Friday, April 2, 2010

March 18, 19, and 20

The Castle of Segovia

The Royal Palace of Madrid

Inside the Royal Palace of Madrid
This is the dining room.

The day after we arrived in Madrid and settled into our condo-like hotel rooms with our little kitchens, we headed to Segovia with the school care-a-van. I slept the entire way there, around 2 hours. The bus took us up into the mountains to visit this charming little town. The air was icy with sprits of freezing rain.  We walked up the hill to the Spanish Bourbon Castle. It was beautiful! I snuck a few pictures. My favorite part was the history that Dr. Inglis told us about the King and Queens. How they would use the restroom and those Kings and Queens who actually loved each other rather than letting their marriage be arranged and uncomfortable. I loved hearing about the secret hallways the servants used to get around the palace. The servants would cook food and roll their cart all the way across the enormous palace so that the soup would be steaming hot when they left the kitchen and when they got to the dining room it would be ice cold. The kings never knew that soup was supposed to be hot. So interesting. 

Then, by bus, they took us into town. The Segovian aqueduct is enormous! It was mesmerizing seeing the massive stone arches. I really just hung out with a big group and walked around the aqueduct and the town for a couple hours. We were back on the bus by 6 and rarin' to get back to Madrid.

Going to bed at 2:30am is great in the moment, but SUCKS when you have to be up by 7:30am. Boo.
I went to the Prado and spent a good two and a half hours looking at famous talented masterpieces of unhappy people. Some were naked. Some were fat, short, pretty, skinny, hideous, but all wearing a serious look or frown on their face. I understand that they had to stand there forever while they painted their body, but I mean lets get some laughter radiation through oil paint once in a while! After Goya and comparing his light and dark stages of his paintings, I peaced out of there. I headed with Carrie Thornton and her sister and mom to the Palacio Real de Madrid (The Royal Palace of Madrid).   

It took us a good 45 minutes walk just because we took the long way, but that 45 minutes felt like forever with the sole of my TOMS soaking with rain sharing an paragua, umbrella, with Carrie. By the time we did find out way to this beautiful concrete palace we found out the great news; It was Spain's Fathers Day and King was in town so the Palace closed at 2. There was no way we would get through the line and see the entire Palace before we were booted out. We decided to add that to the agenda the next day.

Greg and I went to Starbucks to grab a quick breakfast and coffee and we headed out to Monet's museum. We planned out our timing perfect because 30 minutes before the museum opened up the line was already a block long and we were 7th in line. The museum was unbelievable. It has to be my favorite out of the Lourve, Prado, and Picasso's museum. The impressionist paintings had me staring mesmerized for long periods of time. I'm usually the one to respectfully look at a painting long enough to appreciate it, but never the one to stand in front of a painting paralyzed and unwilling to look away. Monet work was that moving. We went to both of his museums to see his water lilies series and garden series. What a fantastic artist.

We spent the entire afternoon enjoying the museums and then we decided to hit up the Royal Palace once again. The Palace was enormous and so captivating. I couldn't help but compare it to the Versailles Palace in France. Regardless of the luxury of decorating this massive unit someone calls home, The Royal Palace of Madrid couldn't touch the beauty of Versailles. Plus, the tour only included maybe 30 percent of the palace. This is where I had unimaginable connections where I could explore the Palace in all its odds and inns, secret passage ways, and basements.

The rest of the afternoon is all a blur. I took a nap. Had an amazing quiet time and just enjoyed hanging out with some of the other students. I went shopping and cooked for Greg and Carrie in our hotel room.

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