Madrid is Spain’s NYC. We stayed at a super nice hotel right on Puerta del Sol. Walked more than 10 miles every day just to explore — many of which were not on purpose. It’s a huge city, but definitely one worth seeing during the day and night.
I went into the Palacio Real (The Royal Palace) and had a tour of only some of the rooms. However, that tour made me realize that I want to do something with politics, whether national or international — and no, it’s not that I want to be a princess. You may be wondering why a tour of the palace would make me think about this, and that would be because while in the dining hall, we talked about how the King and Queen of Spain have dinners with heads of state and other people involved in politics. I mean, how awesome would it be to have a dinner at the Palacio Real with the King and Queen of Spain? But, of course wanting to go into politics is more than just fancy dinners. I do have reasons as to why I want to go into this field and why I want to accomplish what I want to accomplish, however, this post is not the place to go into them. Stay tuned for the next few posts and I will talk about my goals.
Some days have passed since I wrote the first part of this post. Now, I’m on a train to Sevilla, where we’ll take a bus to Sanlúcar de Barrameda for a 5-day Spanish Intensive Course. I’m not sure what to expect for this course, but at least I’ll be in a beautiful coastal town so… BEACH!
These past few days I was in Barcelona and explored a bit. I also went to Playa Barceloneta and it was the clearest water I’ve ever seen. Barcelona is a nice city, and even though you have a 1 in 5 chance of getting mugged, I felt much safer there than in Madrid. Kinda how I feel safer in Houston than in NYC (even though Houston is apparently more dangerous). Barcelona was my favorite city from the tour. It was a big enough city, had awesome beaches, and the environment was great.
The orientation/tour part of the trip is basically over. Only a few places to visit in Sanlúcar but most days will be spent doing the intensive course. I’m so ready to get to Córdoba and explore my future home.
Today is September 7, my third day in Sanlúcar. I leave for Córdoba this Friday and will personally meet my host family by Friday evening. The Spanish Intensive has been, well, intense. The instructor is great and energetic, comes up with bright ideas in helping us review Spanish grammar, and we even had a a lesson on phrases commonly said in Spain. However, it’s still intense. We are all tired from the constant traveling and I guess the adrenaline we had is gone. Sanlúcar is a cute little coastal town where the Guadalquivir river meets the Atlantic Ocean. It was also the starting point of the colonization of the “New World”. The plaza is adorable, with some small rides for kids, a fountain, and restaurants. It also reminds me so much of my hometown in Mexico, Sabinas Hidalgo, because of the houses and their style, the roads, the plaza, and everything, except that my hometown does not have a beach.
I have more than enjoyed my time traveling around Spain and visiting places that I only ever dreamed about. I am ready to get to Córdoba and meet my host family, as well as explore the beautiful town.
-- Karen Banda
Originally published in Banda's Adventure