Monday, September 19, 2011

Summer in the country

Being the inquisitive young travelers we are, on Friday my friends and I took it upon ourselves to make the journey to the town of Aranjuez, where the Spanish royal family had its summer house. And by "taking it upon ourselves" I mean the lovely Danielle planned everything and I just did whatever she told me to, and by "summer house" I mean a GIGANTIC PALACE. But regardless of how you word it, Friday was a splendid, hot day filled with good company and beautiful sights.

Home sweet home?
Me & Lucy
We weren't allowed to take photos inside so I had to be sneaky
Isabel II's dressing room
Isabel II's bedroom, all furniture gifted to her on her wedding day by the city of Barcelona
The Porcelain Study...all of those decorations are in relief!
Favorites from the palace included: a certain Prince Alfonso's workout equipment (velvet-covered hand weights), a collection of royal wedding dresses, and all the portraits of the hideous, inbred Spanish royal family. I would love to be able to live in that palace, but NOT if it meant I had to marry my cousin and have a nose that took up half my face.

After the palace tour, we went off to find lunch. We found a place with a good menú del dia--a lunch special that includes a drink, a first course, a main course, and a dessert or coffee. Unfortunately, we didn't really recognize any of the items on the menu, and the waitress was, as they would say here, una perra. She purposefully served us slowly, just because we're American...and when I say slowly, I mean we were at the restaurant for literally two and a half hours. Unfortunately, you don't tip here in Spain, because I would have loved to spitefully leave her just 10 centavos (10 cents)...

But the day picked up its pace again when we explored two of the palace's gardens. I wish we were here in the spring, because I'm sure the flowers are absolutely overwhelming then.

Granados (pomegranates)--not ripe yet, unfortunately
Italian cypresses remind me of home
Lucy, Kat, Sami, and me in the pomegranate orchard

Sami, Kat, and Lucy
Sami, Danielle, me, Lucy
And then it got so hot, we passed out in the shade
This picture doesn't do justice to how dirty my shoes got
Wait for it...
I wanted to go swimming in every fountain I saw
Pulling out a splinter?
¡Chao, Aranjuez!

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