¡Viva España!

Center city Madrid

Center city Madrid

Kathleen Milon, Traveler

View from our hotel, The Royal Palace of Madrid

Being completely immersed in another culture is an experience like no other. This past week, I took a trip to the city of Madrid, which is located in Spain. The difference in lifestyle was a real shock to me. First of all, their main dish always included some sort of style of ham. We were constantly eating some form of ham at every meal.

Another cool thing about Spain was that everyone walks everywhere, or takes some sort of public transportation to their destination. They also have many scooter companies throughout the city, which were really fun to use when you didn’t feel like walking. 

One of the coolest things we did was when we went to El Clásico, the Real Madrid vs. Barcelona game. The atmosphere of that game was absolutely crazy. People chanted and lit flares in the streets. The passion and excitement for this sport is like no other in America. The stadium was sold out with 81,000 people in attendance. The cheers and anthems echoed throughout the stadium as the crowd erupted for each goal. The final score was 3-1. Real Madrid won!

View from Toledo, a medieval village

Throughout the trip, we traveled to many different cities, including Toledo, Avila, and Segovia. My favorite of the three was probably Toledo. It was covered in cobblestone roads and thousands of small and narrow streets, something you would never see in America. In Avila, there is a stone wall surrounding the entire town that was built between the 11th and 14th century. This feature was really cool and something I had never seen before. The last city we went to was Segovia. We toured the Alcázar of Segovia which is one of the most famous medieval castles in the world. It was huge and surrounded by a moat that was used as a defense in past centuries. This unique design was fascinating to my family and I.

The Alcázar of Segovia

Another important part of Spanish Culture is the art that was created there. Works from artists all over Spain are congregated in the Prado Museum. My favorite artist was Goya. His paintings told many stories of historical events in Spain and emphasized the hardships of the people experiencing it. Another form of art that we saw during our trip was Flamenco, a form of Spanish dance. We went to a theater ten minutes from our AirBNB and had dinner before the show. Then, the lights turned off and for the next two hours we were entertained by the most talented dancers I have ever seen. They sang and danced to all different kinds of Spanish music. It was such an amazing night!

This whole trip was a fascinating dive into a culture I had never experienced before. The food, the arts, the sports, and the places we visited were unforgettable!