A Visit to Madrid and Toledo

Goretty Chavez is PRESHCO’s official blogger for the Spring 2019 semester. Goretty is a psychology major from Wellesley College, and she is spending the entire academic year in Spain.

View of Toledo

View of Toledo

This past weekend I went on a trip with PRESHCO to Toledo and Madrid. We were supposed to go to Segovia, but, unfortunately, we were unable to go due to the snow. The weather has been pretty bad lately in basically all of Spain. It was hailing the day we arrived in Madrid.

Friday: Toledo

We left Córdoba around 9 a.m. and arrived around 2 p.m. in Toledo. We had our lunch, consisting of bocadillos, on the bus so when we arrived in Toledo we immediately started our tour. I had visited Toledo last semester, but it was nice to visit it again because it is such a pretty city.

Parque del Retiro

Parque del Retiro

The first site we visited was the cathedral. I loved seeing the paintings, the elaborate decorations, the altars, and the glass stained windows. I love art so I always enjoy visiting cathedrals and churches because they truly are a work of art. (This is actually one reason why I wanted to study in Spain.) After visiting the cathedral we visited a church where we saw a painting, the Monasterio de San Juan de Los Reyes, and the Sinagoga de Santa María La Blanca.

Saturday & Sunday: Madrid

Madrid is one of my favorite cities in Spain and I have been there several times. Due to the snowy weather impeding us from visiting Segovia, we were able to spend an extra day in Madrid. The first day we had a walking tour of the city...in the rain. It was hard to enjoy the tour because of the chilly weather, but somehow we made it work.

We were able to see the change of guard at the Palacio Real. (Well it was actually the rehearsal, but nevertheless still pretty cool to see.) We walked around the historic part of Madrid, walked inside the Mercado de San Miguel, visited the Plaza Mayor, and other important sites in the city. Afterward, we were given the freedom to go for lunch wherever we wanted. I went with a group of friends to a Cuban restaurant which was very delicious.

After lunch, my friends and I walked to the Museo del Prado, which I was very excited about because I am currently taking an art history class and I wanted to see the paintings we had been talking about. I had visited the museum once before, on the day I arrived from Los Angeles, which, in retrospect, was not a good idea. I was jet-lagged and sleep deprived, so I was falling asleep in the museum and was unable to enjoy it. This time, however, I was wide awake.

Once we saw all the paintings we wanted to see, we went for a walk in the Parque del Retiro since it had finally stopped raining at this point. After a while, we headed to Chocolatería San Ginés for some churros and chocolate, which were very delicious! I was stuffed from all the churros, I was sleepy, and it was pouring rain outside so I went back to the hotel and relaxed before heading with a friend to the Teatro Calderón to see West Side Story. I loved the musical! The actors were amazing and their singing was incredible.

Stacia BIel