Madrid by Raechel Irby

Hello from Madrid or I should say hola! I have been here in Madrid since the beginning of February and am living in an apartment with three other roommates. The four of us have planned trips to Italy, England, France, and Germany together to learn more about other cultures. We have also done some exploring around Madrid and saw Retiro Park and went roller skating with one of the international students from this past semester at the College. Madrid loves their green spaces because they like to spend most of their time outside enjoying each other’s company, there are also restaurants that only have outdoor seating. Since it is winter there are heaters outside because at night it can get to be 35 degrees outside. Another park that I have been to is called el parquet de Berlin and it has its own dog agility course. When my roommate and I first stumbled on this place we sat and watched the dogs play for probably 20 minutes and the locals let us pet and play with their dogs so we could feel more at home. One of the things that is different here in Spain compared to the states is that people here are way greener. They recycle everything from having a compost pile to having to pay for your shopping bags. There is also no air conditioning in our apartment, we only have radiators to help keep the apartment warm, but they only stay on for a couple of hours per day to save energy. The laundry has to be air dried, and the wash cycles take three hours to complete to save water and energy. Getting used to this type of lifestyle was challenging at first because we did not know how many of the appliances worked, but now we have everything on a cycle and are excited to bring home our newfound knowledge on how to be more sustainable in the states.

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