Farewell, Spain

As it is my last day in Spain, I wanted to comment and reminisce on a few miscellaneous things.

I found it very interesting how each part of Spain has its own very strong and unique identity and traditions, and because of these, it makes exploring each of these comunidades, regions/states of Spain, incredibly fascinating and a necessity to understand the Spanish culture as a whole. I also enjoyed going to museums in every single city that I visited because, not only did I learn a lot about the history of the Iberian Peninsula as a whole, but I was able to see each comunidad‘s regional perspective and spin on the same history. Some examples include: El Escorial, where I learned about the different dynasties of Spain and their influences, Segovia, where I learned about the Roman and gothic influences as well as the early and middle stages of the Reconquista, Toledo, where I learned about the blending of the three cultures of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism and the Visigoth kingdom, Barcelona, where I learned about the famous mariners and nautical events in the history of Spain, the effects of the civil war, and the works and legacy of Gaudí, and many more examples which I will spare you from.

Other small differences include the fact that in Madrid and especially in Andalusia, people do not eat dinner until around 8 or 8:30pm, and most restaurants close around midnight. As this is what I became used to, you could imagine my surprise when I was walking about Zaragoza around 10:45pm, looking for dinner and finding almost all of the restaurants already closed.

I also can gladly say that I had the chance to go an many tours, and when I had the opportunity, I opted for Spanish tours to enhance my learning experience: history, culture, and language all in one. For example, I was able to take guided tours in Spanish through “Madrid de las Austrias”, on a vineyard to the famous region of Ribera del Duero, in the Triana neighborhood of Sevilla, around the Alhambra in Granada, and through the historic streets of Toledo, as well as a few others.

I believe that I have made the best usage of my time in Spain, and I wish I could have stayed another 40 days here. I definitely wish to come back to Spain in the future and see all that I could not due to lack of time. Despite being here for so little time, I have grown a very fond attachment to Spain and to Madrid in particular. If my hometown is my first home and Notre Dame has become my second home, then Madrid is my third home, a place where I am familiar and comfortable.

¡Adiós Madrid, hasta pronto!

One thought on “Farewell, Spain”

  1. I hope you made it back safely and are resting/reacclimating to the US. I love this idea of having three homes. In my experience, when you connect with a place as deeply as it seems like you have connected with Madrid, you often find yourself back in that place eventually! Best wishes!

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