Travelling to Madrid, drinking Agua de valencia and carnaval!

Well, first semester is DONE AND DUSTED, time for a wee bit of a fiesta… oh wait.. what’s that I hear?… well, that must be the ominous whirring’s of semester two, Erasmus+ papers being shuffled in the Erasmus office, students shuffling to class and me munching on tortilla in a café (I have a tortilla addiction, it’s a problem).

The infamous tortilla!

The infamous tortilla!

So it’s time to enrol again at the international office. All I needed was my Erasmus+ form and they enrolled me in my new courses and now I just have to go and collect the signed form from the coordinator. Turns out I needed to enrol on all my courses in September then change any courses I didn’t like now, but that didn’t happen, it’s Spain. Enough said.

Any changes this semester? Nah not really. Some students have come and gone and there’s a new cohort joining us this semester. Newbies! Fresh meat. So more socialising at the beginning of term and having fun before settling into a good working habit and studying and speaking Spanish and blah blah blah, you’ve heard it before.

I’ve done a couple of exciting things this semester. First and foremost, I went to Madrid for the first time. I have to say, I think, controversially, I may prefer Madrid to Barcelona. I do love a good beach and a bit of sun but I think the cosmopolitan, winding streets of Madrid are great. The journey there was pretty exciting from Asturias, Emer, my friend, and I heard some scary stories from our friends saying they’d never seen this much snow in their life when they went to Madrid a few days before us. So, wearing layers galore, we hopped onto the bus in the hope of a winter wonderland, and that’s exactly what we got.

Wintery Asturias!

Wintery Asturias!

So after our ride through Narnia, we arrived in Madrid. BLOOMIN’ FREEZING. Here’s a few snaps from the trip!


En Parque del Retiro

Palacio Real

Palacio Real

So after gallivanting around Madrid we went to Salamanca, a lovely city with a massive Plaza that was in a film with that actor who was in The Last King of Scotland. Anyways, going off piste. Definitely go to Salamanca, it’s a massive University city with a big cathedral. It’s always a good night out and make sure you try a drink that’s called Agua de Valencia (according to Wikipedia, “Valencian Water is a cocktail made from a base of cava or champagne, orange juice, vodka, and gin”, wow).

Then, another day, I went to Llanes, a village in Asturias, with a couple of friends, Jenny and Charlotte. I think it’s really important to get to know the region you’re in, it’ll make you feel more connected to the locals and it was so refreshing to travel somewhere by the sea. Surprisingly it reminded me of St Andrews!



I loved Llanes, and Carnaval was happening this week too (it’s just like Halloween minus the scariness and the dental problems two weeks after), there was a parade with lots of adults and children dressed up in ridiculous costumes, ferbies were spotted, as well as mops (yep, a CLEANING mop) and fish. There was carnaval last week in Aviles, for a big night out head over there on the bus and grab the first one back the next morning. For a more chilled night, head into Oviedo as my flatmates and myself did last night. Here some pictures of the parade in Oviedo!


SIDRA! Typical Asturian cider costumes. Love it.

SIDRA! Typical Asturian cider costumes. Love it.

All photo credit goes to my flatmate Claire, here she is in all her glory.

Sorry boys, she's taken!

Sorry boys, she’s taken!

I think the second semester is a great time to tie up loose ends with your Spanish, really become the Spanish speaker you’ve always wanted to be. Have no shame whatsoever speaking Spanish, people don’t care if you’re making a mess, it’s all practice.


¡Hay que liarla!

I’m definitely way more into my classes this semester, I’m enjoying them all and I understand what’s going on! YAHOO! I think in first semester time is going so fast and you’re enjoying yourself a lot that you suddenly get to second semester and you’re like, PHEW, what just happened?! So, take time to enjoy the moment and appreciate these new friends you’ve made, how far you’ve come and what you still want to achieve.

Any questions or if you’re feeling nosey, message me on facebook: Madeline Pratley

Email me if ya like:

Look at my Instagram, I update that ALL the time: madelinepratley


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