Navidad en Madrid!

As the holidays are approaching in Madrid, it’s been getting terribly cold… and as I look outside my window now, there’s snow! It’s the time of beautiful Christmas lights along all the major avenues, roastedcastañas, or chestnuts, ice skating, winter fairs, Cortylandia, and… practicing the “Must Be Santa” song with the first graders about 16 times a week.

Los Reyes Magos, the Three Wisemen, have already come to our school to hand out little gifts to the children, and in every house where I give class, the families have set up Belen’s, the Nativity scene in miniature complete with lights, animals, houses, stars, etc., most of them astonishingly elaborate and stretching the length of an entire living room.

We have even set up our own little Christmas tree!

You would think that with the cold, less people would be out…but Madrid never ceases to surprise. The crowds have thickened with the holiday season, especially in Sol where the big, rather unattractive tree is.

Retiro, though, was almost completely empty, and the ponds were frozen over.

We walked by the Palacio de Cristal, a beautiful glass building usually used for exhibitions.

While waiting for the bus, I caught some shots of the Puerta de Alcalá, which they’ve strung with lights.

With a couple of classes left to do, my vacation has basically started. On Friday, we’ll be leaving for warmer lands: Costa Rica!

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