At 3:30, the second day of classes started
. Everyone split up into their different groups and got to work. The classes here are extremely small, and although I was intimidated at first, I've come to realize that the size will be a huge benefit for us all. My class at Estudio Sampere is equivalent to Towson's Spanish 201. Our class is just me, Rachel and our professor; un poquito awkward at first, but the teachers are really great and everything picked up after the first half hour. Honestly, I've already learned so much just by asking questions I would've never gotten to ask in a regular Spanish class. Also, I've been picking up on the accent pretty well, if I do say so myself!
After class, everyone walked over to the restaurant down the street to hang out. The wonderful thing about drinks in Madrid are that you can sit there for hours drinking only one drink and people watching- plus, they'll continuously bring out tapas for the table to share! Yummmmm. Because our plans to go to the opera fell through, Eva, Ashley, Allie, Ytsel and I walked around Sol, which is the heart of the city, in search of a nice, cheap dinner. We stumbled upon the perfect place! A pizza pie, quesadillas and a pitcher of sangria all for 7 euros each. Sitting outside for a couple of hours and people watching, surrounded by all of the amazing architecture and history of the buildings definitely made it click in my head- I'm really in Spain!
Basically, all I have to say is that I've been absolutely loving my trip here so far. Madrid is an incredibly beautiful city; I'm not sure that I'll even want to leave when the time comes! Si quieres aprender la lengua de español, pienso que necesitas vivir en Madrid por una semana, un mes, un año- lo que quieras, pero es un experiencia muy único y valioso. Para mi, es una experiencia que nunca puedo olvidar.
So on our third day in Madrid, my roommate Ashley and I woke up to a nice little breakfast of pan y mermelada con frutas. After we showered and got ready for our day, we headed over to Parque Retiro to meet up with some other students. Let me tell you, this park is absolutely gorgeous! At first, it reminded me of Central Park in New York city (because there were people dressed up as different characters, and selling sunglasses, etc.) But then I realized that Retiro is so much better! A bunch of us explored the park and spent hours fawning over all of the gardens, fountains, statues, lakes and fields. We even found an enormous book fair that sold almost every book that you could imagine- I'm definitely planning on going back to buy something before I leave. After that, we made our way back to the park entrance, found a patch of grass, and hung out while we talked and ate the lunches that our host Mama´s packed for us.