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Palacio Royal

The Royal Palace in Madrid! The royal family doesn’t actually live there, but it’s still used for important ceremonies like the abdication and coronation in 2014.IMG_5689 IMG_5693 IMG_5695 IMG_5696The Palace was decorated for Christmas with trees, lights, and an amazing Nativity scene (no pictures allowed in most rooms). In Spain, the Nativity scenes are called “Belén” or Bethlehem. IMG_5699

Catas

This semester we got to do both a wine and beer tasting!

Both involved trying three types of each, learning about the production process, learning how to pour, and what to eat with each type.

IMG_5305 IMG_5307The wine tasting in Alcalá with the student, Tai, who interned there and organized it for us IMG_5632 IMG_5633 IMG_5634The beer tasting – all natural too!

Cooking Pt 2

My host mom then taught me her own way of making tortilla! Everyone does it slightly different depending on family traditionsIMG_5661Started off by cutting potatoes and onions and then frying them IMG_5662

My host mom Choni IMG_5665We then beat the eggs And mixed it all together!IMG_5666And mixed it all together! IMG_5668 IMG_5670Lunch!

Cooking Pt 1

This weekend a few friends and I went to a cooking class at a school in Madrid. We made tapas from different regions of SpainIMG_5641Our cooking station IMG_5645Shrimp with garlic – before IMG_5646And after! IMG_5648Tortilla Española in the making – famous in all parts of Spain IMG_5650Toast with ham and tomato IMG_5652Patatas braves and Sangria IMG_5654We also made mussels (specific to the region of Galicia) and chorizo with cider (Astoria)

YUM

Museo de Cervantes

Miguel de Cervantes, the author of Don Quijote, was born in Alcalá de Henares. The house where he was born and lived for the beginning of his childhood still stands on Calle Mayor.IMG_5599 IMG_5600Ceiling of the house depicts his cartoons, which make appearances all over the house. IMG_5601Desk in his house IMG_5602Part of the timeline of Cervantes’ life -the top photo discusses the possibility of Cervantes being a “new Christian” or in other words, directly decedent from a Jewish family that was forced to convert in order to stay in Spain before the 15th century.

New and Old Cathedrals in Salamanca

The two Cathedrals of Salamanca are truly wonderful sights. They have their separate alters and spaces, but are built together and connected on the inside. The old was built in the 12th century, with the new being added on during the 16th-18th centuries and is in a Gothic/Baroque style.

IMG_5566View from the Puente Romano IMG_5569 IMG_5571 IMG_5573Bell tower IMG_5576 IMG_5577 IMG_5579

Rastro Market

Every Sunday morning, this area opens up for the biggest outdoor market I’ve ever seen. It’s a place for tourists and Spaniards alike as it provides a great place to walk around and is near a lot of good food.IMG_5519 IMG_5520 IMG_5521 IMG_5522(Leather handmade in Spain) IMG_5523Store full of just olives IMG_5524Crowd in one of the market plazas

Parc Güell

Also designed by Antoni Gaudí, this public park is actually a World Heritage Site. It was originally intended as a commercial site for housing, but eventually turned into gardens instead.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAView of la Sagrada Familia OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEntrance to the park OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis type of mosaic was all over the park OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAView from the top OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Barcelona

This past weekend I went to Barcelona (with some familiar Skidmore faces!)12249627_10201263227258967_3157365032023200768_n IMG_5464We saw the Arc de Triomf IMG_5467Went to the Picasso museum (and weren’t allowed to take pictures inside) IMG_5470

And the Chocolate Museum (yes, MADE of chocolate) IMG_5472 IMG_5474National Museum of Art lit up at night IMG_5488Magic Fountain of Montjuïc, water and light show IMG_5496And the beach! Even though it is November

La Sagrada Familia

Antoni Gaudí, Spain’s famous architect, began building this cathedral in 1882. He sadly died before it could be completed, but the unfinished building is open to the public. There is currently construction going on to ultimately finish the cathedral using Gaudí’s plansOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFrom across the street OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Nativity entrance OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe stained glass windows everywhere made for a very cool interiorOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAView from the Nativity towers OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA