Going Underground in Madrid
By: P. Hoovestol (Stanford University)
Last week the CIEE group visited an old subway station in Madrid. This early twentieth century station closed down in the seventies and now no longer works, although metro trains still pass through the station. The station is now a museum.
It was very interesting to see such an old station and compare it with the modern day technology that we use today. The public underground stations in Madrid are all new to me, because I'm new in this town, yet their vibe is quite cool.
Upon reflection, I do think that the overall design and structure of this old station resembles metro stations today. A visual difference that we talked about was that the walls and ceilings were made of many tiles that you can see individually placed. Modern stations are not made of these tiles anymore and texture of contemporary station walls are smoother. Here is a picture of a new, more recently built Madrid metro station.
Another underground surprise was the basement café of a chocolateria in down town Madrid, near Plaza Sol. We ordered chocolate con churros, a well-known Madrid delicacy. Together with the CIEE group we had some of this sweet chocolate in the form of a beverage.
It was the Spanish equivalent of U.S. hot chocolate. Yet the Spanish version is incredibly thick and creamy and you are supposed to dip“churros” and “porras” into the hot chocolate. Churros and porras are essentially the same thing, a sort of fried dough pastry.