Comillas, a little town by the sea was really cute. It was a very historic place with much to see and a beautiful beach. Some crazy kids went swimming, but it was a little too cold for me. :-)
An afternoon stroll down to the beach.
Me in the water! How beautiful is this beach?!
A special message for a special sister!
Justine brought a travelling guitar and played for us on the beach. :-)
A historic fountain in town.
Sunset on the beach.
The following day on a walk to some historic sites.
What a view!
OMG. I'M IN SPAIN!
A historic cemetery...
El Capricho, a home designed by Antoni Gaudí for Antonio Lopez, who founded several large companies mainly in Barcelona, Cuba, and the Philippines. In gratitude for his help during the Cuban conflict, the king bestowed upon him the title of Marquis of Comillas.
His home away from home right next door (covered in sunflowers).
Our first stop on our four-day orientation trip was Burgos, a quaint city 3 hours north of Madrid. We visited the amazing Catedral de Burgos and had lunch before driving 3 more hours north to Comillas.
Gateway to the Burgos and the Plaza
Catedral de Burgos
Open your eyes, Mary!
How interesting is this? If aristocrats or nobles had enough money, they could pay to be buried in the cathedral. Here are a couple lucky folks.
A small door with a strange face.
So much detail... I really like this little cherub!
A courtyard within the cathedral.
A fountain and some houses in Burgos.
New friends: Russell, Daniel, Jordi, Brian & Thais
Note the empty wine glasses and the fancy mineral water (the only water Spanish restaurants serve).
Saturday, September 27: First day in Madrid! At the airport, I (was very fortunate to have) met up with two other Stanford students, and the three of us squeezed into a taxi to Hotel Francisco I. All the students in the Stanford Overseas Studies Program stayed there a single night before beginning a four-day orientation trip with Santy (the Stanford Overseas Studies Program Director) and Professor Cidro Yerba. I arrived in the early afternoon and had some time to explore a little before our first OSP meeting and dinner. Here are some pictures I took from my room at Hotel Francisco I, which is located in the most central and touristy area of Madrid on Calle de Arenal.
A Catholic church next door to the Hotel Francisco I.
So I'm not sure if it's totally fair that Amsterdam gets its own blog entry, mainly because I was there for a whole 5 hours. However, it was my first touchdown in Europe, so I would say it's justified. I arrived in Amsterdam on Saturday, September 27 flying from Sacramento through Minneapolis. I was very excited to use Euros for the first time, although it took me a little while to differentiate between the 3848374 coins the EU issues.
Me looking like the living dead after the 10 hour flight at the Amersterdam Airport in front of a Heineken bar, open at 6AM. Oh, Europeans.
Breakfast before getting on the plane to Madrid (100% sugar). I can't remember if there was any coffee in that cup, or if it was just filled with whipped cream.