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Study Abroad Blog

CEA Excursion: Madrid

December 21, 2016
by Jennifer Siegel

This weekend I went on CEA's weekend excursion to Madrid with three of my roommates and the rest of our CEA group. For just 20 euro, we were provided with transportation to and from Madrid, a two-night stay in a great hotel located in central Madrid, optional entry into two museums, and a guided tour of the city. 

We started our journey early Friday morning at the Sants station where we meet with the group and boarded the train. Three hours later, we had arrived in Madrid, settled into our hotel, and were ready to explore the biggest city in Spain.

Our first stop was Mercado de San Miguel, a huge open air market similar to La Boqueria in Barcelona. Like La Boqueria, there were tons of different vendors and it was packed with visitors. We started at a freshly made sushi stall, and moved around the market hitting as many stops as our stomachs could handle. After an hour, we had tried sushi, all different types of cheeses, calamari, paella, and croquettes.

 The front of Mercado de San Miguel

We then walked through the old city of Madrid, passing by the oldest restaurant in the world, until we made our way to Buen Retiro park. The park was massive and covered with gorgeous architecture. After meandering through the park we found ourselves at a pond with row boats. We hopped in and paddled around the lake, taking in more of the historical architecture and enjoying the violinist playing on land behind us.
 The lake and monument of King Alfonso XII
 The beginning of the park

Once our arms were tired from the rowing, we set off to Madrid's shopping streets, eager to see what Spain's fashion capital had to offer. We found tons of boutiques and markets with vendors selling original clothing and jewelry. We all picked up some necklaces, bracelets, hats, and shoes. 

Happy with our productive day, we ended the night on a rooftop restaurant, and prepared for the rest of our weekend.

The next day started with a hearty brunch to fill us up, then we went up Madrid's hills into Casa de Campo to see Madrid's Royal Palace. 

 The Royal Palace

We went back down into the city and returned into Buen Retiro to find the Crystal Palace. This glass palace is in a completely different part of the park, which is when we realized how big it really was. The palace twinkled with the sunlight, and we sat inside and outside of it for a while taking in its magnifying beauty. We ended our day at Mercado San Antón, a calmer market with more seating and a rooftop bar.
 The Crystal Palace glowing from the afternoon sun
 An overhead shot of the Mercado San Antón

Sunday morning, we grabbed our churros and chocolate, a Madrid classic, and headed for the train to return to Barcelona. 

Jennifer S. is the Fall 2016 CEA MOJO in Barcelona, Spain. She is currently a sophmore studying Professional Writing at Miami University. 

Jennifer Siegel is the Fall 2016 CEA MOJO Blogger in Barcelona, Spain, and is currently studying at Miami University.
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