Wabash Blogs Immersion 2009: Spain - The Baroque Era

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Saturday In The Park!

Since I am going first on this blog-athon, I will write about our first day (Saturday) to catch all of you up back in Wabash Land.

It didn’t take long after touching down Saturday morning for us fourteen Wabash Men and our professors to dive into Spain. After a brief lesson on the intricacies of the Metro system and finding the Hostal Persal, our base-camp for the week, we made our way out for lunch, which begins at 2 PM in this part of the world. Fortunately, we found a fantastic place just before rush hour. It was the Museo de Jamon, or Museum of Ham which may sound cheesy at first, but trust me, this ham was to DIE for. This is not the ham that came on the unidentifiable ham and cheese sandwiches that your high school served for lunch every Wednesday. These hams were cured and sliced by hand with the tender loving care that only a Spaniard can give a ham. The secret is in the age. They do not cook but age them with a brine solution over YEARS. The taste was very smooth and the hams aging along the walls gave off an alien ambiance to which we quickly took a liking. It was in this “Museo” that I discovered my dream to become a “Gastronomic Tourist.” Many of us, myself included, got our first experience with other Spanish favorites including Paella and its perfect complement; Ham and Melon. But that is enough about food for now.
To recover from the nine hour flight, we made our way to the Park for some easy strolling and dozing in the sun. It was a gorgeous day and all of the Spainiards were out to enjoy the warm weather. Wallys were to be found striding along the row boat pond, lying lazily among the hills of soft grass, and admiring the fountains and statues that comprised Madrid’s most beautiful Parque. 
After a restful siesta, several of us went to examine the night life of bustling Madrid. It was shortly after we found out about Michael Opieczonek’s fantastic, Polish inspired, techno dancing the we were literally squeezed out of the club by the swelling mass of people that packed inside. I might be bragging, but I think it was our fantastic dance skills that kept bringing in the party-seekers.
Tomorrow will surely bring more cultural experiences and I am anxious to see the baroque sights that we have been reading about for the last six weeks.
-Jacob Surface ‘11