Monday, May 16, 2011

Spring Break European Style: Spain

I just got back (and am still recovering) from my 3 week trip around Europe. I managed to hit up Spain, The Netherlands, Scotland, and Greece on My trip (as well as 18 hours in Italy. doesn't really count though does it?) It was a fantastic trip and I am so glad I got to do it! A series of recaps to follow starting now with...SPAIN!
 I did the first week of the trip with my friend Michelle in Spain. We left for Milan on Friday night and after pulling an all nighter outside the train station of Milan we caught our flight to Madrid. We spent the day taking a walking tour with a company called New Europe. I highly recommend it if you have the chance as it is a tour of the city for free and at the end you pay the tour guide whatever you thought the tour was worth. I have managed to do it in Berlin, Madrid, and Amsterdam and every time has been great as I get an overview of the history and the major sights. We made it to Tapas (where we overestimated the amount of tapas by a long shot!) and some walking around before we took the night bus to Malaga to see a friend of Michelle's and the beach!
This is how you sleep when there is nowhere to sleep. airport.
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enjoying our first Spanish lunch. Cervecas and little snadwiches. Delish!

hanging out in Plaza Mayor (Sp?) 
This is what happens with no sleep the night before. Sitting down wherever you can in Madrid.

Sangria and Tapas. Can't get much better than this!
Malaga was wonderful. Our first full day we spent at the beach taking in the rays (maybe too many. My sunburn lasted for days) and recuperating (sleeping). Monday was spent walking around the city of Malaga and meeting up with some Kalamazoo friends for lunch and bit of catching up which was so nice! It was also Semana Santa a religious holiday week celebrated with lots of parades and people dressed up. We got caught in a few of the parades and watched for a little while before it got to be too many people.

Malaga harbor.
Michelle's friend that we stayed with.
The streets of Malaga
Malaguerta sign.
I was able to meet up with my friends KAte and Sarah from K. So great to see them!!!
The outfits from Semana Santa
Tuesday morning we left for Seville for the day. It was raining which made walking around a bit harder to do but we still managed. We saw the outside of the large church (not inside because of Semana Santa). But mostly we roamed the city just taking in the sights and people. Definitely a place I would like to go back and explore more but still really cool to at least see a little of! We then hopped on another bus back to Madrid to continue our sight seeing there.

totally random picture from Seville. Mostly I just liked the graffiti.

Spain wouldn't be complete without some paella!

locked out and being rained on. No GOOD.

Getting ready for yet another bus ride.

Wednesday we managed to pack in quite a few things. We headed to the Palace, the Retiro Park, and the Prado. It was still raining off and on quite a bit so we spent a lot of time hopping in and out of places as we attempted to dodge the rain.  Thursday was the same thing only it rained a lot harder. We managed to get to the Bull Ring, a very interesting tour about the history of bull riding, the Reina Sofia, and the old Post Office building, a ginormous building renovated to be a museum. We also managed some good Mexican food for dinner and trying the chocolate Churros. DELICIOUS.

Bull Ring. A very interesting tour.
Trying to climb the tree in the park.
Friends episode: Joey. 

I think this is in Toledo. 
Friday was our last day in Spain and we decided on a day trip to Toledo outside of Madrid. We walked the city and including a history museum on the entire history of Spain. THE. ENTIRE. HISTORY. very specific and a little too informative but good nonetheless. We headed back into Madrid where we tried a strawberry lacquer recommended by our tour guide. pretty decent!

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