Sunday, January 17, 2010

Getting to Know Spain

This weekend was full of touristy things, which I've been loving! As I wrote about before, Friday we went to the Palace and walked around the Sol area of the city. Yesterday we continued our exploration of the city by visiting two art museums- La Reina Sofia and El Prado. I was very excited to go to both of them! They each have sooo many amazing pieces of art- and MANY that I have learned about in school over the years.

The Reina Sofia was first. Upon entering the very first room, the movie "Mona Lisa Smile" came to mind. I remember a part when Julia Roberts' character said something along the lines of, "Who decides what is art?". That crossed my mind SO many times in the Reina Sofia. This museum had a lot of modern art that I just didn't "get". Like there was one with just one little tally-mark on it. Or a giant wall with 1, 2 and then 3 florescent lights on it. Some of it was really thought provoking, though. I was most excited to see Picasso's "Guernica", which I looked at I have seen it in Spanish books for years, and it was amazing to see it in person. There was also a series of photos in the same room that document Picasso's progress while creating the giant painting. It was so interesting to see the changes he made along the way.

There were rooms upon rooms of Picasso's paintings. It was crazy to see them up close and personal! In the same museum I also saw a painting by Wilfredo Lam, who (fun fact) I gave a presentation on in 11th grade Spanish :)

We stopped for a quick bite to eat, then took a very scenic walk over to El Prado. It was amaaaazing. I realized that I prefer older, classic art to the modern stuff. The brochure we got upon entering the museum had a list of the pieces of art that are considered to be "masterpieces". We made it a point to see each of them :) By far the most amazing- and most famous piece we saw that day was "Las Meninas" by Velazquez.

I was in owe. It was huge. It was beautiful... and I couldn't wrap my head around the idea that hundreds of year before, Velazquez was standing right in front of the same painting I was, creating a masterpiece we would all be able to enjoy for centuries to come. I also saw amazing things by El Greco, Rembrant, and many, many more.

Today we went to Toledo! It was a day trip arranged through school and about 60 of us went. To say it was beautiful is an understatement. I don't even think pictures can do it justice! So come visit me and I will take you there :) haha. It's crazy how old the city is... people settled in it during the 7th century BC!!! It's older than Jesus, man!

PAELLA!!! yummmmm :)

One week ago today I just got here! I feel like I have done and seen so much in that short while. Our first full week of classes starts tomorrow and I'm fiiiinally going to have a routine, and responsibilities! How boring is it that I'm actually LOOKING FORWARD to homework?! haha.


  1. Older that Jesus! Yikes! Sounds like a fun weekend!! Good luck establishing your routine!

  2. What a weekend you had....everything you did sounds amazing! Looking at these pictures we can't help to think when, soon after Lucia's arrival, we took her to Eagle Point Park and the pictures we took of her with the Mississippi River in the background. Now, here we are looking at pictures of you with her hometown in the background. Truly, each are beautiful in their own way. We can't wait until you can be our personal tour guide of Toledo and of some of the other great places you've been! Hope the upcoming week goes well for you. Love you.

  3. bet it would be a nice place to spend a few years!?!?!?

  4. Good luck with your first full week of classes!!
    Sounds like you had quite the weekend, keep having fun! xoxoxo

  5. Hope your school week is going well so far. These pictures that you are taking are so much fun to look at and I bet Toledo was amazing! I wise I could be there to see it myself but it looks just as you describe it. Your right about the art work I went to a Picasso exibit in Chicago once with my Nana and Papa and you just stare forever wondering what they were thinking when they painted such a masterpiece. Keep enjoying every moment :) miss you. love you

  6. Hey...I hear you have pix of your apartment posted on Facebook. Looks like I might have to send a request to be your Facebook friend if I want to see them!!!! Love you, Mom