Saturday, October 6, 2012

Pre-Granada: Madrid & Toledo

My semester here in Granda is finally getting underway, but before I even got here with my new ISA group, we stopped in Madrid and Toledo together for a few days to go sight-seeing.

I'd like to say that my flights went smoothly, and for the most part they did, however when flying from New York to Madrid, our flight was delayed two hours because one of the plane's wings was missing a part. It wouldn't have been so bad if it was a simple delay, but they didn't tell us this until after we had already boarded the plane... so we were forced to sit there until someone went and bought the part, brought it back and installed it. Our time sitting on that plane went from seven hours to nine hours... talk about uncomfortable.

This made me a bit late getting to Madrid and meeting up with ISA, but eventually I made it and together we all went to our hotel.

Madrid itself was super cool and it was a little disappointing that we only got to spend two days there. It felt like there was so much to see and do, but not nearly enough time. We took a quick bus tour around the center of the city, and went to the Prado and Reina Sofía museums, which are pretty well known.

I got to know some of the girls in our program and we walked around the city a little bit, got drinks and tapas one night, got lost finding our way back to the hotel another night... it was somewhat overwhelming. Although I wanted to spend more time there, I'm also glad I didn't choose to study in Madrid, especially now that I've seen Granada.

After our stay in Madrid we hopped right over to Toledo, which is a super beautiful town that used to be the capital of Spain. (But again, total bummer that we weren't able to spend more time there or see more sights...)

We spent the day hiking through town together, visiting old churches and learning about King Fernando and Queen Isabel, and then were later turned loose to explore a bit on our own.

We spent the rest of the night at our hotel, and a small group of us went out to get dinner together. The hotels we stayed at were really nice, although it was difficult getting an Internet connection, or else I would have updated on all of this sooner. So much has been happening, and I don't want to get too behind in keeping up with my blog!

We only stayed the night in Toledo, and the following morning we finally set out for Granada.... by this time all of us were ready to see where we would be studying and living and unpack and get settled in at last...

There wasn't much in the way of scenery when we first set out on our bus trip from Toledo, but there were certainly endless rows of olive trees all over Spain... and as we got further south, there began to be a lot more mountains... it's not easy to describe just how lovely the south of Spain is.

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