They Don’t Speak Catalan Here.

September 21, 2011

My dear blog-reading friends,

I have not forgotten you. I am still alive. I have just been quite busy and/or without internet access for the past several days.

So, without further ado, here’s a brief summary of what I did this weekend: I went to Madrid and Toledo!

One of the covered streets in Madrid

This is Toledo, the oldest city in Spain, and the capital city, before it changed to Madrid

My program, CIEE, took us all on a weekend excursion–Friday morning to Sunday evening–to see Madrid and Toledo. We met up at the ungodly hour of 8:15 to depart on a 3 hour train ride, on which some of my friends and I were in “first class” (We had seats facing each other with tables in the middle), and we played a game of hearts which I should have won, if I hadn’t taken the queen of Spades on the last round to stop someone from shooting the moon, even though I was more than 26 points ahead of that person, but less than 13 points ahead of someone else… (not that I’m bitter or anything).

Anyway. Steering away from my overly competitive nature when it comes to card games.

So we got to Madrid and on our way to the hotel, we ran into a creepy street performer who was dressed up like a baby and was super creepy.

Photo courtesy of Aaron, since I didn't get a chance to take a photo myself.

After that, we checked into the hotel, had some free time, and then went on a very long walking tour of Madrid, and afterwords a guided tour of the Museo de Prado, which was really cool, but also very tiring. It was a long day.

The next day, we had to get up early again, this time to get on a bus, which took us to Toledo. Everyone just wanted to sleep, but we had a guide for the day who kept talking. But eventually he let us sleep, so that was good. We arrived in Toledo, and followed our guide for a walking tour of the city. Let me tell you, this city is absolutely gorgeous. Some of the buildings are thousands of years old, and it’s all just like a remnant from a former time. I loved it. But at the same time, it didn’t have a whole lot of interesting things to do other than admire the architecture, so by the end of our free time after the walking tour, we were all ready to go. Besides the fact that we were tired.

When we got back to Madrid, we had some time to sleep/freshen up/eat before heading out to the theater. We saw a play called “El Nacional”, by Albert Boadella, performed by the Joglars theater group–which are a Catalan group, but they perform all around Spain. I didn’t understand a lot of what was going on, but what I do know is that it was VERY weird. But it was interesting for sure, and entertaining for the most part.

The next day, we could sleep in a bit longer (yay!). We headed out to go see the Museo Reina Sofia, which was beautiful, and it had a lot of really famous art pieces from Picasso and Dalí (such as “Guernica” and “Muchacha en la ventana“). My friend and I were going to go to El Parque del Retiro, but we didn’t have time because we stayed at the museum too long. So we returned, ate pizza, had some girl talk, and then got back on the train, where everyone slept for almost the entire journey. And then, we were back in Barcelona!

You’ll notice I mentioned nothing about what the nightlife in Madrid. I’m leaving that to your imagination.

Even though I enjoyed Madrid, I am definitely glad that I chose to study in Barcelona. Barcelona has an irresistible charm to it, with its forests and trees, its mountains, the Mediterranean, and, of course, the Catalan culture! You just can’t get that anywhere else in Spain.




  1. that freaking baby style street performer is scary!!!

    • aww man, you don’t even know. He had this weird thing in his mouth that made his voice all high-pitched and he was talking to us… so creepy.

  2. haha the nightlife…. your image of my imagination is merely inspired by you :p

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