Images from Spain

I've been trying to motivate and draft a good update, but some photos with brief descriptions will have to suffice for now:

This is the Plaza Mayor in the heart of the city. Madrid is famous for its expansive plazas throughout the city where cafes usually sprawl onto the sidewalk and fill every table during lunch. As you walk through the streets you almost stumble onto this plaza as you enter through arches like this.

A Madrid Garden:

A day at the bullfights. Stay tuned for a more PG-13 post on the subject if you care to know more at all.

Another shot of the Plaza Mayor; this one from within. Once you have stumbled in, you are surrounded by buildings like this in all directions and must escape through one of the arches ... somewhat disorienting.

Some high-brow site seeing ... The Royal Palace.

The art museum - Renia Sofia, full of modern art including many works of Picasso and Dali

The famous Museo del Prado

And the also famous ... Milou


Finding a groove

Today is the fifth day in Spain, and I feel like I am finding my rhythm here. Not sure if there is any significance to the fifth day of a trip, and I think if there were it would only hold relevance to a fairly sustained trip -- I remember on the Grand Canyon (an 18-day trip) the fifth day felt like I settled in. But after the challenges of travel (restlessness and poor sleep on the plane, jet lag, gaining bearings in a new place); the shock of a new culture (smokers in the booth next to you during lunch, businesses that you need closing at 2pm - siesta, miscommunication results in large bill); and the adjustments to new cuisine (first meal is a leg of pork = skin/fat/muscle/bone/veins/more fat and skin, veggie sandwich = wonder bread, some veggies and lots of mayo) I found my self today feeling the groove of daily life in Espana. Waking at about 8am, simple desayunos (breakfast), off to classes (Euro Human Rights, Civil Law, Urban Planning Law), followed by a stroll down one of the many great boulevards of Mardid until I found a cafeteria for almuerzo (lunch) at 2:30pm, Spanish lessons to follow, skipping the siesta today and studying for three horas until a meeting with some classmates at a tapas bar for pre-dinner snacks and some futbol - the Champions Cup (or something similar), Milan won - back home for dinner at 11pm (Spanish dinner time), and then some studying, emails and blogging before falling asleep to more studying. The highlight of the day was a marked improvement in my Spanish skills and confidence, which I am sure helped the rest of the day along. Ok, time for bed. Pictures hopefully in the next post.


Transitions: School - Kayaking - Madrid

Busy times … the transition from the end of spring semester (exams) to catching up on life and leisure (KAYAYING) to preparations for travel and a study abroad (SPAIN).

I thought about making this post a big catch-up post with everything I have been up to lately, but alas, the to-do list requires a triage sort of approach at this point.

Two links worth noting to those who might be interested are:

THIS ONE, which is an interview of John Stewart by Bill Moyers. I am a fan of both, and this is a great interview. Btw, Moyers is back on PBS with a weekly show … look into the show times in your neck of the woods.

And THIS ONE, which is a pretty good (and uplifting) article by Paul Hawken, who I owe a great deal of my current way of thinking to. His book, The Ecology of Commerce, which I read while traveling through Ecuador, was a transformational book for me and I can definitely say that I would not be in Law school and who know what other ventures had it not been for David Gregory introducing me to that read.

By the way, I’m always curious to know if anyone is clicking on these links and finding this information interesting so feel free to comment as you are so inclined.