Day 1. Getting around Madrid

Sam: Well, for starters Ava and I slept for 14 hours which means that we got up at 2:00 pm! Our host family has blinders that block out the sun entirely which I’m entirely grateful for. Then, we ate breakfast and an hour later we had lunch with our host family. (Cereal for breakfast and spaghetti for lunch.) We watched The Devil Wears Prada during our siesta and are about to go out to see Madrid. Overall, today was very relaxed and needed after our trip to Spain. 

Julia: Today I explored Madrid with my host family!  It is quite a change of scenery from winter in Farmington, the weather in Madrid today was sunny with blue skies.  We went to a famous and historic palace called the Palacio Real de Madrid (Royal Palace of Madrid).  It is the most beautiful and detailed place I have ever stepped foot into.  The palace became the official home of the Spanish Monarchy in 1561 but is now only used for ceremonies.  There was a major fire on Christmas Eve of 1734 that brought the palace to ruins, but was rebuilt in 1738 and finished in 1751.  Several architects and artists were hired to make the palace beautiful, luxurious, and extremely representative of the Spanish monarchy.  Every room, hallway, and painting has its own story to tell.  One of the rooms, Salón Gasparini, took over 40 years to complete! All of the decoration, floors, and embroidery were impressively done by one artist, Martías Gasparini.  This room was used for the King to get dressed in the presence of the court.  The palace life seemed very good for the royal families in Spain.  The amount of work and detail put into the decoration and architecture is unbelievable.  I do not think there are any places nearly similar to the Palacio Real de Madrid in the United States.  If I lived in the palace I feel like I would get lost since there are so many rooms and hallways.  The palace shows that there is a lot of respect towards the Spanish monarchy and that art and architecture are really relevant in Spanish history and culture.  We ate a lot of food today! Some of my favorites were fried shrimp, a fruit smoothie, bubble tea, and churros!  The markets with seafood and churros were both very busy and are popular in Madrid.  It has been really fun staying with my host family and getting to know them.  They have been so welcoming and are giving me a perspective of life in Madrid! I have also really enjoyed hearing their views on the United States.  I am so happy to be in Spain and see the world from a different lens!  

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