Rain? In Spain? It can’t be!

Based on the last two and a half weeks, you’d think that everyday in Spain would be 75 degrees and sunny. By those standards, we’ve been spoiled with absolutely gorgeous weather every day. But today was a rare exception to Spain’s heavenly weather rule, as we were hit with cold, damp and rainy weather that reminded us all of Michigan’s notoriously temperate climate. It made our walk to the Prado, one of the world’s most impressive art museums, reminiscent of crummy walks to class through the rain back in good ‘ol East Lansing.

We love the rain! And the cold! But we actually did love the Prado.

Our fearless leader Karl greeted us at the Prado’s south entrance at 10 am, but our entry was delayed and we stood outside in the damp and dreary weather for another half and hour until we finally made it inside. Karl presented us with a scavenger hunt of paintings to find within the museum if we were up to the challenge. It wasn’t a mandatory assignment so some group members didn’t stress about finding all 15 paintings and simply enjoyed the amazing art work that resided inside the Prado’s halls. There were a select few however who took it upon themselves to go through every corridor and room and solve the riddles to find the paintings. That special group included Adam, Katie D. and myself. It was an exhausting search that lasted over four hours, but we ended up seeing almost every piece of art that the Prado had to offer. I put together this little info graphic that deals with the location of each painting as well as the riddles we were presented with to help us find them.

Click here to see the full view of the map of the Prado Hunt

As most of you know, Adam and I teamed up last week to put together a multidimensional, dual jersey boy blog. And this week is no exception. Adam has expanded on my brief overview of our trip to the Prado with highlights, stats and analysis of this fantastic Madrid spectacle, which you can check out here.

What kind of college students can’t even order pizza?

It’s always difficult buying food for a large group like ours, and today was no exception. We were alerted to a great Wednesday deal at Dominos by Nancy, our wonderful on-site coordinator. We were all excited to get pizza, but when the time came to order, none of us could remember what that deal was or find it on the coupon, which was written in Spanish. So we did the only logical thing; call Nancy and ask if she could order pizza for a bunch of college kids. Fortunately for us, we have the nicest on-site coordinator in the history of on-site coordinators, and we ended the night on a positive note with our stomachs full of delicious Dominos pizza.

Madrid observations thus far

It’s safe to say that we were all a little bit scared to move onto Madrid after spending our first two weeks of this trip in Barcelona. We had all fallen in love with the city, and we were unsure what to expect once we landed here on Saturday. But those fears have subsided after getting a taste of what Madrid has to offer. So far, we’ve taken trips to Retiro Park, Plaza de Sol, Plaza Mayor, the Segway tour of the city and as well as today’s expedition to the Prado. Madrid doesn’t have anything like the colorful, vibrant and tourist packed La Rambla, but it does offer a more relaxed, big city feel.  We have more supermarkets, stores and restaurants closer to us in our temporary home, the Trevinca Hostel, than the Melon District, our residence in Barcelona. Our journey out to Retiro Park gave us a much better idea of the what the city has the offer and allowed us the opportunity to take a pleasant stroll down Paseo de Recoletos. Another difference is the exorbitant number of playgrounds that are sprinkled across Madrid. Adam and I have taken advantage of these Spanish sandbox spectacles, which put all of America’s jungle gyms and monkey bars to shame. Here’s a Google map of our favorite playgrounds in Madrid. Barcelona and Madrid are both unique and exciting cities with their own distinct flavor and culture, so it doesn’t make sense to say that one’s better than the other. That being said, Madrid is winning ;). Just kidding, we still love you and Barcelona, Cheryl!

Adios!

John

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Rain? In Spain? It can’t be!

  1. Pingback: The Devil Wears Prado « MSU Spain 2010

  2. Hey great post! I had no idea that blogs could be so amazing!

  3. Lorie

    I can feel the dampness and rain and gloominess and I recall my days in Michigan too. I now live in CA. I am really enjoying your creative touches and descriptions. I loved the scavenger hunt at the museum.

  4. Marcy

    The scavenger hunt sounds so amazing, I am so proud of you for finding all the paintings!!!

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