The first week of studying abroad is really weird. Being in an entirely new place with new people is uncomfortable no matter who you are. However, there is one week of the semester that is even weirder: the last. Watching the people you’ve spent the greatest four months of your life with leave and go home, one by one, is almost overwhelming. Out of my apartment and friend group, I was the last to leave. By the Friday of the last week, only two of us were left. After saying bye to everyone leaving that morning, we were left with a full day ahead of us. We were eager to numb the pain of leaving by doing anything and everything we had meant to do earlier in the semester but never got around to. What followed was the most eventful and packed day I had during my entire time in Madrid. These are the events that incurred:
We started off at this Madrid staple. Of course we had been there countless times before, but we had only tried the chocolate con churros. We had their coffee for the first time, and it didn’t disappoint. Inevitably, we also got an order of churros right after.
There is no shortage of museums in Madrid. The Thyssen, Prado and Reina Sofía are must dos if you’re only in the city for a short time. In our case, we had already been to those and several others many times through out the semester. So we decided to visit the Sorolla Museum. Located in Almagro, it was actually once Joaquín Sorolla’s home, but was converted after his death. The museum is small, but it’s easy to get lost in his beautiful and tranquil impressionist works.
Not exactly the food that Spain is known for, but Ramen Kagura is a must go for both first timers and ramen aficionados. I identify with the latter, so it was pretty strange that I hadn’t been there before my last day. Every other time I attempted to get a table the line was around the corner, and with all the enticing food options in Sol, it’s pretty easy to bail on that line and get the next best thing. I found out on my last day though that the line is totally worth it. Not only was it some of the best ramen I’ve had, it’s also dirt cheap compared to other highly rated ramen restaurants in Madrid (a full ‘menu del dia’ for 10 euros). Make sure you go with an empty stomach, especially if you plan on taking on the hefty 400g bowl.
Faro de Moncloa
From my apartment windows, we had a beautiful view of the Arco de la Victoria, a beautiful arch that overlooks Moncloa station. Behind the arch, is the Faro de Moncloa, a tall transmission tower that looks like a mini version of Seattle’s Space Needle. Madrid isn’t known for its skyscrapers, in fact there are only four, so this tower often stands out when overlooking the city. We hadn’t thought much of it, until we found out you could ride and elevator to the top. So we did, and as you can see from the pictures below, the views were amazing.
When you’re looking for an authentic, fresh and well made Spanish meal, not many places beat Sanabresa. We went there for our last meal, and it was our fourth and final time. With a cheap menu del dia and tons of great options, it’s the perfect place to bring your friends and family that might be visiting. Make sure you book in advance though; it gets packed. A large meal was the perfect way to end our long and eventful day, and to give us one last taste of the Spanish food we had become so accustomed to.
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<p>Industrial Engineering major from Penn State with minimal Spanish skills, finding my way through Madrid. I love to read, write, eat, and take pictures.</p>