On Tuesday May 23 we got up early to travel to Almagro to see two works by Cervantes! When we reached the small town of Almagro we were blown away by the humility and simplicity of this space. To start the day we ate breakfast at a small cafe outside, here we chatted a bit about the day and what we might expect. After several photos and lots of laughter through the streets of Almagro we made our way to the Corral de Comedias. Where we were transported to the sixteenth century (that century), the coral is built with an ancient structure which is preserved throughout all these years to bring these works to life. We had the honor of seeing the El Relato de las Maravillas y La Cueva de la Salamanca. Works which we reinforced the quality and beauty of Cervantes interludes. After a buffet lunch, several more photos, and lots of laughter. We had the opportunity to have a workshop with the lead actress Covadonga Calderón. With it explored parts of the preparation of the theater, where we discover our vulnerabilities while improvising our own scenes. After a day full of adventures it is fitting to say that we return to Madrid more united as group more and closer to our theatrical aspects.
We still cannot believe that we are in Spain now! The first few days we felt very tired because of the plane ride and the time difference, but we used our inner strength (and a little coffee…in reality a large amount of coffee) and we explored Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor. Immediately we notice how old and different the architecture was, but it was so beautiful! We also saw many other tourists that spoke many different languages. We did not realize how big Madrid is! There are so many different street, parks and restaurants with a variety of food. We really enjoyed our first class, although it was difficult to remember what we learned in other classes about Cervantes and we all come from different levels of Spanish. We are so excited for the next few weeks and what they offer for us, and we hope our Spanish gets better during our time here!
Our first day of class and exploration was today. In the beautiful cave-like classroom, Profesora Lokos gave us an introduction to the course and a sneak peek as to what amazing city adventures, plays and texts we are going to explore within the next four weeks. After class we split up and did some sight-seeing of our own: one group toured the Prado Museum while another went “out west” and visited the Palacio Real and the Catedral de la Almudena.
Some things we have learned thus far:
- Embrace the Spanish “siesta”- it’s a great recharger after a long walk around the city
- Dress up more, or the vendors, and restaurant workers will know you’re American
- Don’t be afraid to take a new pathway– often times you will find a new adventure
- Don’t be afraid to try new food!! Especially the tapas!