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2 posts from November 2013


Exploring Madrid Rio's Park

By: Fatima Garcia - Universidad Carlos III de Madrid


As part of the Madrid student network, I meet and participate with CIEE students during orientation and then get together for social activities such as bike riding. Last Friday we arranged to meet at noon, rented bicycles and we rode along the Madrid Rio.  This is a new park that was built about two metro stops from the city center -- so it was easy and fun to help organize it.

Bike 1

Madrid Rio park is an open and green space that is becoming more and more popular with the locals.

Bike 9
 Of course, we saw the rio Manzanares as we biked along the twelve mile route

Bike 7
We stopped for some typical chocolate con churros. Bike 5

And then we continued our day of fun with the different “toys” that are free in the park. Bike 4 Bike 2
The Madrid student network consists of various Spanish students from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. This activity allowed to socialize outside of classes and the campus.  

Bike 3

After this fun break, we now we have to get ready for our exams. Hope to see you soon in Madrid!


Madrid's Market of Marvels

By:  J. Marquis, University of California - Berkeley

With my classmate Hannah, we visited the biggest Madrid market, Mercado de Maravillas. This “Market of Marvels” is considered by many madrileños as a local favorite among the rest of the markets. During our walk through this market you could see the mixture of colors, smells, tastes and people. The busiest is during all the activities in the morning.

ZZ Joey en el mercado
The Market of Marvels is the biggest of the Madrid's old-style covered markets. Part of its success must be its location: it is in a densely populated neighborhoods of Estrecho and Tetuan. But its dynamic nature can be largely be attributed to an economy of scale: it's enormous!

  Mercado Maravillas

It goes almost a mile around, to be precise, with over 250 different stalls. The market is a public building where the stalls are still small family businesses. We were just dazzled by all the different offerings. One of the specialties they have this time of year is dessert called "buñuelos" - a fried dough ball filled with cream.

ZZ Mercado Maravillas Bunuelos

Some of the shopkeepers specialize in products from their home regions: there are different stalls for beef from Asturias and beef from Extremadura, suckling lamb from Ávila or pigs from Burgos.

ZZ Market PIGS
There are also stalls entirely devoted to vegetables of every color and shape. You can find quails, feasants, partridges, and ducks, as well as their respective eggs. Some of my friends might freak out by the fish with their heads on.

ZZ Fish market
Cheeses run from yellow to dark and from family-made queso to mass-produced products of milk, yoghurt and sandwhich cheese.

ZZ Market of Marvels
During our visit we also learned that there's an old Madrileño saying, "Si buscas algo, vete a Maravillas. Si no lo encuentras, es que no hay." (If you're looking for something, go to Maravillas. If you don't find it, it's because it doesn't exist.). I am going back to the market of marvels to look for pumpkins and pecans and hopefully get to make some treats for Halloween and Thanksgiving.

ZZ Mercado Maravillas Halloween