Moving in and Exploring Madrid!

This past weekend was the weekend everyone moved into their new pisos (apartments/flats) and left Residencia Galdós. It was a bittersweet feeling because we were just starting to get into a routine at Galdós and everyone in the program had built such a strong bond living with each other. Not to mention the great friends we had made while we were there. Safe to say there was some separation anxiety. But I think everyone can agree that the thing we’re all going to miss the most is the free food Galdós provided us everyday. Now we are all on our own and need to buy food and cook for ourselves in our new pisos.

The move for me wasn’t as difficult as it was time-consuming. I felt like I barely had any free time between moving all my things from Galdós to my piso via taxi and metro, organizing my new room (including decorating it, of course), and shopping for things I needed like bedsheets, pillows, and a comforter. To purchase these things, a group of us went to Ikea on the outskirts of town which is about an hour commute. Although it was definitely cheaper than the high-end Corte Inglés, I seemed to have one problem after another between my cards not working, accidentally purchasing the same item twice, and having the store alarm go off on me. Basically Ikea and I do not get along.

Besides that, I’m finally settled into my piso and I love it. It already feels like home. Like most things in Europe, my room is pretty small but it opens up to a beautiful balcony that overlooks a one of the busier streets in Madrid. I decorated by putting up flags, glow stars, and pictures of my friends from home.

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room2

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There is also a great living room in the piso that I get to share with my two roommates. Along with a tiny, yet adorable kitchen.

living room

dining area

hallway

kitchen

I share my piso with two other students that are from Spain: Maria and Juan (although Juan doesn’t move in until October). So far Maria has been awesome. She is always willing to go above and beyond to help me with whatever it is I might need and is so sweet in the process. Hopefully we’ll get to know each other better as the year goes on and she’ll help me improve my Spanish.

One of the reasons I chose the piso I did was because it’s in a great location. I live in the neighborhood Argüelles and my piso is only a few minutes away from anything I might need; grocery store, frutería, café, bakery, various restaurants, bank, and bus/metro stop. Also, in Madrid there are little stores called “chinos” that sell anything you could possibly think of for really cheap. One of the best I’ve seen is right across the street from me.

About a block down is the Parque de Oeste.

pd01

Last week, a couple friends and I went exploring through the park and discovered a beautiful rosalada (rose garden). It was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. Flowers from all over the world grow in this garden interwoven with pathways and water features and each plant is labeled with a sign explaining which country it is from. Very cool!

rosaleda1

rosaleda2

The park also includes an attraction called the Teleférico. It’s like an enclosed ski lift that carries you from one location to another.

tele

When we got off the 11 minute Teleférico ride, we found ourselves in a slightly deserted location with a café and spectacular view of the city of Madrid. It was a perfect location to sit, relax, and enjoy a drink while gazing at a view the city.

tele1

cafe1

cafe2

I have so much more to discover in Madrid and I can’t wait to get started. It’s a great feeling finally settling into my piso where I’ll stay the duration of my time here. I know I have much to discover in my neighborhood alone. Currently I’m finishing up my “curso intensivo” which includes preparing for multiple exams, projects, and papers that are all due this week. Yikes! I’m also finalizing my Complutense schedule for the regular fall semester. These next couple weeks are another point of transition for everyone with the Complu starting up. It’ll be really great to get into a solid routine once it does.

But right now lots is going on and I’ve never been busier in my life! I have a longer break this coming weekend and a couple of friends and I are thinking of taking a trip to Valencia (details and plans yet to come…). I’m really content with how things have been going, where I am, and am optimistic looking forward to these next few weeks! I can’t wait to see what they bring.

¡Saludos!

bailey

~Bailey

2 thoughts on “Moving in and Exploring Madrid!”

  1. I love the optimism in this post. Well done on the move; your flat looks fabulous and your neighborhood sounds just as great. I’m so excited for you! Good luck on your exams!

  2. Bailey,

    Your blogs are so well written. I feel like I am there with you. Be safe. Be smart and enjoy the ride. More to come. Love always,

    Dad

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