Bienvenido a España

I’m nearing the end of my trip as I arrive in Spain, but most definitely the beginning of meeting up with some friends and family! I’m not the only med school grad criss-crossing the European continent before residency begins back in the US in July… I was able to meet my aunt, uncle and cousin here in Spain. Lastly, I have a friend from college who now calls Munich her home, as well as my new friend from along the backpacking trail. Fingers crossed that I’ll see them all, however briefly, over the next few days!

I arrived late Wednesday night to Madrid following a delayed flight from Edinburgh via London Heathrow. After a quick bite at the hostel the next morning I left to meet my family who coincidentally was staying at an Airbnb just around the corner. We jumped into the cars and took off towards the northern mountains. As we went winding up into the mountains we got absorbed into the mountain mist. We caught glimpses of the snow capped peaks and crested over to staggeringly beautiful views of the northern plains, stretching out in gorgeous green as far as the eye can see. We stopped at Él Escorial to walk around the small area (sense the sarcasm), and visit the Palacio Real de la Granja de San Ildefonso.
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Lastly we end up in Segovia, where we wander the ancient streets, and take in the gothic cathedral and aqueduct.
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We also share a truly special moment where the owner of the restaurant we had lunch at came out to tell us the story of her family’s restaurant and to help present their delicacy: suckling pig… This is supposed to be such tender meat and crunchy skin so that you can cut it in half using a plate as your knife. This honor was awarded to me, so I did as instructed: dedicated the pig to my friends, cut the pig with the plate, and smashed the plate on the floor. I’ve always wanted to  throw a dish so that rewarding, and of course the pig was as promised and absolutely fantastic. 
I hope to have a full day in Madrid tomorrow before I head to to the airport for Munich!

Elsie