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It has officially been 2 months since we first arrived in Madrid. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long as time has just flown by.
Since our 1 month update from living in Spain, quite a bit has changed, both in terms of finally being finished with all the annoying Spanish bureaucracy you have to deal with when moving to Spain and everything that comes with getting more comfortable living in Madrid.
Our first month had us mostly spending time here in Madrid and not leaving the city. However, month 2 gave us the opportunity to take a day trip to Cuenca, Spain.
Cuenca is in the autonomous community—region—next to Madrid: Castilla-La Mancha. It’s a place that neither of us had ever explored, but that we were really excited to visit!
And it did not disappoint!
Cuenca was one of the most beautiful places we have ever visited! Especially if you don’t consider places near a beach.
It’s a small town built up on a hill that was basically one giant fortress. When visiting Cuenca today, you can see how fortified it was with the walls surrounding it and the steep hills to get into the city center.
Cuenca is most famous for its casas colgadas (hanging houses), which hang over the cliffs that the city was built on. It’s quite the sight!
Check out our full post on one day in Cuenca!
El Escorial Hiking
We had our first visitor since our first week here, and it was so great to have someone from home visit! During his time here, we managed to get out of the city of Madrid for the day and go hiking!
We took the day trip from Madrid to El Escorial and hiked Monte Abantos. It was a beautiful route that took us up over 2,000 feet and was a loop of 7 miles.
El Escorial is only about an hour from Madrid by train, which made it a wonderful day trip to escape the city and get out into nature.
Picking Up TIE Cards
Well, today we will be picking up our TIE cards, which basically marks the official end to all our paperwork!
We’ll definitely be celebrating as this is our residency card for the next year!
Andén Cero Madrid
One more free thing in Madrid we did this month was Andén Cero. It’s also called the Chamberí Ghost Station!
Andén Cero is an abandoned metro station that has been out of use since 1966. It’s now a museum that is free to the public!
The reality of moving abroad has really hit home lately, especially for Mike.
Obviously, there was a lot of excitement of exploring our new city and country when we first got here, but as we’ve settled in to daily routines, like going to work, getting groceries, and living on our budget—aka not eating out all the time—he has definitely experienced a little homesickness.
However, we knew all of this going into this grand adventure. It just sucks when homesickness hits because there isn’t a perfect cure for it.
We just wanted to be honest about this part of our lives because it really doesn’t always show up on instagram or in photos, since when we feel homesick, we generally stay in and watch The Office.
What We’re Looking Forward to:
Even though we have felt a little homesick lately as we’ve settled into our day-to-day life abroad, there are a few things we are excited for in the near future!
For those who don’t know, a puente in Spain is a long weekend. It specifically correlates to where the holiday is on a Tuesday and they give you that Monday off too—or really any time a holiday falls on a Tuesday or Thursday, basically making it a long weekend.
Well, we have one of these in December where there’s a holiday on Monday and Wednesday, so we get Tuesday off too!
We’re still trying to figure out specifics plans for our time off, but there will be something in the works!
Shortly after the December puente we have Christmas break, which is a little longer in Spain compared to the US. We have off of work from December 23-January 9 and have part of our plans nailed down, but are still working on the rest.
Stay tuned for what those plans specifically are!