By Erika Cohn
Things are Warming Up
Classes are in full swing, we’ve got the metro system down pat, and thanks to Professor Julio Lasarte’s Intro to Spanish class, we aren’t saying “no comprendo” quite as often. Our first two weeks have been incredibly kind in terms of weather.
With consistently sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 70s, conditions have been perfect for studying in Parque del Retiro and walking to the museums where Picasso and Dali’s famous works are on display. But, things are warming up with temperatures in the 90s expected later this week. I think we’ll manage.
You could spend months in Madrid and still not see all there is to see. But, it’s also great to be able to travel so easily beyond Madrid. Last week, I took a 30-minute high-speed train ride to Toledo. Known for its historical co-existence of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim cultures, the city sits high on a hill and is surrounded on three sides by a bend in the Tagus River. The scenery, architecture, museums, and religious sites make this a can’t-miss stop on any visit to Spain.Bonus class connection: Toledo’s famous mazapan has a Protected Geographical Indication which the students in my International IP course are going to learn all about. I think a taste test is in order for a thorough understanding of the subject, don’t you?
The students spent their weekend in Portugal where they found the people to be exceptionally friendly and the Port wine to be exceptionally delicious. Although the beach-goers regret their forgotten sunscreen, the food and the sights combined to make it a great trip.
Week two of the Madrid experience may be in the books, but much like the temperatures, we’re really just getting warmed up. Coming up this week is a visit to one of the leading law firms in Spain, Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira, arranged by Professor Martínez-Torrón. A visit to the Constitutional Court is also in the works. More on these and other adventures coming soon!