SCHOOL TRIP TO MADRID, FEBRUARY 2010
CITY IN GENERAL Madrid is a beautiful city. It’s big but not too much, and quiet. The streets, large and clean, are full of ancient buildings and cool shops. The main street is the Gran Via, that runs into Plaza del Sol. That square is a place where people can meet eath other and, in the evenings it is full of charm. Cleanliness and security are the first things in this city, and here art is very important. In fact, there are 2 important big museums and the royal palace is constructed very well.
WALKING AND SHOPPING During the trip to Madrid we did a lot of fun things. We walked in the city because in Madrid there are a lot of things to see. We went to some museums and we bought a lot of souvenirs. We came back to the hotel with swollen feet and were “dead tired”, but we wanted to start over again every day.
TOLEDO TOWN Toledo is a city founded by Romans near Madrid. The town is surrounded by walls and the river Tajo. Toledo in the past was was important for making swords and knives, and today we can find a lot of shops where there are this kind of things. In Toledo there are narrow streets and all the tourists pass through the main square. They like to have a break in the McDonald’s in the square but we preferred to take a coffee in the “Italian Café” We visited San Martin bridge but it was hard to walk up and down the hilly streets.
TOLEDO CATHEDRAL When we went to Toledo we visited the city and especially the Cathedral! A wonderful monument, one of the most beautiful in Spain, the architecture is Gothic. Inside there are very high ceilings, and bare walls. It’s separated in 3 zones, one for “poor people”, then there is the aristocracy zone, and finally there is the clergy zone. Then we saw the treasure room. We very much liked visiting it.
ROYAL PALACE One day we visited the Royal Palace. This building was built in the 1500s. We saw a lot of rooms like the throne room, the dining room, living rooms, the chapel, the queen’s bedroom. I liked the dining room with the big table for 140 guests the best. The King and Queen sit in the middle across from each other, on chairs a bit bigger than the others. The guests sit in order of their importance near or away from the king. The royal family does not live there now.
ART IN MUSEUMS In Madrid there are two important museums: the Reina Sofia and the Prado. In the first there are the works of modern art, the most famous is Picasso’s painting Guernica where the painter wanted to illustrate the bombing in the city during the Spainis Civil War. It is a big painting and he used only the colors black, grey, and white. For me the other works didn’t have sense, for example there are paingings with a black dot or empty eggs. The Prado is very beautiful. There are the works of ancient art and the painters like Raffaello, Tiziano, Goya , etc. Goya’s paintings are fabulous. The pictures seem real and to do them he used many blends of colors.
HARD ROCK CAFÉ Wednesday we went to the Hard Rock Café. It was not too different than ours in Rome. In the inside we could see some objects belonging to famous singers. I was very surprised by Michael Jackson’s shoes. It was a very strange and incredible experience.
LANGUAGE and WEATHER Last week we went to Madrid. Madrid was so cool. The weather was very strange, because one moment was sunny and the next was rain. The language is very beautiful; I like it so much, and the people are amazing. Especially the guys were very cool and if you want to see a very handsome boy you have to go to the Blanco in the Gran Via. I want to learn the Spanish language very well because it’s very beautiful.
TRANSPORT ( underground, bus, airplane, taxi) The Spanish underground is very clean. It’s composed of 12 lines and each line is represented by different colors. The trains are very modern and efficient. Atocha is the most beautiful underground station that I saw in Madrid it was very large and it seems like a tropical forest with palms and turtles. There are two different kinds of buses. The ones with two floors and the ones with one floor. You can take a bus even if it’s late and you must pay to the bus driver. The airport was very big and there were many shops inside but they were very expensive. The flight was two hours late because there was a strike. The flight lasted two hours. In the plane we had snacks with coca cola and “tarallini”, and the journey was very quiet. Taxis are very cheap. We paid 6 euros from Puerta del Sol to the Hotel.
FUNNY THINGS THAT HAPPENED During the trip to Madrid some funny things happened. One night at dinner, at the table of my prof and some guys, there was a bottle of water, and inside there was salt, but they didn’t notice it. Annother funny thing that happened in this trip is the elevator of the Reina Sofia museum. It was made of glass and it was very fast. My friends and I had fun going up and down on it. There was a strange beeping sound at the stoplight when it was green.
NIGHT LIFE AND SOL AREA The most important place in Madrid is plaza Puerta del Sol. Surrounded y big streets, in the square there are Madrid symbols of the bear and strawberry tree (corbezzolo). In the square there is an underground station. In the square people meet to spend the night in pubs or the disco. After dancing or drinking people are hungry so they go to eat some tapas, bocadillas and paella which is the typical Spanish food. Spanish people love to have fun and they have an intense nightlife. Spanish people are very quiet and I like that.
SANTIAGO BERNABEU The Santiago Bernabeu stadium is the biggest stadium the I ever saw. This stadium has 4 levels, and on the top floor there are places where you can see the matches. On the third floor there is a museum where there is the trophy and the official t-shirt of Real Madrid. On the 2nd floor there are the stands and the locker rooms. On the first floor is the official Real Madrid store where you can buy the souvenirs of the team.
HOTEL AND RESTAURANTS The hotel where we spent 5 days is called Florida H=Northe. It has 8 floors; ;it is situated in the center of Madrid. It is very beautiful and big. There were two dining rooms, one for breakfast and the other for dinner. The hhotel food isn’t very good, but the food in other restaurants was good. We always ate at the “Cerveceria”. A typical food was “boccadillo”, a sandwich with ham and cheese or salame, and beer or Sangria, the typical wine of Spain. But the best Spanish food was the paella, a typical meal of rice with fish or meat.