About 3/4 of the way through my time in Barcelona, I had the opportunity to go on a weekend trip to Madrid. A few years back, I had the opportunity to go there before, but we had been on a tighter schedule. So I was excited to be able to have a whole weekend to do basically anything I wanted to do. The only planned trips we had were the Royal Castle and the Prado, both of which I was very excited for. I was only able to get a couple pictures from the Royal Castle, since photography isn’t allowed in most of the rooms. Still, I enjoyed getting to see these overly -elaborate decorated rooms. What impressed me most about the castle was the amount of rooms in it- 2800!
         The next day, we visited the Prado. After we entered the building, tears in our(probably just my) eyes, we went on a guided tour and experienced the works of Goya, Velazquez, and countless others. Luckily enough, I was able to get up extremely close to the Las Meninas painting, and just stood there in awe of its realism and seemingly-perfect composition. As usual, the Prado was perfect, except for some reason the Caravaggio section was closed. And in a true moment of poetic justice, I left the Prado just as I had entered it: practically in tears.
           Next, my friend and I were able to basically wander around the city, which is probably one of the cleanest I’ve seen( though it may have just seemed that way after being in Barcelona for so long). Our favorite spot in the city was a little park called Retiro that we were able to relax in as we ate our little fancy chocolate desserts. After we finished basking in the sun, we walked through the park, and saw the Monument to Alfonso XII, and then walked further down to an impressive glass house. The house was completely covered in windows, and when you went inside, there was a little exhibition hanging from its ceiling. The exhibition consisted of different types of bones just hanging, and a crucifix in the center. My favorite part about Madrid was that it, well, spoke Spanish. Barcelona is a wonderful city, but being unable to read the signs or understand what people are saying can get frustrating. It was a real treat to be able to finally understand people all the time again, and not have to guess what different street signs are saying. All in all, my trip to Madrid was extremely relaxing and full of good experiences, and I was so happy that I went back a second time!


Blogger: Hope Sholly


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