The rain falls mainly on the plain and on BYU students

That’s right. It’s been raining off and on since Thursday afternoon and it will probably continue through Sunday or Monday or forever. Hooray for wet college students!

Also, we’ve been to Madrid twice now (not counting the airport) and it is absolutely amazing. Breathtaking. Captivating. You get the idea. Here’s a bird’s eye view of it:

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We have only had a quick tour of the main parts of the city so that we could get a handle on how the trains work. It isn’t too hard, just kind of overwhelming because there are so many people and the stops all seem to get jumbled together. We were able to pass the Prado and Reina Sofia museums (we’ll go inside someday) and passed by some other important buildings that we should be able to visit later. I love all of the old buildings and the picturesque apartments with their balconies. It is absolutely enchanting (didn’t I tell you Europe was magical?). The picture above is of me in the Plaza Mayor. The red of that building is beautiful and it surrounds you on all four sides. Incredible. Another incredible sight is this plate of churros con chocolate. Yes, that’s right, churros sans cinnamon-sugar with hot chocolate. Nothing better to warm you up on a rainy evening.

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Back in Alcalá, we started classes (yes, this is still a study abroad). I am taking an advanced literature course and a history course. The classes are a little different from the ones at BYU since things are a little more informal, we address the professors by their first names, and they try to apply things to us Americans as well as they can. I’m pretty sure that they think we’re crazy.

My roommate and I have also done a little more exploring. We went to Cervantes’ house yesterday as well as an exhibit about an artist/author, Fernando del Paso. Today, we went on a long bus ride just to kind of get a feel for how the bus works, and we still had time to visit the Cathedral (where they have versions of the Bible that are in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek all in one) and the Archaeological Museum (they have found so many interesting things from the time that the Romans were there). We’ll return to the latter at some other time after we have learned a little bit more from our history class.

Sometimes, we have a tendency to get lost a little bit. The streets look very similar, and we still don’t know all of the city’s secrets. But we also always manage to find our way. Those tiny miracles everyday are definitely something to look forward to. Plus, that just seems to be the best way to experience a city in Europe.

Well, we’re going to El Escorial tomorrow. If you’re curious, you should look it up! If not, well, then I’ll tell you about it tomorrow.

Buenas noches!

PS We learned what Alcalá de Henares means. Alcala is an Arabic word that means “castle” and Henares refers to a river close by, therefore, it means castle by the Henares river. So once upon a time there was a castle here. The end.

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