Monday, February 6, 2012


Chicos y chicas, tengo el placer de decirles que estoy en Europa otra vez. I'll be abroad this time for a little over 3 months and I don't think I could be any more excited to be back :) There will be a heavy amount of pictures of everything I eat (per usual). However, I must say, I've been here 7 days now and we eat so many little tapas plates that I forget the names of half of what I've inhaled.
First things first: if you have never been to España, go. right now. drop everything and leave. it's 2012 people, we don't know how much longer we have.
Haven't you always dreamed of a place where people never stop eating, the portions are the perfect size for getting just a bite (aka the perfect size for what I like to do- steal a bite from someone else's plate right as you are asking if you can have a bite), no one is ever rushing, it is CUSTOMARY to TAKE A NAP DURING THE DAY (@$*&!!) and the culture is literally structured around food and socializing? As someone who frequently dreams about what she wants to eat for breakfast, I can say I have dreamed of this place on occasion. And now it is a reality, in Sevilla. Although I have visited Spain before (in Barcelona for an inadequate 7 days in high school (it wasn't nearly enough!)) but now i am living here. I live in Spain. Mi casa es su casa.

We arrived here just a week ago in Madrid. 120 absurdly overpacked, touristy looking college kids from all over the US straggling into Madrid-Barajas International Airport. Our luggage took up the entire terminal one. You probably think i'm kidding, too.
Once the clock struck 11am (which after arriving at 7am didn't come very quickly) the program directors led us to the bus where we once again dragged our massive sized maletas- suitcases (cue the "whatdya pack in here!? BRICKS? DEAD BODIES!? SHEESH" #ShitMyDadSays one liners)

The buses took us to our hotel conveniently located right in the center of the city, and surprisingly (because it is included in the program and thus could never be actually fancy) it was really nice! AND THE BREAKFAST! OH MAN! Maybe it's because i'm used to staying at the cheapest, grimiest hostels that serve you a slice of bread and then charge you for the butter, but this breakfast BUFFET was crazy good. All types of fresh fruit, cheese, deli meats (like the famous cured ham of spain- jamon), eggs, yogurt, cereal, different types of bread, lox, special fresh squeezed juices like mango-pear!, delicious café con leche, lo tiene todo.

After breakfast the first full day in Madrid, we went on a tour of El Museo del Prado (en espanol, claro) and I got to see in person the works of the 3 artists i studied for months last semester- Velazquez, El Greco y Goya. They had a separate room with the works of Goya after he started going crazy and painting the walls of his house with his fingers. (si puedes ver, Goya en Burdeos es una pelicula muy interesante de su vida). It took a lot of me to not sneak any pictures- especially de Las Meninas por Velazquez. That was too cool to finally see outside of a textbook. But enough with the nerdy talk, on to the next.
After el museo, we went to visit the Royal Palace. We got to go into about 20 of the 1000 rooms, and as if that wasn't saying much already, these rooms made gaudy look underdone. The tea room, made for the queen to take the women to after large gatherings, had walls made of extravagantly detailed, hand-embroidered silk. The tour guide told us the room took 26 years to finish, while the actual palace (of 1000 rooms!) took just 21 years. Unfortunately, I wasn't allowed to take pictures inside here either. Alas, it is just another excuse for  you to get yourself to este país magnifico :)

Later we went out for tapas, and the girls and I soon realized we didn't know what half the menu items were in English. So i went for croquettes de pimientos y bacalo (fried bechamel filled with pimiento peppers and cod) and un gazpacho (cold vegetable soup). Rachel ordered calamari and we had a couple of other small plates like a mondatio (sandwich) with pork and caramelized onions. The waiter came back to tell me they ran out of gazpacho but he recommended a similar soup and seeing as i had no idea what anything else was on the menu, i went with it. But a rare occasion occurred where i actually didn't like a plate of food- he brought out what is called Salmorejo- a thick version of gazpacho topped with jamon. But this just didnt taste like a. it should be cold and b. it should be eaten like a soup. No me gusta. Nevertheless we all split a bottle of our first non-imported house Rioja. Eso me gusta. Mucho.

And thus started the new trend of what we call living as true Spaniards- vino con todo y tapas sin limites.

Tapas from a little inside market! The skewer 3rd from the left was my favorite- some kind of sausage with sweet plantains!
We decided to relax in a park right by the hotel after our long day of sightseeing

No comments:

Post a Comment