Saturday, January 28, 2006

Parque del Retiro et. al.

Hi everybody! Thanks to everyone who commented - I hope I can answer all your questions in this post (or later ones) but if not, send me an email (my address is my first initial then my last name

I am studying at the Colegio Mayor San Juan Evangelista, which is a private college that, as best I understand, is kind of like a satellite school of the big public university, La Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Though several of my classes are taught by Spanish professors, they are specifically for students in my program (so all of my classes have the same 8 people in them), and I am not actually enrolled at the University here. I will be here for a whole semester (until the very beginning of May), but several weeks of that is travel around the country and even down to Morocco!

My classes are not too terribly demanding, but they incorporate cultural activities (we went to see an artsy Spanish film the other night) and allow us time to see the city and experience the culture here without spending too much time writing papers and such. Though I am certainly having a good time, don't worry David! I know I am here to learn : ) (by the way I am quite impressed with your Spanish if it really is from 7th grade!)

Yesterday I went to el Parque del Retiro, which is this big park in Madrid. It has a ton of different statues/monuments in it, and lots of big wide sidewalks. Parks here are kind of funny - they don't have a lot of grass, but are mostly paved or bricked. Lots of people rollerblade/skateboard in them. It is absolutely freezing here right now (check out the news - it is really bad in Russia and Italy I think) so we didn't stay long in the park. We need to go later when it is warmer. There is a statue there (which I didn't see yesterday) which I hear is the only one in the world devoted to the Devil. Interesting... The picture on the right is of my friends Kaitlin and Jaime in front of this really big monument thingy right next to the park (we would have to actually look in a guidebook in order to know the name of it). It's in the middle of a really busy roundabout, which kind of reminds me of the Arc de Triomphe (sp?) in Paris because there are pedestrian tunnels under it so you can get to the park. Anyway, the picture on the left is me and Kaitlin in front of this big pond in Retiro Park, behind which is a big monument with a man on a horse (¡claro que sí!) This lake has ducks and paddleboats - definitely going back when those are in service (for those of you who do not know, I am quite the paddleboat aficionada), but I just got to thinking that they might actually be called pedalboats.... Anyway.

We also saw this really cool building in that area (which seems to be quite upscale judging by the lack of cheap tobacco shops and abundance of Tommy Hilfiger stores) which we think might be the main post office building of Madrid, but we don't really know. It's pretty though, look at the picture - ->

Anyway, I think that's it for now, but stay tuned for news of cooking lessons, a visit to the Archaeological museum, and a potentially very exciting weekend excursion to Valencia!


At 8:50 PM, Anonymous Elaine and Thomas Gilbert said...

Hey Kendra!
We enjoyed the blog. I lived in Germany for 5 years and I would love to be in your shoes!
Elaine and Thomas Gilbert

At 4:08 AM, Blogger Annie said...

Great pics dude!


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