¡Hola a todos!
¡Ayer fue una dia muy magnifica! ¡Fuimos a Segovia! It is truly the most beautiful town I have ever been to in my life and if it weren’t such a tourist attraction I would certainly live there. We saw la acueducto de Segovia which was so complex and foreign to the people of Segovia when they were built in the first century that Segovians believed that they had been created by the devil. We also had a wonderful opportunity to visit El Alcázar which was the same castle where King Ferdanand and Queen Isabella once lived and granted Christopher Columbus’ trip to the Indies.
After a nice lunch in Segovia we returned to Madrid where a friend and I explored the city and went to the Caixaforum Madrid museum. It was holding an exhibit on Mesopotamia, but I most enjoyed the exhibit that had art from all different periods divided into themes such as war, love, friendship, portraits, etc. It was very fun to see contemporary photos adjacent to Neoclassic paintings. While we searched for the museum I got to practice my Spanish by asking for directions. Most people hardly spoke a word of English which I was happy about, but I was very impressed by girl about seven years old who spoke nearly fluently to me and said that she just studied English very hard in school. Before getting on the metro back to the hotel my friend and I had dinner in the city where we split payaya with seafood.
We left Madrid this morning and I am currently on the bus to Bilbao. Before leaving Madrid we went to El Museo Nacional del Prado. It was an incredible museum with many works by Valazquez and Goya. We had a fantastic tour guide. She was extremely passionate about all of the paintings she showed us and explained not only the background of the stories but also pointed out how particular details of each painting had to do with the era in which it was produced. She led us through the [Borroque period to the Neoclassic] period and explained how the different artists impacted each other. I would have to start a second blog to explain all of the things I learned in that short tour. We only had an hour after the tour to browse the museum at our own pace, which was slightly overwhelming considering how it was nearly as large as the National Gallery at home. I could have spent a week in el Prado and not have examined and read about every painting to my most desired extent. I was able to see paintings by all sorts of artists such as Rafael, Tiziano, Greco, Caravaggio, Sorolla, Mantegna, Cantonello Da Messina, y many more! I was lucky enough to run into someone who had gone on a different tour who was as excited as I was and we were able to tell each other about what we had learned.
In about four hours I get to meet my host family for the first time. I am very excited and just a bit nervous. I haven’t really thought about Spanish in a year. I still understand most of what I hear and read, but I now tend to struggle with speaking the language. Everyone tells me that Bilbao is much better than Madrid, which I truly cannot imagine, but I am very excited. My family seems very nice. The father is an architect and works from home and the mother is a stay at home mom. They have two daughters- one is nineteen who lives at home and commutes to school and the other is twenty three and has her own apartment. I hope I make a good first impression!