Hello & HOLA!
This is a travel blog that describes my trip to Spain from June 13th to the 24th. I went to Spain for a study abroad program through Central Washington University where I am now attending as a Senior. Specifically, I visited Madrid as well as some neighboring small cities just north: Segovia, Avila, and El Escorial. Nine other students and two faculty members Jennifer Green and Cesar Garcia made up the rest of my travel group and shared many of the experiences I will describe here. The purpose of this study abroad program was to broaden our perspectives on culture, learn about Spain, as well as to study international public relations and journalism/media.
Here I will post blogs that pertain to each of the ten days we were in Spain as well as the day before and after the trip to provide a full spectrum of my stories and experiences.
June 24th 2010
My alarm goes off and it feels like I had just fallen asleep. Oh wait, that's because I did only just fall asleep three hours ago. Since I had spent all night packing and re-packing and catching up on emails to friends and family, I had a hard time falling asleep right away. Part of the reason I had such difficulty sleeping was the fact I generally think too much, especially when I have a big day awaiting me such as leaving Madrid and not wanting to. I knew that days ago, however it didn't really sink in until now that I didn't want to leave. I wasn't ready yet, it seemed like I had just gotten here and at the same time it felt like I'd been there for weeks and was just now getting ... read more
June 23rd 2010
Today I woke up and realized this was my last full day in Spain. My last day to soak in the sunshine and warm weather, to smell the tapas as I walked down the streets and to hurry up and buy some souvenirs! I headed down to breakfast and filled up on as much as I could. After this, a couple of us headed downtown to find some last minute souvenirs. I found most of what I needed but still couldn't find quite what I was looking for for a couple of my family members. Remembering that we had time later to finish shopping I headed back to the hotel. A few hours later we all headed to the park that Cesar and Jen had encouraged us to check out. It was only a couple stops ... read more
June 22nd 2010
This morning was sad because two girls out of our group Erika (one of my roomies) and Stephanie were leaving early due to prior arrangements back home. We all headed down to breakfast earlier than usual to be able to wish them farewell before going to El Pais one of the local newspapers. Once we had said our goodbyes and filled up on enough breakfast we followed Jennifer to the subway. El Pais wasn't too far away which was nice for Emily's ankle. It was a lot hotter out that day than I had expected and was disappointed when I realized that there wasn't air conditioning in the meeting room we were in at El Pais. A young woman came into the room and spoke to us a little bit about the history of the newspaper ... read more
June 21st 2010
This morning I woke up and showered and packed the rest of my stuff up. Once I was ready I headed down with my backpack and met the rest of the group in the dining room for breakfast. This breakfast was complimentary and definitely hit the spot even though I didn't know how I could be hungry so soon after the night before. Now that everyone had finished and was ready to leave we headed back to the bus stop and boarded our charter bus for the last time. Less than an hour later we arrived back at Hotel Regina and checked into new hotel rooms. Some of us had left our luggage there to keep it safely locked in their luggage storage because we weren't sure if the hotels in Avila and El Escorial would ... read more
June 20th 2010
I wake up this morning and head down to the complimentary breakfast, which isn't as good as the one at Hotel Regina but it will do. After I feel like I've eaten enough to tide me over til we get to El Escorial I finish getting ready and head down to the lobby. Once everyone who is going to the wall with me arrives we head out with Cesar who shows us where to purchase our tickets and the two different entrances we can take and use to get in and out. We start at the first entrance and climb up a steep set of stairs that leads onto the main walkway of the wall. As we walk along this main drag we notice the different towers that are accessible with smaller sets of stairways. We ... read more
June 19th 2010
Like I expected, I woke up this morning not feeling so well after our "system" at the clubs last night. Despite this I made it downstairs in time for breakfast and had packed up my backpack for our weekend trip to Segovia, Avila, and El Escorial. Emily was able to snag a wheel chair for this trip which probably saved her ankle more than she knows. We left around nine this morning on our charter bus and made it to Segovia about an hour later. Upon arriving in this quaint town I wasn't that impressed at first. It looked nothing like the magnificent Madrid, or so I thought. Although the Roman Aqueducts were well intact and extraordinarily tall, I was expecting and wanting more architecture. After walking down the lovely cobblestone roads we stopped in the ... read more
June 18th 2010
I wake up and start to get ready for the day. Emily's ankle is still completely swollen and is starting to bruise as well. We make it down to breakfast before heading to the Prado Museum which is ranked third in the world. Check it out: http://www.museodelprado.es/en/. Once we arrive at the museum with Cesar, which is another place I cannot take pictures inside, we check out a wheel chair for Emily to relieve some pressure off of her ankle. I push her around as we go on a tour with our tour guide from the previous tours again. I am amazed at how much information she can retain about so many pieces of artwork. Although I realize it is her job, it is truly astounding how much she knows about Spain's history, architecture, culture, and ... read more
June 17th 2010
This morning I wake up in time for breakfast again, thankfully. After eating about a pound of fresh fruit I head up with the rest of the group to the meeting room we were in the other day to listen to Antonio. However, today we are here to lsiten to Simon de Santiago the Producer of MOD Producciones. Simon started within the film industry in Madrid and London and actually studied in Paris where he landed his first job as a trainee. He has worked for Canal Plus, big studios, and smaller independent distributors and Spanish producers. Simon explained to us the steps he took to get where he is today, which involved working many jobs. He also informed us on different aspects of the film industry such as how different rights are sold to distributors, ... read more
June 16th 2010
I wake up to my alarm today and we still have time to make it to breakfast! After we get ready we head down to the dining room which is set up very nicely, I am pleasantly surprised to see a variety of choices. From cold meats and cheeses, to scrambled eggs and bacon, pancakes, fresh fruit, rolls, and pastries.... they had everything. And I can't forget to mention the champagne, fresh coffee and five types of juices either. After stuffing my face since I know we have a long day ahead of us, we meet up with Cesar and head over to the Royal Palace. Unfortunately this was one of the several places in which you cannot take pictures inside of the building. However, even if I could have taken pictures of all the beautiful ... read more
June 15th 2010
This morning we wake up to....nothing. My alarm was set to go off hours ago so we could take advantage of the complimentary breakfast at the hotel. Now with only half an hour before our first scheduled guest speaker, we got ready for the day with empty stomaches. At 1 p.m. we went downstairs to a very nice multi purpose room that the hotel set up for us as a meeting room. They even provided folders with a pen and sheets of paper for each student. Our guest speaker was Antonio Nunez who has been in marketing and communications since he was eighteen years old. He spoke to us a little about his experience and past and then moved on to the real reason he was here. For the next hour or so he talked to ... read more