Madrid- Day 15

Sad to say that today was our last day in Madrid, let alone Spain. And although I’d like to say I went out with a bang it was definately more of a wimper since I went to bed at 11:00 (which is like 8:00 according to Spanish nightlife). However, the morning started out with an incredible tour of McCann Madrid. I cried like 4 times and I’m not exaggerating. Our presenters pulled out all the stops and showed their A game work, which included Cancer Research commercials and mother’s day promos that pulled my heartstrings so much I think I wailed once. After stifling a case of the hiccups we hopped the Metro and hit up Plaza de España. For dinner, our fearless leaders treated us to dinner at the local bakery and deli. It was a fantastic way to end our trip and I couldn’t have spent it with better people. Adios España!

Shot from the middle of the street in downtown Madrid.

Shot from the middle of the street in downtown Madrid.

Just chilling with his dogs in matching doggie hats.

Just chilling with his dogs in matching doggie hats.

The ceiling of Madrid's H&M is nicer than most US capital buildings.

The ceiling of Madrid’s H&M is nicer than most US capital buildings.

The logo in the reception area from McCann Madrid.

The logo in the reception area from McCann Madrid.

One of the many chic women in Madrid's downtown.

One of the many chic women in Madrid’s downtown.

Madrid- Day 14

Finally, the post you’ve all been waiting for: Madrid (with pictures). Although I’ve been sleeping on this cellophane and cardboard bed for two nights now I have yet to really explore Madrid so today was the day. After a MiNdBlOwInG tour of BBDO Madrid, we went back to the hotel grabbed our cameras and our appetites and headed out to lunch. After a yummy burger we jumped on a “hop-on-hop-off” tour bus and saw the sights in Madrid. I struck out on shopping for clothes again so I comforted myself with pastries.

Statue in a park square.

Statue in a park square.

Bus momentarily blocked oncoming traffic.

Bus momentarily blocked oncoming traffic.

Corinthian columns from the top deck of the tour bus.

Corinthian columns from the top deck of the tour bus.

Some of the busiest roads at the center of Madrid.

Some of the busiest roads at the center of Madrid.

Puerta de Alcalá with traffic

Puerta de Alcalá with traffic

Puerta de Alcalá

Puerta de Alcalá

Man rushes across street on phone.

Man rushes across street on phone.

Man pushes massive stack of cardboard boxes.

Man pushes massive stack of cardboard boxes.

Heavily populated streets at the center of Madrid.

Heavily populated streets at the center of Madrid.

The Plus Ultra building. The building is prettier than its name.

The Plus Ultra building. The building is prettier than its name.

Creative shoe display. It covered three walls.

Creative shoe display. It covered three walls.

Toledo- Day 13

Today was our third and final day trip. Only an hour bus ride from Madrid, Toledo is by far one of my most favorite cities. We drove around a bit on the bus to get a good view of the city. Afterwards we dismounted the bus and had a guided tour of the city and its Cathedral, Catedral Primada Santa María de ToledoThen it was off to lunch and a bit of shopping before getting back on the bus.

Seats in the choir room of Catedral Primada Santa María de Toledo.

Seats in the choir room of Catedral Primada Santa María de Toledo.

The high vaulted ceilings of Catedral Primada Santa María de Toledo.

The high vaulted ceilings of Catedral Primada Santa María de Toledo.

A hallway in the Catedral Primada Santa María de Toledo.

A hallway in the Catedral Primada Santa María de Toledo.

A city view of Toledo with the river.

A city view of Toledo with the river.

The city of Toledo from the outskirts.

The city of Toledo from the outskirts.

The crucifix and Muslim inspired ceilings of Catedral Primada Santa María de Toledo.

The crucifix and Muslim inspired ceilings of Catedral Primada Santa María de Toledo.

The group visits a sweets shop that specializes in marzipan.

The group visits a sweets shop that specializes in marzipan.

The most recent architectural addition to Catedral Primada Santa María de Toledo. It was done 300 years after the original building was designed.

The most recent architectural addition to Catedral Primada Santa María de Toledo. It was done 300 years after the original building was designed.

Another dog that showed no interest in me.

Another dog that showed no interest in me.

The colorful streets, lined with shopping.

The colorful streets, lined with shopping.

The stand that supported the Monstrance that held the host for the festival of Corpus Christi.

The stand that supported the Monstrance that held the host for the festival of Corpus Christi.

