Madrid, El Escorial y Toledo

by leighcburrows

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At 4am on Saturday morning I went on an Erasmus trip to Madrid. We travelled by coach and it took around 5 hours to get there. Once we arrived we settled in our hostel and started our tour with a local tour guide who lives in Madrid. We were shown the Palacio Real, Plaza Mayor, Teatros and given lots of information about local food, traditions and the history of Spain. We were given free time in the afternoon so we met up with my friend who is working on a year out in Madrid and a friend who also studies dance in Falmouth and is doing her PIC project in Madrid at the circus school. We saw more of Madrid and went to visit a roof top terrace which allowed us to see an amazing view over the whole of the city. Then we went back to our hostel to meet another friend visiting Madrid and all went for dinner. We had a night out in the city too getting to bed at a very early 6am!

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Only a few hours later it was time to wake up to leave the hostel for 10am to travel to El Escorial. It is a historical residence for the King of Spain and we went to view the Real Monasterio de San Lorenzo. It is set in picturesque grounds and we walked around before getting back on the coach to head to our final destination of Toledo. Here we had free time to wander the city which is known for its history and co-existence of Jewish, Christian and Muslim cultures, hence it is known as “City of three cultures”. We then headed back to Valencia at 6pm to arrive at around 11.30pm, so it was a very long and tiring weekend, yet well worth it!

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I also learnt more about the context of Spain during my weekend away and more about their current financial situation. They have daily strikes and protests in Madrid about the current living conditions and the cuts that the government are making to their economy, health services and education resulting in many people struggling to live and find work. There are still more proposals being discussed by the government which don’t seem to benefit many citizens. I have done further research about Spains’s current situation to inform my university workand may post more about this on my blog at a letter date.

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All pictures on this blog are my own.

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