After a week in London of being disturbed by British cuisine but enthralled with London’s endless parks and stunning architecture, I finally made it to my new country of residence: España. While I had already dragged through a few days of worthlessness to adjust after jet-lag, all my friends that had just arrived in Europe were just acclimating to GMT +1…which equates to staying out until 6 am. Or, at least that was our justification.
After a decidedly long night out in Madrid, we began the next day visiting Picasso’s Guernica at the Museo de Arte Reina Sofia, a block from our hotel. the museum had an amazing collection of Spanish 20th century art, boasting numerous works by Dali and Picasso. The museum itself was a marriage of an old crumbling building and huge glass and steel additions and elevator shafts, representing the architectural juxtaposition that seems so prevalent in Spain. After being fascinated by the Reina Sofia, I was lulled into a deep coma by our monotone tour guide at the massive, classical Prado museum. 30 minutes of background information on a painting is not only unnecessary, but painful. Ditching tour groups has become crucial to avoiding the obviously indifferent American stereotype in museums…TMI on classical art=zzzzz.
Unfortunately, our stay in Madrid was all too brief for much cultural fulfillment, but our entire ISA exchange group stayed together and had an amazing time roaming the beautiful streets, hanging out in a nearby park, eating awful fried food, and getting to know the people that we would be learning and living with over the next four months of our Spanish adventures.