June 28, 2012

First Impressions (de Espana)

I'm in Madrid, Spain!

I still can't believe it. After almost an entire day of traveling, Jasmine (another study abroad student) and I have arrived in Madrid, Spain! It's a really beautiful city with really beautiful people. I'm loving being surrounded by all things Spanish - it's actually a little difficult to write this post in English after spending the day in Madrid. First impression of Madrid = kind of like a classic, warmer, more colorful version of downtown Atlanta. But everyone speaks Spanish and you can just feel the cultural difference while walking through the streets. Enough talking, pictures are always more fun <3!

Packing for Spain was a challenge within itself!

At the ATL airport before our flight

At the Charlotte, NC Airport for our layover, fun times!

This was our "dinner" that was served at 6pm (ATL time). The salad was great...that meat/potatoes?/carrots combo...not so great. But it would be my last meal for 8 hours, so I ate it!
On the plane to Madrid! We met another student, Celia, who studied in America for a year and a half and was returning home to Spain. She was super sweet and a great first impression of her country!

At 11:54pm (ATL) time, we were preparing for landing in Madrid, and they served us breakfast! My body was super confused. I wasn't sure if I wanted to go to bed or try and wake up - sleeping on the plane was not the easiest.

It took us a while to get to our residence,
so when we finally did, I was praising God!

Our rooms, very quaint decorations!
The outside of our residence, love the blue and white!

Jasmine posing in el centro de Madrid!

First meal in Madrid, yum - I'm never too tired to eat!

Panini tostado (goat cheese, peppers, onions)

Little known fact: I collect Starbucks mugs from different cities. It's a useful and fun item to collect and a great way to remember all of the places you've been! I also have an Atlanta mug :)

Ordering from Starbucks is even more difficult in Spanish! I just knew I wanted something with helado (ice)!

We found a store! The moment I felt at home :)

Lace seems to be popular world-wide, me gusta!

Young people ride bikes and walk here, it's fun!

Um, delicious. There were about 50 more that I couldn't fit into the picture.

At another store, kind of like a boutique version of Nordstrom...way too expensive.

Happy with some Starbucks and new items! Look at that huge flag in the background!

The set up of the stores is very cool.

Madrid is full of small cars speeding around everywhere! My SUV wouldn't survive. 

Everyone in Madrid smokes. Boys, girls, teens, men, women, the elderly. Yet, they appear physically healthy - maybe the everyday walking & small portions? This was one of the many posters advertising hypnosis to help people quit smoking. It's definitely part of their culture.

Walking to dinner at 9pm

Jasmine's little cousin, Taylor, who lives in Madrid. So adorable!

Oh, just having an early dinner at 9:30pm! Lots of trendy young
adults were hanging out here too. Pregaming, I suppose!

Bite sized local sandwiches and chips for dinner!

Headed to Paris tomorrow! <3

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