I can officially say I feel at home here in Madrid. It has been almost three weeks since I arrived in Spain, but it feels like months.
The second weekend, my roommates and I traveled to Valencia, Spain. We rode a very long, 5 hour bus ride through Spain to get to this beach city. In addition to laying out on the beach, we had great meals. We went to a beach club and had amazing fish and vegetables and lunch at various cafes on or near the beach. Our weekend in Valencia was perfect for the relaxation we needed right before school started.
With school starting last Monday it was time to begin actually studying. I went to my classes and rearranged my schedule. I have a crazy schedule, going back and forth on the metro Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, but thankfully, I do not have any classes on Thursday and Friday. The classes so far have been very interesting and seem like they will not be as hard as Tulane classes.
Since I came here to travel in addition to studying, I have planned a trip for almost every weekend while I am here. This past weekend, Perry, Shayna and I finally got out of Spain all together and went to explore Brussels, Belgium. Originally when booking this trip, all we expected was good waffles and chocolate. Once arriving I realized how much of an understatement that was. It felt like I had stepped into heaven. Every 5 feet there was a waffle shop with delicious waffles. The options for waffles were limitless and every single one of them would be unlike any other waffle in America. In the same way, the chocolate was the best chocolate I have ever had. An entire street was dedicated to chocolate shops. Since we could not have chocolate and waffles for every meal, we also tried a few of the local restaurants which also were outstanding.
In addition to the delicious food, the architecture was so intricate and beautiful. One area called the Grand Place was a square of detailed huge cathedrals. The sight of these marvelous buildings was hypnotizing. Every inch of the buildings were covered with decorations, gold accents, and sculptures. I could have spent an entire day just sitting in this closed off area looking at the details in the buildings.
From the food to the architecture, Brussels ended up being my favorite city I have ever visited. I am so thankful that I went out on a limb and booked my first big trip to Brussels, not knowing what really to expect.