This past weekend my program travelled together to Escorial, Madrid and Toledo ... Three beautiful places in only three days!
Escorial was more of a pit-stop on our journey to Madrid but was breathtaking none the less. We visited what used to be the Monastery de Escorial but today is instead used as a museum, and as a perfect example of Renaissance Architecture in Spain. (Not to mention, a site that my art history teacher recommended!)
Unfortunately, we weren't permitted to take photos inside the monastery, but here is the outside of the building.
After finishing up in Escorial, the thirty of us climbed back into the bus with our trusty driver Paco and geared up for a memorable weekend in Madrid.
Lucky for me, this BC-sponsored (and paid for!) roadtrip to Madrid coincided perfectly with one of my best friends, Christine, 21st birthday! I was so happy and so lucky to be able to meet up with her to celebrate, and she was a HUGE help in finding fun places to enjoy our brief stay in Madrid.
In addition experiencing the one and only Kapital, a unique 7 floor discoteca in Madrid, our coordinator Amalia ensured that we saw all Madrid had to offer, even if we only had one day to see it. This meant a lot of walking, a lot of site seeing, and a lot of culture to process -- we visited the Palacio Real, El Prado, and El Museo de la Reina Sofia. Once again, no pictures allowed in any of these places, but you'll have to take my world that they are amazing.
Try to ignore my scarf in this picture, but behind us is the Cathedral in Madrid.
These are all the lovely ladies in the GRIIS program in front of the Palacio Real.
As far as Toledo, I think it may rival Rondo as being one of the most scenic places I've seen in Spain. Despite being thoroughly exhausted, the views were stunning and we got to visit one of the oldest remaining Synogogues in Spain. During the Inquistion, most places of worship of religions other than Christianity were destroyed as a statement of Christianity's power, however, this one lucky building remains and is a testament to a certain level of religious tolerance that survived in Spain despite efforts such as the Inquisition.
Lastly, in an attempt to break up the 5 hour drive back from Toledo to Granada, we stopped at Los Molinos, a famous site referenced in Cervantes' work Don Quixote. Aptly titled, this place was definitely windy but the perfect place for some beautiful pictures, although I had recently taken my extra strength Dramamine pill and I think the drowsiness was starting to set in.
PS. Familia, be on the lookout for your Madrid/Toledo postcards!! (Dawn and Grampy, too)