First, let me start off by saying that this 3 month adventure was hosted by Harding University. Harding University’s International Programs offer amazing 3 month adventures all over the world. If you are looking for a university that offers amazing overseas programs, then check out the link and look at their Instagram page to see what other students experience on their travels! Also, feel free to contact them or me with any questions about the programs offered and what kinds of activities you might get to experience! The program that I decided to go on with Harding is called HIP (Harding in Paris). In 2016, Harding decided to add Spain to HIP’s program and due to the huge success Spain offered to the program, they will keep Spain in HIP’s program for future students.
On February 2, 2016, I began a crazy 3 month adventure around Europe. I traveled to Spain, The Canary Islands, France, Scotland, and England and each place captured my heart with all of their unique attributes. The first country that my group visited was Madrid, Spain. We were in Spain for 3 week and we broke our time up by visiting Madrid, Granada, Barcelona, and the Canary Islands. I loved the Spanish culture because after taking 6 years of Spanish I was ready to challenge myself and speak to the natives! Spain was full of friendly faces, delicious food, colorful buildings, and creative architecture.
We only spent about 3 days in Madrid, but we took every opportunity to explore the busy city. One of the restaurants that we visited was the Restaurante Sobrino de Botin Horno de Asar. This restaurant holds the Guinness World Record for being the oldest restaurant in the world! It was opened in 1725 and retains the original 18th century firewood oven. They are best known for their roast pig, which according to my group is very tasty!
On one of our class days, we were assigned to go to the market and try some of the Spanish cuisine. This was the best assignment that we were given because it helped us trying something new and get us out of our comfort zones. Once we walked into the market we were immersed with smells of delicious food in every corner. The market was broken down into appetizers, desserts, fruits, vegetables, meals, and meat. I spent my time walking around each area looking at the different dishes. What was neat about this market is that they even had some samples so we could try some of the items for free.
Some of the dishes looked too pretty to eat, but we ate them anyways and they were delicious. My favorite dish that I ate was called Tortilla de Patatas because I made it for an assignment in my high school Spanish class and it was delicious! I have attached a link about the recipe, so you can try it at home! It is a very easy and delicious recipe that can be served hot or room temperature.
The last thing that I will share about Madrid is that if you ever visit, you must try their churros! I had never had them before, but let me just say that they are divine. We randomly found a restaurant one night that served churros with melted dark chocolate and as soon as we got our dessert, we began dipping churro after churro into the dark chocolate.
I will continue to share my experience around Europe, but for now, enjoy!
*All photos taken by Le Petit Traveler