Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Arrival to Madrid

Hello everyone!!! Thanks for coming to read about what I'm up to this summer. :)

I am studying abroad for seven weeks in Salamanca, Spain, the quintessential university town in all of Spain. It just so happens that the university at which I will be studying (La Universidad de Salamanca) is one of the oldest in Europe, founded in 1218. That's right, they will be celebrating the 800th anniversary of its founding in three years! I will be taking classes in Spanish language and culture at the university, all taught in Spanish. I have a Spanish minor at Oregon State and this will help me complete the majority of the credits that I need for that part of my degree.

My trip began by flying from Portland to Dallas/Fort-Worth and then from there to Madrid on Saturday.
Although I was able to sleep a little bit on the second flight, I left my house at 3:30am and then arrived to Madrid at 8am the next morning due to the time difference. Needless to say, I was exhausted. After getting my luggage and going through customs, I met many other participants in my program inside the airport, many of them also from Oregon State. We waited for a few hours together until we were picked up from the airport by the program's Resident Director, Maria. Even though I didn't really know any of them before the trip, we all felt each other's pain and were very excited to get to our hotel in order to relax and take a nap. We are staying in Madrid for a few days before heading to Salamanca in order to see some sights in the city and explore the surrounding area.

Upon arrival to the hotel a little after 11am local time, some of the rooms weren't ready yet, so a few of us went to the hotel meeting room/living room to relax and get on the free wifi. :) Once my room was ready, I got a nice nap and then met my roommate, Lynzee, who is from Wisconsin. After resting for the afternoon, the whole group got together and we had an introduction to the program. There are 21 students from the United States who all arrived at the same time for the program.

After our meeting, Maria led us on a bit of a walking tour around the area of Madrid near our hotel. Since we are staying right in the Puerta del Sol, many of the sights of interest to tourists are within walking distance, including Plaza Mayor and plenty of shopping opportunities.
Many of us were rather impressed with the good quality and location of the hotel. We are getting our money's worth! Maria led us to a restaurant for our welcome dinner after the short tour where we enjoyed some traditional Spanish food. I had fish soup, roast duck, and a delicious pastry with sorbet for dessert.

Most of us were dragging by the end off dinner, so we went back to the hotel and called it an "early" night (it was about 10:30 when we got back but the activity in the Puerta del Sol was just starting to pick up.

Overall, it was a great first day in Spain!

1 comment:

  1. Looks like fun! Take lots of pictures with you in them so you can look back at them later.