same as in America.

We ended up getting kind of lost on our way back after lunch, unfortunately Caylah didn't find her phone, but we passed by all of these gorgeous apartments, buildings, and churches. The thing I love about them all are the windows, especially the balconies. They are so beautiful and picturesque, each time I pass by I swear I am living in a magazine.

We then went back, regrouped, and met up with the guys and decided we needed a pick-me-up. First thing on our list? Churros y chocolate! (And cafe con leche of course, which is probably the best coffee I have had... like ever!

There were six of us and each plate had 6 churros, so we got  3 orders. It was WAY too much but so good! San Gines is one of the oldest churro joints in Madrid, and is famous for their churros y hot chocolate! Definitely glad I went here!

As for now, I am in my room, in bed, looking outside my window and admiring everything that has been of the past 24 hours. Two flights, with lots of turbulence, a lousy nights sleep and airplane food, none of which matter due to the amazing city I get to call my home for a month.

Some first impressions of Madrid? 
EVERYONE SMOKES! Like I knew that was a European thing, but it's everywhere! My mother would not approve (hi mom!). 
Alcohol is cheaper than water in most places. The tap water here is not good. It tastes like pure chlorine and I'm pretty sure it isn't safe (desperate times called for desperate measures). You have to order water, it isn't included, and when you are just walking around, there are no water fountains or places to fill up water bottles! I have to go to the store later and get some water and probably some food for my microscopic kitchenette.
They aren't as fashionable as I was expecting, which is kind of disappointing, but then again not because I really like my outfits that I brought.
My Spanish isn't as bad as I thought it was! People talk to me in Spanish and don't question me being American. At one of the places we went a man (who I am determined was a gypsy) kept asking me if "that group of people" were Americans. I kept saying I don't know, why are you asking, seeing as I knew they were Americans, and he just kept saying that they were loud like Americans and they were easy to point out in the crowd. This was very true seeing as there were also New Yorkers there who thought that we were angels because we also spoke English, but oh well! 
There's no tax! AND you don't need to tip!
EVERYTHING is walkable! I love it, honestly it is SO convenient.

Well that is all I can think of as of right now. Maybe other impressions and things about this city will pop up in my head later and I will add them to the end of those blogs.
Adios for now!

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