After a long day of sightseeing and shopping, on Saturday night, we celebrated an IUHPFL tradition - a pizza party in the residencia. Although most of the students were not yet ready to return home, they couldn't resist the tempting Domino's pizzas or the cheese balls that Mark and Tammy had found in a local grocery. As the picture indicates, some students were more prepared for the occasion than others! :)
Thursday, August 1, 2013
After our visit to Toledo, we returned briefly to the residencia to give students a much needed break and then decided to "divide and conquer" allowing students to choose what they would like to see on their last evening in Madrid. Quite a few were eager to see the gardens inside of Atocha, Madrid's station for trains coming from and heading to the south and visit the famous Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor. Other students were anxious to find bargains (thanks to the country-wide rebajas) and finish up the last of their shopping before heading home. Oh, and did I mention that there were more churros? These are definitely a favorite of locals and IUHPFL students. :)
In an effort to beat the customary heat, we left Madrid early on Saturday morning and headed to Toledo. As Spain´s former capital and once home to the three dominant religions of the time (Catholicism, Judaism and Muslim) there was much for us to see and learn here. Here are a few of the sites we saw...
Following our visit to the cathedral, we divided into smaller groups based upon what students wanted to see. While some were eager to see all the art they could and wanted to head to Museo Reina Sofia, others were ready for more culture, Madrid-style. Below are a few pictures from our walking tour of some of the city´s most popular sites (Starbucks and churros not included).
Our next stop was at Santa María de la Almudena, a relatively modern cathedral when compared with those in Segovia, Salamanca and León. The Catholic cathedral, consecrated in 1993 (although construction on it began in 1879) is located next to the Palacio Real. Inside, and much to their surprise, students found brilliantly colored stained glass windows and vibrant paintings.
The next stop on our tour was Madrid's Palacio Real. Although the King and Queen of Spain do not reside there, the sprawling palace is used for official functions. The royal armory was also included in the visit, and many students were impressed by both the quality and quantity of armor they saw.