Christmas in Spain

Elena Harter ‘17

About every two to three years, my family and I visit my mom’s side of the family in Madrid, Spain. We’ve normally planned our visits around Christmastime, but not as much during summer. We visit for about two weeks and after those two weeks hearing people talk so fast in a different language can get to be a little too much.

We visit the city and go to major towns in Madrid. We don’t visit very many restaurants because my grandma is a cooking genius. Like she seriously wakes up at 7am every morning, starts cooking, and doesn’t stop until about 11pm. The meal times are different in Spain. People generally eat a small breakfast when they wake up, then have a large lunch (about the size our dinner would be) around 3pm, then eat dinner (about the size of our lunch) around 10pm.


View of the street from my Grandma’s house. She lives in Madrid, Spain, the capital of Spain.


View of the streets and some housing buildings.


One of the parks near my Grandma’s house. There are parks EVERYWHERE in Spain, but this one was the closest.


Sunrise early one morning. (I couldn’t sleep because of the wonderful jet lag, so why not take artsy pictures of the sunrise?)


Pictured above is one of the major cities in Spain, Sol. It’s crowded there 24/7.


Above is Plaza Mayor. It’s one large square and vendors overtake the inside. Surrounding it are very expensive apartment buildings because you are right next to the center of Sol.


Cathedral outside of Sol.


The Palace of the old King and Queen.


Very famous and expensive hotel in Spain where famous always stay, so it’s very private and reserved.


The architecture of this building is fantastic and you would think that it’s a very important building… its just a building for people to study language, but they just wanted to make it look really unique. 


An art museum outside of Sol.


El Tahoe river which runs all the way to Portugal. This river is in the backyard of my cousin’s house.


Two of my cousins and myself on El Tahoe.


This is the stadium of the soccer team, Real Madrid. We went to a game and Real Madrid won 3-1.

Not only was I out of sync with the eating patterns, but Spain is 6 hours ahead of Cincinnati time, so I was suffering from intense jet lag… and still am. Having  10 hour flight back to Atlanta, then five hours of sitting around doing nothing in the Atlanta airport, then a two hour flight back to Cincinnati made all of us a little more tired.


Mom and Dad gave up after the flight and multiple trips to the airport…

We spent Christmas and New Year’s Eve with my cousins and I love the Spanish New Year traditions! As soon as the clock strikes midnight, everyone has 12 grapes in their bowl and you eat a grape for every second after midnight (up until 12 seconds have passed). You would think it would be really easy to eat 12 grapes in 12 seconds, but everyone starts laughing which makes you laugh and it’s just a hot mess.

Feliz Navidad de España!

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