Last weekend, my roommates, Hannah, Claire, and I decided to take a trip to Madrid, Spain. We had no idea what to expect but were presently surprised by numerous things throughout the city. I found a lot of similarities and differences between Barcelona and Madrid during this weekend trip.
First thing I fell in love with in Madrid were the markets. We went to the Mercat de San Miguel and then the next day went to Mercado de San Ildefonso. I think this was the best way to see and taste all the types of foods that Madrid had to offer. Tapas and paella are really popular in Madrid just like they are in Barcelona but you can find foods from all around the country as well. Madrid also has the best coffee shops I have ever been to. We found so many great ones by our hostel and Spain usually has a smaller coffee portion. My personal favorite is cafe con leche with brown sugar.
Then we went to Parque del Retiro and went on a rowboat for an hour. It was so nice just sitting there admiring the view and listening to the nice music the locals were playing nearby. Barcelona has a park named Parque de Cuidatella where you can row boats also. I really enjoy going to the parks in Spain because they are maintained so well and they are so relaxing and nice to just take a walk in. I definitely also admire the pace of the people in Spain because it really is leisure. I am so used to always running around to numerous places in the States that I do not ever take the time to appreciate nature and the surrounding I am in.
The last highlight of the trip was going to the Museo Nacional del Prado. This is Madrid's main museum and we got to see all different types of art but I was most excited to see El Greco and the Renaissance paintings because growing up, I learned about them in Spanish class and it was really fascinating to see them actually in person.
Looking back at the trip, I was shocked at the differences I noticed between Madrid and Barcelona. They are both two cities in the same country yet they are so unique from one another. I loved Madrid and seeing everything within the city and I think a weekend was a perfect duration of the trip.
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<p>I am a junior studying at the University of Illinois and am majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology, in hopes of attending dental school one day. During my free time, I enjoy painting, listening to music, and running. I love to travel and I'm especially looking forward to studying abroad this summer in Barcelona. I also love to take pictures because it captures a great experience that you can cherish for a lifetime.</p>