It was a successful second week in Alcalá, with visits to La Media Pinta and many stores on Calle Mayor. Friday was our first night out in Madrid! It was also our first day of classes, so a little on those first. After the placement test I scored into the Intermediate level at Alcalingua, and my two morning classes (Gramática y Conversación) are witha few other Loyola students as well as some from China and Korea. There are also a LOT of European Students studying business, so I definitely am looking forward to socializing with all of them (I met 3 French students at La Media Pinta during the week!) Anyway, our teachers are extremely nice and passionate, and relatively easy to understand. The hardest part is going to be the long days...I'm not used to sitting from 9-5 with only short breaks! Tomorrow we start Maria José's class, hope I can manage it all!!
Now to the fun part...it was a Madrid-filled weekend! Friday night after our post-class siestas we ventured to Madrid to meet some visiting Loyola students (who came with their international friends) and experience infamous Madrid club life. The train was extremely easy to navigate, and we drank juice boxes of 1 euro sangria on the 30 minute ride. We arrived and sat down to a nice dinner near the train station where we drank wine and chatted over some delicious italian food (how I miss pasta!). After dinner we headed to a small bar nearby for some more drinking and socializing, before our final destination: El Kapital. Kapital is a 7 floor discoteca, a club like I had never experienced before. The first floor was house music with fog and flashing lights, and the top floor was a open air bar/lounge. I met a bunch of other Spanish students in Madrid...speaking with them has been really great practice. Needless to say we had an awesome time! The trains start running again at around 6AM, so I wasn't home until 7:30AM. I look forward to many more Madrid adventures this semester!!
After recouperating all day and night Saturday, we returned to Madrid for a day trip with Maria José on Sunday. At 11 AM we met by La Biblioteca Nacional and set off on foot to explore a bit of the city. Madrid was STUNNING, i'm so excited to be so close to such an amazing and historic city. We saw La Puerta de Alcalá, the gate which leads directly back to our new home, as well as El Catedral and El Palacio Nacional (Maria José told us about the underground tunnel that connects to two so the royal family can attend mass without going into the streets!) The 20 of us took one of those double decker sight seeing buses which I loved, and ended up in Plaza Mayor for lunch. With Loyola's money in hand, 8 of us found a small Italian restaurant for lunch, and then finished our day with some shopping. I have yet to make any big purchases which in Spain in an effort to maintain my bank account, but I'm itching to purchase some European clothes to wear out and bring home!!
It was a tiring day, my feet were sore and callused when I returned to my apartment, and I was happy to collapse into bed for an early night. This week is a full week of classes, but of course we will make time for La Media Pinta and perhaps even a local discoteca called CanCan. Looking forward to meeting more international students and the travelling that lies ahead this semester!