Madrid- Day 12

This morning we headed to the train station and said fair well to the world’s most bipolar wifi. We had been told to arrive early because of the “open bag security searches” at the station. So we show up to find that the “security” was equivalent to waving a bag of Spanish Twizzlers over your closed suitcase before boarding the train. Needless to say, we were really early. But the train ride was gorgeous and super scenic so I would . After we settled into our hotel that CHARGES FOR WIFI (so yeah I take back all the mean things I say about the Seville hotel), a small group  of us grabbed lunch, shopped and found pastries. So today was a success.

Seville- Day 11

Our most leisurely day in Seville began with a bus ride to the city’s center where we went shopping near the Cathedral. We tried to avoid major chains so we could get to the local boutiques.  There appeared to be a number of first communions happening so the courtyard was flooded with little girls in white dresses.  After a day of hitting the streets we went to a genuine Spanish soccer game (Seville F.C. vs. Valencia). It was a great way to experience the culture and learn new Spanish curse words. Seville won, so I’ll take credit for that.

 

The shopping area was covered by tarps that kept the streets cooler.

The shopping area was covered by tarps that kept the streets cooler.

A (creepy) doll outside a tourist shop.

A (creepy) doll outside a tourist shop.

The neighborhood around the Cathedral had several children's boutiques that specialized in first communion dresses.

The neighborhood around the Cathedral had several children’s boutiques that specialized in first communion dresses.

A stunning red dress in a shop window.

A stunning red dress in a shop window.

A little girl chats up my classmate, Sam.

A little girl chats up my classmate, Sam.

Busy streets of downtown Seville.

Busy streets of downtown Seville.

Cordoba- Day 10

Once again we hopped  a small bus to the scenic town of Cordoba. I was told we would be visiting a mosque so I wore long appropriate garb and what do you know? It was a mosque that has since been turned into a church and it was super hot outside. I looked real nice by the end of the day. But we met our tour guide, Juan, and went to the Jewish neighborhood and then the Mosque/church. We had cheap tapas, did a little shopping and headed back to Sevilla.

Alley in Cordoba, Spain.

Alley in Cordoba, Spain.

Angel Statue

Angel statue attracts feathered friends.

An artist sketches the mosque courtyard.

An artist sketches the mosque courtyard.

The bridge that crosses from New Cordoba into Old Cordoba.

The bridge that crosses from New Cordoba into Old Cordoba.

View of old Cordoba

View of old Cordoba

The ceiling of the old mosque in Cordoba, Spain.

The ceiling of the old mosque in Cordoba, Spain.

Dome in the mosque of Cordoba, Spain.

Dome in the mosque of Cordoba, Spain.

Many of the roads were made up of designed stonework.

Many of the roads were made up of designed stonework.

Chloe shops for souvenirs.

Chloe shops for souvenirs.

Geometric designs in the wall of the mosque let in light.

Geometric designs in the wall of the mosque let in light.

Seville- Day 9

Our second day in Seville started with my usual breakfast of multipul donuts. Then a small group of us hopped the 22 bus to downtown Seville. It was the feast day of Saint Fernando, the patron saint of Seville so everyone was out in their best outfits. I visited the Cathedral of Seville which happens to be the world’s biggest cathedral, fun fact. Then there was a short toddle down the Plaza de España. Tapas then gelato then tapas then more gelato. We did a little poking around in shops but many were closed for the holiday. Then it was off for Lacy’s birthday dinner and exploring Seville!

Candles laid out for the San Fernanado celebration.

Candles laid out for the San Fernanado celebration.

The crest on the Cathedral of Sevilla.

The crest on the Cathedral of Sevilla.

The Plaza de España.

The Plaza de España.

A dachshund chases after his tennis ball in the public park.

A dachshund chases after his tennis ball in the public park.

Arched ceilings in the Cathedral of Sevilla.

Arched ceilings in the Cathedral of Sevilla.

Native birds rest in tree with purple foliage.

Native birds rest in tree with purple foliage.

Artist lays out his paintings on a side street.

Artist lays out his paintings on a side street.

Sevilla- Day 8

We arrived in Sevilla today, just a short 2 hour bus ride from Málaga. Once we dumped our things we explored the local area which is not exactly in the center of Sevilla. Actually it’s a 20 minute bus ride from the city center.  Later that night we went to a flamengo show courtesy of the University of Nebraska Lincoln. I don’t know what I wanted to steal more: the fabulous dresses or the male dancer with a starting resemblance to Ryan Lochte. Then after dawdling for a few minutes after the show to accidentally “run in” to Ryan, we went back to the hotel for a quick bite to eat for Lacy’s birthday!

