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Discovering Madrid: Siestas, Fiestas, and Discotecas!

When you think of Spain what comes to mind? This passionate Spanish culture, rich with flavor and tradition, never fails to present a good time for travelers. For Baylor study abroad student Rozlyn Veteto, Madrid, Spain meant siestas, fiestas, and discotecas. Read more about her Spanish getaway.


After getting in pretty late on the first night, we made dinner in the apartment and hung out until class registration at 1am. It was nice to have a bit of chill time after a bunch of travel. In the morning, we woke up and met Erin’s friend Julianna. She is studying abroad in Madrid and offered to show us around.

First thing we did was grab churros and chocolate! There really is no better way to start a day. Then we walked to the Royal Palace, followed by the gardens. Formal gardens are one of my favorite things. I love the order and formality of them, while still being natural and relaxed.

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After the gardens we headed to a Madrid market for lunch. I don’t know how I have not been before! This place was so cool;  dozens of vendors have permanent booths where they sell their food. Since I was trying to soak in all of the culture I grabbed a tapas portion of paella. Pretty wonderful.

Tapas!

Paella: tapas style

Best frozen yogurt!

Best frozen yogurt—Madrid or otherwise!

Sea urchin! I was not brave enough to try it, but some of my friends did.

Sea urchin! (I was not brave enough to try it, but some of my friends did.)

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One of the vendors

Next on the Madrid agenda: rowboats in the park. This is one of my favorite parks I have ever been to. Gold and red trees filled the park, and beautiful fountains at every turn. People really love to rollerblade in Madrid, so all around the fountains there were rollerbladers with boom boxes. It was like someone took them from the 80′s and transplanted them here.

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On the way to the pond, we went to a crystal palace and hung out for a bit. If anyone is looking to have a destination wedding I would totally recommend getting married in the crystal palace—simply stunning.

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We made it to the pond and rowed around until Juliana had to go back to class.

We then took advantage of another Spanish custom: siesta! During the siesta time, businesses close for a midday meal and nap. We napped and watched Discovery Channel until we headed out for tapas. I will always remember this trip to Madrid when I see Bear Grylls or How It’s Made.

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The tapas bar was pretty close and really cheap. For 6 euros each received huge drinks and about 12 plates of food.
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We were still feeling lively after this so we wandered around to find another bar or club to dance at for a bit. After walking down the sketchiest street of my life, we finally made it to a safe and decent part of town. We stumbled upon an Irish pub that turns into a discoteca (dance club) at 11. It was so much fun! I skipped on the drinks and headed straight for the dance floor. A drumming man came and led the party for a while, then a great DJ took over.

The next day we spent trying different places at the market, taking another siesta, and seeing a flamenco show! The show was so lively and well prepared. The dancers and musicians had so much passion. One day I would love to take a class and learn a bit more about it.
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We had planned on going back to our Irish pub/disco but we had to get back to the apartment to watch the Baylor v. OU game that started at 1am. I was up till about 5:30 supporting our Bears on the way to victory! Just because we are across the world does not mean we do not have school spirit! SIC ‘EM!

Thanks for a great travel experience, Madrid!


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