Great food and great times - Day Two
Bryan Engh '09 - After a much needed night of sleep, we all rolled out of bed around 9:00 a.m. to have breakfast together at a nearby café, where we enjoyed some Cuban coffee and toast. On our way to the train station, we hopped into a very busy, local bakery to get our morning chocolate and sugar fix to charge up our batteries for the day.
We then grabbed a train that carried us to the town of Alcalá de Henares in which the great author, and the inspiration for our trip, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was born. We walked the streets of Alcalá admiring the beautiful architecture until we reached Cervantes’ house, which is now a small museum in his honor. We sat down for lunch and our afternoon coffee outside of a nearby deli until we were ready to make our way back into Madrid.
Once we returned to the city, we all piled into one of those giant, red, tourist busses that you always see in movies. Despite the fact that tickets for the bus cost the equivalent of about $24 US and that the bus screams “I’m a tourist,” it was actually an amazing trip around the city. They showed us all of the most important places in Madrid as well as some of the most significant and beautiful architecture in the city, including both historical and modern structures. It is amazing to be immersed in a city that is so rich in history and to learned about the transformation of their culture over the past few centuries.
I am also thoroughly enjoying discovering the customs of Madrid, and I, personally, am a BIG fan of the two-cheek-kiss greeting! But, aside from breathtaking, thought-provoking art and new ways to say hello, I must say that my favorite part of this trip so far is sampling all of the typical cuisine of the area. As a highly experienced food fanatic, I feel I am qualified to report that the dishes here deserve two very enthusiastic thumbs up! Perhaps the best part, though, is that we still have five more wonderful days to spend exploring and absorbing the Spanish culture, which is proving to be incredibly interesting. I am very grateful for the opportunity I have been given to come here to Madrid, and I am wildly anticipating what awaits us during the remainder of the week!
Left: A plaque on a stone located outside of Cervantes' house.
Right: The Palacio de Communicaciones