Two more days down and I couldn’t be enjoying my time more; despite my everlasting tiredness.
Yesterday I planned on doing a bike tour for 10 Euro offered by the hostel, because why not…. I thought it’d be a great way to see more of the city. I went to the lobby suspecting a 11:30 am bike tour, but, it was really scheduled for 12:30. When the girl in the lobby told me 12:30 I for some reason heard 12:45. So I go back to my room, hang around and do some stuff. I then go downstairs with anticipated glee; only to be told that it had left at 12:30. Boy was I heartbroken. She tried calling the tour guide, but there was no answer. Depressed and unsure of my ability to listen, I went back to room and thought about my next move. Being a patron of the arts I decided to venture forth and visit Spain’s main national museum and one of the worlds best, The Prado. Based on the map, the Prado didn’t appear to far from where I was staying and because of my innate directional abilities I found it with relative ease (It was only about a 10 min walk away).
On the tour on Tuesday, the guide (Pablo) had mentioned that the entrance into the museum is free if you are a student. I just so happen to have a student visa in my passport. I walked up to the counter asking, “Cuanto cuesta por entrada (How much is the entrance)? she answered, but I countered with “Si pero soy un estudiante (Yes, but I am a student),” showed her my visa and BAM! free entrance. The Prado is a beautiful museum and hosts one of the worlds largest collections of European art from the 12th to 19th century and the best collection of Spanish art. It has numerous works by Francisco Goya (probably the most out of any) Diego Velazques, El Greco and Heronomous Bosch. It was unbelievable seeing paintings (that I did not know were there) but had spent a lot of time studying in art history classes. Some of them are: The Garden of Earthy Delights, Table of the Seven Deadly Sins, The Haywain by Bosch; Adam and Eve and Self-Portrait by Albrecht Durer; The Third of May in 1808 by Goya; Descendant from the Cross by Roger van der Weyden (one of my favorites and a lot larger than I ever expected, I also normally don’t like religious paintings); Saturn by Goya (another one of my favorites and slightly disturbing) and one the most important works of art in Western art history, Las Meninas by Velazquez. I spent about two and a half hours in the museum, walked around and explored more of the city afterward, then went back to the hostel and hung out for a bit and called it an early night.
Today I had the first day of my BEDA orientation. Orientation started at 9 so I got up early (730), luckily Jakob (the other kid in the dorm room) was also getting up early, so after getting ready we walked to the metro. Once inside, we parted ways and I made my way to the trains the would take me to orientation. Orientation was quite boring because we sat, listened to some of the important people within the program speak (mostly in Spanish), then filled out paperwork from 10:30- 1:30. The lunch break was suppose to be from 12:30 to 1:30, but alas, it was delayed. While extremely tedious and boring it was extremely helpful. The paperwork is necessary for us to basically live and teach in Madrid. Without their help life would be hell for the first two weeks (maybe even longer) trying to figure out the necessary documents and places to go. At 1:30, we had the much anticipated lunch break. Spain does lunch big. For lunch it is normal for restaurants to offer a menu of the day that includes, an appetizer, a main dish,a drink and dessert for anywhere between 8-13 Euro. I enjoyed a great lunch with two random BEDA people I met outside and then returned at 2:30 to hand in the paperwork. It took about another hour an a half for all that. Got out of there by 4 and returned to my hostel by 4:45. Tonight I’ll probably have a couple of drinks and take it easy because tomorrow is another day of orientation at the same time.