I don’t really know what this is. But it’s pretty.

Hala Madrid y Nada Más

*Official anthem of the Real Madrid*

Woah, time flies. Routines are starting to form, and I am getting more comfortable each day with my new lifestyle.

I get up each morning at 9am and stumble down the stairs to force caffeine into my body. Speaking in Spanish is hard enough, but when I wake up and can barely walk straight, Spanish is impossible. So, I eat some chocolate cereal and chug a cup of coffee as my host dad lectures me about politics and the history of Spain. Conversations during breakfast for me consist of me listening, trying to keep my eyes open, and a lot of nodding.

Classes don’t start until 12:30pm, so I kill some time at the local market, read a book, or sit in one of the many parks of Segovia. Then, I have class on and off throughout the day until about 8pm. Dinner is at 10 and the nightly entertainment commences at 11. There is always a movie to watch or a game to play. My host mom and sister love to play Banana Grams, which is unfair because: a) it’s in Spanish and b) they are both teachers. So no, I do not win. Ever. On the bright side, I did get to say “peel” once.

A path at El Retiro

This past weekend all of the Bethel students took a bus trip to Madrid. We crammed all of the major sites into about a day and a half. First we spent a few hours at the “Central Park” of Madrid, El Retiro. I have never seen anything as beautiful. Miles of paths wrapped around gardens, fountains, and small cafes. I could have spent all day exploring — but it was 100 degrees and I was close to death.

Next up was the Prado Museum, “it features one of the world’s finest collections of European art,” (thanks Wikipedia). I’m no art buff, but there was some sick paintings.

To top off day 1, we got to see a Real Madrid game. For those of you who don’t know: they are one of the best soccer teams in the world, and their star, Cristiano Ronaldo, is muy guapo.

Betsy and I may not have scored many goals, but we had the most spirit.

The game was definitely the highlight of the trip. The fans cheered and danced the whole game; it was so loud I couldn’t carry a conversation with the person next to me. The energy was so unlike any other game I have been to. Spain takes immense pride in their teams and players.

30,000 steps later, it was finally bedtime — lets just say I slept well that night.

The Royal palace where the king of Spain stays on occasion.

The next day we went on a WALKING tour around the city (as if we weren’t doing enough walking already), ate some paella, and shopped for four hours. In the end, what I took away from the trip was that soccer players are really good looking, using the European train system is possible, and croissants are God’s gift to man.

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