First Weekend in Spain – Madeline

Blog post: First weekend in Spain!

What amazing first few days I’ve had here in Spain! My flight from New Jersey landed in Madrid on Thursday, and I was able to spend a few hours walking around the city before hopping on the train to Villanueva to meet my host family. I loved seeing the botanical gardens and tried to learn the Spanish words for the plants there. I hope to make it back to Madrid before I leave; there’s so much to see, and it’s such a gorgeous city!

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This past weekend was packed with events, including the feria and the Romería de la Virgen de la Luna. The feria had all sorts of rides and games, some that I recognized from home (ex. bumper cars, carousels) and others that I’d never seen before (ex. “Don Sapo,” “El Toro”). “Don Sapo” was so much fun, even though I’m scared of heights! The mood at the feria was great: everyone was smiling and enjoying themselves. Many girls and women came dressed as sevillanas, and they looked beautiful!

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On Monday was the Romería. My host family and I drove to the ermita around midday and spent the afternoon chatting with people as they passed by the casetas. Since I love to ride horses, it was incredible to see the number of horses and riders that were walking around the grounds. One rider very kindly let me ride his horse, Deseo, with him for a little while, which was amazing! Upon entering the church, I was able to see la Virgen de la Luna up close and watched as people took photos with her. We didn’t do the walk to town but met up with the procession as la Virgen met San Miguel. I’m so glad that I arrived in Spain in time to see this! It was incredible and unlike anything I’ve experienced before.

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I’ve already been able to try lots of new food, including salmorejo cordobés, lechón, almejas, morcilla, jamón ibérico, flamenquín, and caracoles. What I like most about traveling is trying new things and meeting new people. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the summer brings!

-Madeline

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