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The weekend excursion to Madrid was packed with activities for the entire group!

First our walking tour of Madrid! I decided to do a Spanish tour for the first time!  Every activity we do is offered in both a Spanish and English option. Usually, I do English but I was feeling extra adventurous today. I was able to understand the overall message of what she was saying but not every word.

The tour was not only working out my brain with trying to understand, but also a physical workout because Madrid is a lot more spread out than Barcelona. We covered a lot of area in our walking tour, here are a few highlights: (let’s jump right in! shall we? hahaha)

There are tons of street performers and vendors everywhere! The most I’ve ever seen in one area! Some of them were especially entertaining like the one below. He/she actually played the guitar very well! 😉

Street Performers in Madrid

Almudena Cathedral was awesome! It was so different from any other church I’ve seen. It was very eclectic and vibrant. The articles inside were the mix of the old and the new. The construction started in 1879 but did not finish until 1993! Sagrada Familia is still my favorite, though.

Almudena Cathedral

Mercado de San Miguel was pretty awesome! They had tons of a wine and tapas bars plus all of the fresh produce and carnicerias. Definitely a bit nicer than the boqueria in Barcelona.

Mercado de San Miguel

We were told Bocadillos de Calamares were a specialty in Madrid so we had to try them! They weren’t bad! I actually enjoyed them (no surprise I love all food) but a few of the others thought it was lacking in taste because there was nothing but the calamares and bread, some sauce would have been good too.

Bocadillos de Calamares

For dessert we had torrijas, another specialty in Madrid. It’s basically a Spanish bread pudding. (click our image for the recipe I found) This on the other hand, was BOMB! Our tour guide pointed it out and said it was the best bakery and famous for their torrijas so we made our way back there for dessert after debating between chocolate con churros and torrijas, Abe and torrijas won. It was a great choice since I’ve already had chocolate con churros in Barcelona.

Enjoying Torrijas!

Now the Palace! Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take pictures inside, but if you go to Madrid, the Palace is definitely a MUST SEE!! The ornamentation on the ceiling and walls were as if they were growing off of it! The fabrics were so lush and rich and the trinkets were the fanciest things I’ve ever seen!

The Palace, Madrid

After all the walking, Barcelona SAE was nice enough to treat us out to tapas! We broke out into smaller groups each group with someone in the staff. It was the largest tapas portions I’ve ever seen! The tortilla española was amazing.

Tapas in Madrid

By Kristen Bathan
California State University – Fullerton

Kristen Bathan

Kristen is a Business Administration major from California State University - Fullerton, and studied abroad at UAB during Spring 2012.