At the end of every day I’ve been completely exhausted. Partly from lack of sleep (for some reason I keep waking up super early in the morning, which is a complete contradiction to my personality, as many of you know...) and partly from walking for probably 9 consecutive hours every day. Which is going to work wonders to counteract my newfound obsession: churros con chocolate. Picture the best hot chocolate you’ve ever had...now multiply that by 100, and you’ll probably end up close to this. It is the thickest, darkest, richest hot chocolate I’ve ever had, and combined with churros (which are like deep-fried donut sticks...don’t judge), it is just....mmm DELECTABLE. And it’s a staple here-there are tons of little ‘chocolaterías’ everywhere-so if I come home 30 pounds heavier, just pretend like you recognize me anyway.
Be jealous.The other day a few of the girls from our group went exploring around Alcalá. We discovered some really beautiful buildings--what used to be an old hospital (it was pretty abandoned, I’m not sure if it’s used for anything anymore), a beautiful cathedral, and the house of Cervantes. The Cathedral (Catedral de los Santos Niños) is a really important and historic building, and is really gorgeous. We were there as the sun was going down, so the lighting made the building especially beautiful. Alcalá is known mainly for the University, but also for being the birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote. The house where he was born has been turned into a museum, and though we haven’t been inside yet we did stop long enough to snag some pictures with the statues. :)
Exploring the abandoned hospital
(sorry these are small...I'm somewhat blogging-challenged)
Magnificent cathedral in beautiful sunset
Oh heyyyyyy Don Quixote.Yesterday we ventured into Madrid! We took a 40 minute train ride there, and then rode the subway into the middle of the city, to Plaza Puerta del Sol. This was amazing because the Plaza was circular-shaped, and then there were probably 10 streets shooting off from it, like a sun. From here we walked to Plaza Mayor, which is probably the most famous Plaza in Madrid. There is a ton of history associated with it--bullfights used to take place here, and it was here that many heretics were executed during the Spanish Inquisition. It wasn’t at all crowded, which was nice because we could walk all around the square and admire the buildings.
There were quite a few street performers here (including a Japanese man dressed as a matador, a 4 foot tall Darth Vader, and, my personal favorite, a chubby Spiderman.) After debating whether or not to break our cover of trying to not look like tourists, Katie and I gave in and went over to see ‘ole Spidey. He was hilarious. He gave us high fives and in his ridiculously deep voice asked us questions and then proceeded to show us all his favorite poses. The last one was the best...he said, “And now, do you know why Madrid is so great? Because we have........the SEXY pose.” At this point I completely lost it, and was doubled over laughing. Apparently he thought that was unacceptable for the camera, so he had us redo our ‘sexy’ pose. He was definitely one of the highlights of this particular trip.
High five for Spiderman. Classic Spiderman pose. Spiderman flying pose.
aaaand the SEXY pose. At first I was laughing uncontrollably, but then I managed to compose myself for the final seductive pose.
When we decided it was time to return to Alcalá we had to brave the subway once again, only this time it was mass pandemonium. All personal space boundaries are broken on the subway. I was literally sandwiched on all sides, with zero inches of space to move. Everyone is totally used to it there, because they do it every day, but it may take a while for me to get subway-savvy.
This morning has been strictly for relaxing, since it feels like we’ve been going a million miles an hour the past couple of days. We’re trying to find a discoteca to go to later...which will be another adventure all in itself!