It was one of the best experiences of my life. I entered college and signed up on my 2nd year for Erasmus Program. My focus was: Spain, Spain, Spain. Pues “se a ti te gusta a mi me encanta”. As soon as I knew I was accepted for Madrid I immediately scheduled a trip to know the city, the different areas and find a place to stay.
As soon as I arrived, I felt immediately hugged by that propper madrileña culture. A city full of movement, wide streets, tall buildings. You feel small by being in the middle of so much new stuff. Indeed, it was at that time that I realized that at the age of 19 I was going to live in a city that was full of new experiences for me.
I think I speak on the behalf of all the Erasmus students I met at the time… we couldn’t have picked better: “Madrid es de puta madre!” Here are 3 reasons for which you will never forget Madrid:
1. La Vida Loca
If New York is the city that never sleeps, Madrid doesn’t stay behind. Madrid has life 24 over 24 hours. Wake up and go and have breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien, have a walk through Parque del Retiro, go to university (of course!), have lunch at mercado de San Antón in Chueca, see some stores at Gran Via, have some cañas at La Latina or a tea at the vintage bars in Malasaña and finish of with a fantastic dinner at La Lateral in Calle Fuencarral.
Everyday you have new things to do, to discover and to know. No one who lives in Madrid will let you stop! You won’t want to stop.
2. You Can Walk The City from One End to the Other
The best of all is that we can get to know the city rapidly without having to get inside a taxi. The majority of the city is plain, which allows you to walk, walk and walk without getting tired, and getting to know the city better. But of course Madrid doesn’t forget of the lazy people and offers you an enormous metro network, very efficient, safe and fast!
3. The Madrileños are your best friends
When, at the age of 19, you have your first experience living alone in a completely new city, you come across some problems which you never thought you’ll have to deal: Did you know that in order to have wi-fi at home, you need to make a contract of at least a year? That bathtubs can sink just because three people wash their hair daily? That ovens aren’t all the same as the one you have at home?
The Erasmus experience makes you grow up at every level. And the truth is that part of this process is followed by the people that surround you at that time. We would never have wi-fi if our neighbours hadn’t changed their network connection in order for us to catch their wi-fi. We would have our house flooded if it weren’t for our landlord passing by and helped us with the bathtub issue. And that time in which we had a 10 person dinner and our oven didn’t work? At 10 p.m. we asked if we could use the oven of the local pizza place across our street and they helped us out.
It’s not the fact of having good food, a good education, good clubs or beautiful landscapes that will make you fall in love with Madrid, it’s the spectacular experience that this city will give you at every level… it’s the fact, and I speak with personal experience, that everytime you come back you come with this stupid smile on your face…and wander around the city remembering every corner and the great moments you lived there.
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