Adios Madrid

The last week in Madrid, we had classes Monday and Tuesday and our final (and only) exam was on Wednesday. Thursday morning we were on a bus for a trip to Córdoba that got cut short because the bus driver showed up a little less than 2 hours late – NOT COOL. We visited a really cool mosque with the most intricate details and architecture I’ve seen yet – and remember, I went to Italy for 9 days before this! I guess it’s all up to your opinion, but I really enjoyed this visit (and it’s a Fodor’s Choice, so that must mean other people think it’s pretty sweet too). Friday we were in Sevilla and visited the third largest cathedral in the world (largest in Spain) and la Plaza de España (aka Naboo from Star Wars – yes, Star Wars was filmed there – yes, Hayden Christensen was there). Saturday and Sunday were spent in Granada which houses the famous palace-fortress, Alhambra. After a day of touring La Alhambra, we were on a bus and on our way to the coast of Alicante to meet our new families. I am currently living with a mother-daughter duo. The madre is a hairstylist (good for me since I’ve been living with hairstylists all my life…love you Momma and Bobo), and the daughter is an International Relations teacher (meaning she knows a bit of english – good for me since I’ve been speaking that language all my life). The daughter used to have a little cafe, but with the Spanish economy in the tank she had to shut it down. I eat lunch and dinner on this cute little balcony overlooking El Mercado Central (really cool market where different vendors sell meats, fish, cheese, fruits, and vegetables, and the one food that no spanish meal is complete without – PAN). Bread is literally on the table at all times. And no, not multigrain or whole wheat…it’s white bread. French bread. And of course I’m going to have a slice of this bread to dip into my gazpacho. And of course I’m going to see the repercussions of having white bread twice a day every day for 6 weeks. Bikini season in Virginia Beach you say? I’m in Alicante now! I’ll go on some light jogs on the boardwalk overlooking the marina. Quizas. My house is 10 minutes walking distance away from la playa and 5 minutes walking to school. Much nicer than spending $200 on metro tickets in Madrid. Gotta love beach towns 🙂

The night before our final exam in Madrid, Salina and I made our madre dinner! Salina is half Indian, so she knows how to make this amazing dish called bharta. It was so good! I made my favorite salad in the world with goat cheese and candied nuts (recipe is already on here). Here come some pictures of semana 3 in Madrid!

Bharta is made with eggplant, onion, garlic, tomatoes (crushed and diced), curry, cinnamon, and cumin. It cooks down into this delicious dish that you can eat with naan, traditional Indian bread. We couldn’t find any in Madrid so we got pitas and buttered both sides (obviously) and put them in the oven to crisp up and get warm.
Me, Salina, and madre enjoying our feast!
Córdoba’s Mezquita – There are 856 multicolored double arches supporting the weight of the soaring ceiling of this mosque. The whole building was filled with columns (would’ve been a great place to play hide and seek).
I just thought this looked pretty 🙂
La Calleja de las Flores – Flower Road in Córdoba (of course I’m eating froyo).
The group in Sevilla!
Alcázar – the official residence of the king and queen when they’re in Sevilla. Although it looks like a Moorish palace, it was commissioned and paid for by a Christian king. The hints of Arabic architecture are columns (like that of the mosque), ceramic tiles, gardens and fountains, and horseshoe arches. I particularly love this type of architecture as opposed to the grand basilicas and cathedrals because they used detail and beautiful epigraphy instead of covering the whole building with gold.
So cool!
My friend, Izzy Shocket (who actually graduated from Cape Henry, too), has been my model for this whole trip. So if you see a lot of solo shots of Izzy in my photo albums on Facebook that’s why!
This is the organ in the cathedral of Sevilla. Seville’s cathedral is the largest and highest cathedral in Spain, the largest Gothic building in the world, and the world’s third-largest church, after St. Peter’s in Rome and St. Paul’s in London. Talk about superlatives. 
La Plaza de España en Sevilla = NABOO
El grupo
Saturday in Granada we hiked up to “la mirada” to overlook the beautiful city and have a pretty magnificent view of La Alhambra and the white peaks of the Sierra Nevada.
I love finding random palm trees (when you’re not on the beach) in the midst of a bunch of normal less cool trees.
La Alhambra – at the top of Torre de los Punales (really tall tower) overlooking Granada.
On Cerro del Sol (Hill of the Sun) in Alhambra is Generalife, the ancient summer palace of the Nasrid kings. It literally has the most beautiful garden I have ever seen in my life. Whoever the landscaping company is that maintains Generalife needs to start globalizing and come to the U.S. They know what they’re doing. So many beautiful flowers of every type, elegant fountains, and terraces that have a great view of the city. All I was thinking was how much my mom and sister would love it.

Just finished week 1 in Alicante, so I’m a little behind on this (as always). I’ll be sure to have a post up sometime this week. Unfortunately, Salina’s grandfather is battling lung cancer and is not doing so well, so she went back home yesterday to be with him. Please keep him and Salina’s family in all of your prayers. I’ll be home on July 2! See y’all soon!

love, maddie



2 thoughts on “Adios Madrid

  1. Hello Maddie! Your pictures are beautiful. Wish we could have seen everything w/ you. So sorry about Selena’s grandfather. Miss you lots!

  2. Dude our pictures from La Alhambra are SO different because i went there when it was literally like -2 degrees… but isnt it beautiful?!?!? i love seeing your pictures, reading about your days and learning about these cool places en espana que no he visitado!! te echo de menos and i cant wait until you get home!! love you!

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