Proctor en Segovia students and directors continue to explore their home city as they enter their third week abroad, however, this past week saw the group travel to Madrid. Read more about the life-changing experience of living with a host family, being immersed in Spanish culture, and traveling as a group in this week’s blog post from Proctor en Segovia!
After settling into Segovia for the first few weeks, I looked forward to experiencing different parts of Spain. Taking a tour bus around the city allowed me to look at Madrid's history, culture, and architecture. It was also interesting to see a city with a mix of modern-day skyscrapers and buildings dating back centuries. Also, having visited many cities before, Madrid is one of the most vibrant and lively cities I've ever seen. Every street we walked was bustling with hundreds of people, and I felt highly packed.
Fortunately, I could visit many stores, including a thrift shop, an Adidas store with three floors, and other clothing stores. There was also a food festival showcasing and celebrating all the different types of foods from several Latin American countries.
Though I found Madrid fascinating, I prefer a small city like Segovia. Growing up in Andover, I was not a fan of the constant noise and having to weave between hundreds of people. I would prefer a small quiet town to a large city like Madrid. It was also sweltering when we visited, making the day less enjoyable. Overall, it was a good trip that helped me look into what other Spanish cities are like.
This past weekend our group ventured out of the comfort of Segovia, the only city we have known so far. Hopping on the bus to Madrid was a shock compared to what we have been used to these past three weeks. It was warmer than we all anticipated and the bus was jam-packed. All I was thinking about was how overwhelming it already was and we had not even arrived in the city. But all those bad thoughts simply melted away the second we walked up the stairs of the subway and through the tunnel out of the station to see the city for the first time. The echo from the man playing his trumpet in the park as we first entered gave the city a majestic vibe that I will never forget.
The next hour we sat in a park filled with people having afternoon picnics just like us. We sat and talked while enjoying the sandwiches that host families made earlier that day. Right outside the park is where we met the tour bus that took us all around the city. This city wasn't like any other I've ever seen. Everything surrounding us was brighter. The vibrant white color of the buildings along with the harsh green color of the grass and trees that were thriving even in the middle of a city. The bus took us through this street with every store a shopaholic could dream of. This made me and the rest of the group ecstatic and eager to get off the bus, so we could trudge our way through the street and stop at all the stores along the way. We ended up shopping for almost three hours before meeting back up with our group for a nice lunch before catching our bus home. The bus ride home was filled with the “ooos” and “ahhs” from each other as we eagerly pulled the clothes out of our bags to give each other a “haul”. After our long day in Madrid, the rest of the bus ride was filled with silence and occasional snores as our tired bodies dozed off following a hot, sunny, and stimulating day in Madrid.
Over the weekend, our entire group went on a memorable trip to Madrid. Before this, my knowledge of Madrid was limited to its status as a big and busy city, so I was eagerly anticipating the opportunity to immerse myself in this city for the very first time. We began our journey by taking a bus to the train station, where we boarded a train to where we would spend the day. When we arrived, we walked to a big and beautiful park, where we enjoyed the sandwiches prepared by our host families.
Next on our agenda was a bus tour of Madrid. The city's architecture was so beautiful, defying the conventional image of a major U.S. city that I had in mind. Madrid's appearance and visually pleasing designs were a nice surprise. The tour stopped around a place called Plaza de España, a place with many businesses and a densely populated atmosphere. After the tour, we were granted some free time to explore the city and do some shopping. My friends and I decided to get some boba tea, and then we split up. Lauren and I made our way to a unique store called Bershka. I had heard about this store previously so I was excited because this is a store that only has one location in the U.S; so it’s not easily accessible. The selection of clothing and accessories at Bershka was impressive. The store was crowded with other shoppers, resulting in long lines and a hectic experience. Time flew by and before we knew it, it was time to head back. Navigating our way back to the meeting point proved a bit challenging, but we eventually found it and hopped on the next bus back to Segovia. My day in Madrid was really fun, and it left me excited for our next visit.
- Off-Campus Program
- Proctor en Segovia