Monday, June 13, 2011

What a Weekend!

What a Weekend!

This past weekend was crazy busy! Friday night was pretty relaxed, hung out with the fam the whole night, and went to bed a bit early because Saturday and Sunday were going to be jam packed!

Woke up bright and early on Saturday to go on my second of three excursions with my University to El Escorial and Valle de los Caídos.

El Escorial is a town located about 40 km northwest of Madrid, and houses one of the most famous complexes in all of Spain: a royal palace, monetary, museum, and school. King Phillip II oversaw the development of El Escorial, which began in 1556 and took 21 years to complete. It certainly is built for a king!

Our group toured most of the complex, which seemed to be extravagantly decorated in every possible way. Some of the highlights was the Pantheon of the Kings, a room in the basement where the bodies of some of Spain’s most powerful kings and queens reside. Everything is coated in gold; it was the most gold in one place I’ve ever seen in my life. Another favorite for me was the Basilica, a gorgeous cathedral where the kings would go to pray. Like many other cathedrals, detail is paid attention to in every way. It’s mind bobbling to think how something so old could have been constructed so beautifully and so strongly that it doesn’t look like it has aged a bit to this day. Unfortunately we were unable to take pictures in any of the rooms, but I was lucky enough to snap a pretty good picture of the dome of the Pantheon of the kings before a security guard chased me out!

Valle de los Caídos is a site where the remains of the Spanish dictator Fransico Franko remain. We were able to go inside and see the tomb, which is located inside a mountain, which houses a giant cross on top! It’s really encouraging to see from miles away the sacrifice Christ made for us all!

After I returned home, I quickly had to change clothes and get ready for my cousin Yasmin’s conformation. Once again, it took place in a beautiful cathedral, and I was actually selected to be Yasmin’s Godfather! It was really uplifting to see so many people, young and old, confirm their faith in Christ.

Yesterday was spent touring three small towns off the beaten path in the mountains surrounding Madrid. Some of these towns were so small, they aren’t even on the map! I spent the day with my Aunt and her two friends, Patricia and Juan. The thing I liked best about the day was that it wasn’t a typical tourist thing to do. Two of the towns were made out of rock called Pisara, which is also the same rock used to make blackboards in the classroom. These black houses and villages were quite a sight to see!

On another note, time is flying by (as usual). Tomorrow I already have my first midterm exam! As always, thank you for your prayers and support!

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