Don't tell me I'm wrong. Jeah.

Don’t tell me I’m wrong. Jeah.

Granada- Day 7

Let me start out this post with a word to the wise. Charge. Your. Camera. Battery. I thought that 2/3 full would sustain me and I was wrong so I’m very sad to say I don’t have as many pictures of the Alhambra in Granada Spain as I would like. However I was wide awake for our two hour bus ride from Málaga to Granada so got some countryside shots. After a 3 and a half hour tour we went into the city center and tapa hopped (grabbing 1 or 2 tapas at different restaurants). Then it was back to the bus for another little tiger snooze!

La Alhmabra in Granada, Spain.

La Alhmabra in Granada, Spain.

A view of the houses with mountains in the background. Granada has over 239,017 residents.

A view of the houses with mountains in the background. Granada has over 239,017 residents.

The clouds started parting later in the morning.

The clouds started parting later in the morning.

Small towns sit at the bottom of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Small towns sit at the bottom of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

The Sierra Nevada mountains between Málaga and Granada.

The Sierra Nevada mountains between Málaga and Granada.

The courtyard of the Alhambra that incorporates garneds and fountains.

The courtyard of the Alhambra that incorporates gardens and fountains.

Alhambra, an old Muslim fortress and home for royalty.

Alhambra, an old Muslim fortress and home for royalty.

Fountain in the Alhambra.

Fountain in the Alhambra.

Main courtyard of the Alhambra.

Main courtyard of the Alhambra.

Fountain in the courtyard.

Fountain in the courtyard.

Flower garden of the Alhambra.

Flower garden of the Alhambra.

Photo snapped while leaving Málaga.

Photo snapped while leaving Málaga.

Farmland on our way to Granada.

Farmland on our way to Granada.

Inside of the main home of the Muslim king.

Inside of the main home of the Muslim king.

The only Christian building in the Alhambra complex.

The only Christian building in the Alhambra complex.

Overview of the city of Granada from the tower in La Alhambra.

Overview of the city of Granada from the tower in La Alhambra.

Málaga- Day 6

The first morning in Málaga started with a delicious breakfast and was followed by the longest walk of my life. We walked about 10 blocks (that wasn’t the long part)  to Gibralfaro Castle and then walked around the walls (that was the long part). With my student I.D., I got in for €0.60 and then I chased a cat and got separated from my group. Then I was reunited and we headed down to the beach.  The sun soon disappeared and so we headed back toward the end of the afternoon.  We had a fabulous dinner with the whole group and socialized with other tourists. Off to Granada tomorrow!

Overview of a government garden in Málaga.

Overview of a government garden in Málaga.

A small cafe outside of Castle Gibralfaro.

A small cafe outside of Castle Gibralfaro.

Street outside our hotel in Málaga

Street outside our hotel in Málaga

A storm rolled in right over the CAstle Gibralfaro

A storm rolled in right over the CAstle Gibralfaro

This is the cat who caused me to stray from the group.

This is the cat who caused me to stray from the group.

Woman waits to cross the street.

Woman waits to cross the street.

Outer ledge of the protective wall on the Gibralfaro Castle property.

Outer ledge of the protective wall on the Gibralfaro Castle property.

I found these on our trail.

I found these on our trail.

There was a small museum in the castle that

There was a small museum in the castle that showed its history in form of tiny men.

This gentleman followed us around he posed like this, so I obliged.

He said he has lived throughout Spain including Madrid, Sevilla, Barcelona and Toledo. He currently lives in Málaga.

He told me his dog didn't like me because it doesn't like small children.

He told me his dog didn’t like me because it doesn’t like small children.

The city of Málaga

The city of Málaga

Leah Keller and Molly Mahannah getting ready for the day.

Leah Keller and Molly Mahannah getting ready for the day.

Government building

Government building

Three women stroll the streets of Málaga.

Three women stroll the streets of Málaga.

Guard tower of the Gibralfaro Castle.

Guard tower of the Gibralfaro Castle.

The seaside coast of Málaga.

The seaside coast of Málaga.

Several of the hundreds of steps on the outer was of Gibralfaro Castle.

Several of the hundreds of steps on the outer was of Gibralfaro Castle.

Ocean and city view of Málaga.

Ocean and city view of Málaga.