Blog post written by Emily Mesisco ’17 to recount Monday, March 7, 2016:
Hola de españa! So finally the entire Norfolk Academy group arrived safely in Spain on Sunday morning. We were greeted by a beautiful banner made by the CEM students and a sea of wide open arms and smiling families waiting to meet us. Everyone managed to overcome the jet lag and enjoy a nice afternoon with our new families.
On Monday, we spent the entire day in the beautiful city of Madrid- walking through the streets, talking with our Spanish and American friends, eating the best food, and visiting the most famous sights. Although everyone’s feet were killing them, it was totally worth it. We started the day with a trip to El Plaza Mayor, the historic square in the center of Madrid; and although we didn’t see the famous “Spydo-Gordo” (a street performer dressed like Spider-Man who frequents the square and has eaten one too many churros), we had a great time.
After that we walked to the Puerta del Sol and entered some shops to either eat or buy souvenirs. We quickly learned that “Meet back here in 20 minutes” means “Meet back here in about 30 minutes or whenever you want” in Spanish culture. Eventually we left from the Puerta Del Sol and walked toward the Museo del Prado, taking a quick pit stop at El Retiro- the biggest park in Madrid, which is similar to Central Park in New York.
In the Museo del Prado, we saw famous painting of Goya, Velazquez, and Picasso. After the Museo del Prado we had free time to eat typical lunch sandwiches of chorizo or tortilla de patatas and walk back to the Puerta del Sol. After that we visited the Palacio Real which is the official residence of the leaders of Spain, and the largest royal palace in Western Europe. Then we returned to the bus and drove back to the school, a ride that was filled with a chorus of both Spanish music and snores. It was a tiring yet amazing first full day in Spain, and we cannot wait experience the next two weeks!