10 Things I Love (and will miss) about Spain

As I wrapped up the semester (finishing all my school-work, saying goodbye to my internship, and packing up my room), I headed to meet my family in Edinburgh for an end of semester vacation. I had found myself more sad than I had imagined to be leaving Spain. It really feels like over the past (almost) nine months, Madrid became home. So here’s the Top-10 things I will miss. 

  1. The people: despite the homogeneity of Spaniards, I’ve grown accustomed to the slower, less hectic way of life. Though I still have a tendency to walk quickly, I’ve begun to stroll when I’m not going somewhere important, and I have less of an impulse to run to catch a train or bus, knowing that another will come by in a few minutes. 
  2. Cafe culture: before coming to Spain I never drank coffee. This year, I’ve avoided drinking coffee in the mornings, but have grown to love having a cafe con leche in the afternoon with my homework and friends, and becoming a local, at one of Madrid’s many cafes. 
  3. Tortilla: as a vegetarian, it’s been hard to find food without jamón, but there’s always tortilla. This maybe-not-quite-cooked “omelette” made of egg, potato, and onion (sometimes with other vegetables) has become one of my favorite Spanish foods. 
  4. My professors: though I’ve had professors I’ve liked at Tufts, I’ve never felt that connected to my professors (maybe because so many of my classes are so large). Being in 15 or fewer person classes, I’ve been able to connect with and get to know my professors here. More importantly, I’ve felt that my professors in Spain give themselves to their classes completely, and really care about impacting the lives of the students. 
  5. The architecture: Madrid is beautiful. Period. From the iron balconies adorning the tan or orange residential buildings to the intricate businesses to the parks and gardens in constantly in awe of the architectural beauty. 
  6. The art: just like the diversity of architecture, Madrid is full of beautiful art. Obviously the Prado contains some of the most famous works of art ever created, and the Reina Sofia has Guernica, but Madrid is full of art museums. From the vast collection at the Thyssen to the modern, rotating exhibits at the Fundación Mapfre and CaixaForum, to the street art there’s something for everyone.
  7. The weather: though we got more “winter” than I expected, the weather in Madrid was pretty temperate. I love snow, but having so much sunshine this year (instead of the weeks of grey we get in Boston) was wonderful. 
  8. Casa de Campo: this large park situated behind the royal palace used to be the king’s hunting ground. Today it’s a 4000-acre park complete with a zoo, amusement park, and cable car. I prefer taking the tiny, dirt, bike paths through the woods for long runs that give great views of the Sierra de Guadarrama. 
  9. The metro: in general, I love public transportation, but St. Louis and Boston’s public transportation systems lack when compared to Madrid. Coming to a city with a public transportation system that works well, is clean and easy to use was great. I’m definitely not looking forward to going back to the old (and dirty and slow) T in the fall.
  10. Nature: In Boston, I discovered hiking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Second semester in Spain, I began to explore the Sierra de Guadarrama. It’s been great to have so many beautiful trails and mountains only 1-2 hours from Madrid (and accessible by public transportation)! 

One thought on “10 Things I Love (and will miss) about Spain

  1. K. Laird says:

    We’ve enjoyed your posts over the past months. Glad you had such a good set of experiences! Also, we have been wondering how you will adjust to life without meeting friends in coffee houses (Starbucks just isn’t quite the same, and most Americans don’t “get” coffee culture, no?)
    Cheers and best wishes with your soon-to-be-crazy senior year!

    Liked by 1 person

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