Apologies for not blogging in a little while–its a result of a busy and exciting few days. This weekend, our penultimate one while in Madrid, was my favorite of the trip so far. It started off on Saturday with a trip to El Escorial, a town about 30 minutes away from Madrid. It was home to a massive monastery/museum/library also called El Escorial. We walked around inside it for about two hours, and we still didn’t see nearly all of it. There was an exhibit on how the building was designed, with architectural blueprints and building materials like pickaxes, sledgehammers and pincers that lifted the giant stone blocks of the exterior all on display. We then walked through room after room filled with paintings from a number of different time periods and styles. Finally, we saw the library, which was incredible. The ceiling was covered in paintings and designs, and all of the books were placed with their bindings facing in to display their gold-leafed pages. Unfortunately we were once again not allowed to take pictures, and the security guards were especially strict there. Here are some I managed to sneak in.
After El Escorial, we were treated to a group lunch at a restaurant that our guide’s friend owns. It was another awesome meal among many I’ve had here in Spain. The waiters would bring plates for four people to share, and the courses went something like this:
- Italian bread covered in olive oil and accompanied by sliced chorizo and ham
- Paella with mariscos, fish and mussels
- Fried potatoes, eggs, chorizo sausages and pig ears
- Steak, sausage, pork chops with mushrooms, eggplant and wedge french fries
- Dessert plate of chocolate brownie and vanilla ice cream, cheesecake and flan
That night, we went out and had a great time to cap off one of the best days of the trip. Then, on Sunday, I headed down to El Rastro, Spain’s biggest flea market that takes place every week. We walked around for a couple hours, taking in the wide variety of goods offered by the merchants in their tents and I made some quality purchases. After the market we stopped and got some burritos, which were delicious, and might have been even better than Qdoba or Chipotle(last year during co-op I ate about 40,000 Qdoba burritos, so that’s a big statement). Overall, it was just another part of the trip I’ll remember for a very long time. We only have a week left, and I’m not looking forward to leaving.