After just a few short weeks I’ve settled into my life in Spain. All the anxieties and first-day-of-high-school nerves have subsided and I feel at ease. After a quick weekend trip to Paris I even caught myself thinking, “I can’t wait to be home” as I envisioned my new friends and the bustling streets of Madrid. It’s amazing really how quickly we can adapt to new environments, learn, and make them our own. Just a few weeks ago I had never stepped foot in a European country in all 21 years of my life, and now I’m subconsciously imagining this city, this gigantic foreign city, as my home. I have my own routine here, habits, places, friends. I’ve created my own normalcy in a place that is so un-normal.
I’ve graduated from wandering through the metro searching for signs, turning left, whoops nope, turning right, to walking casually through the stations blending in with the rest of the locals who actually know what the hell they’re doing. I know where I can grab a fast coffee “to-go” on my way to class, and I know El Corte Íngles is the “go-to” for literally anything. Establishing a routine, a way of life, makes things easier. But it also makes it easier to forget where you are, to forget that you’re literally oceans from home in a foreign country, speaking a foreign language, surrounded by so much ancient history at every street corner. Our first excursion to Segovia with ISA helped remind me of the remarkable country I’m so lucky to be calling my home.
When we first arrived it was impossible to miss the giant aqueduct towering over us in all its beauty. I stood at its base feeling so immensely small, gazing up at all the stones interlocked by nothing other than the mere pressure of one pushing against the other. I imagined all the people from the past who had probably stood in my exact spot, what they would have been wearing, where they were going, what kind of stories they could tell.
Strolling through the old streets, narrow and enchanting, I was reminded of how much simple beauty lives in these historical cities. The smallest details, doorways, snowcapped fences and statues exuded so much life and character.
I knew that Spain had strong historically Roman Catholic routes and I expected to see evidence of that while I was here, but I was not expecting La Catedral de Segovia. Its intimidating, yet gorgeous, Gothic design and monumental size made me feel so insignificant. I wanted to know the hands that crafted this amazing place, each wall, ceiling and crevice dripping with detail.
And not to mention the stunning views from the Alcázar, the castle of Segovia.
Want to see more from Madrid? Check out “The Royal Palace of Madrid”