I never would have thought that this study abroad program would end up in Madrid. #RomeIstanbul2016 felt adventurous enough, and then POOF! All of a sudden, we’re setting up camp in Madrid. And as a Spanish Studies double major, it’s been a dream come true. Conversing with locals and practicing everyday conversation has been a real treat, and our day trips outside of central Spain were dreamy!
One of the most memorable weeks I’ve had was when we had the opportunity to visit Granada in Spain’s Andalucia region, home to the enchanting Alhambra Palace. I remember studying the Court of Lions last semester and reading the site map of the Alhambra landscape and being in awe, wanting to someday visit. I never thought I’d be seeing this beauty so soon. The way the morning sun through the canopies cast indigo shadows onto the white washed corridors sent shivers up my spine; the violet flowers were veils draping upon our heads. We spent all day at the Alhambra, sketching and basking and smelling and crying. (Yes, crying. My happiness of being in a place so magical moved me to tears). My time was well-spent in Granada, especially amidst the snow topped mountains, fresh sangría, and, as always, the best company.
After final reviews in Madrid, we packed up and trained to Barcelona, and a few of us get to stay an extra couple days to explore the city even further. Today, Jake, Jake, Olivia, Julia, and I are heading to Ribes de Freser, and we had someone else tag along with us on our journey. Her name is Gertyle, and she’s a rare shiny pink dolphin who floats above your heads. We keep her on a string leash so she doesn’t get lost. She’s a native of Plaza Cataluyna, from a family of SpongeBob, minions, and emojis. We are happy to have her with us.
After getting on the wrong bus, we had to make a pit stop in Granollers. It’s a quaint town with a major institution of an assumed fabric softener factory, as the smell of the air would prove. After a cup of cheap coffee and a stroll through the town hamam (a large square of sand and dirt), we came to the conclusion that post-study abroad adventures have taken a strange turn, but we’re all on board for that. Ribes de Freser, hope you’re ready for us.
Danielle, Gertyle, & co