Saturday, June 30, 2012

Alcalá de Henares

A couple of weekends ago, I was invited on a spontaneous trip to Alcalá de Henares by Elvi, Rosalia, and Rosa for dinner.  The city is about 40 minutes by car from the center of Madrid.  Earlier in the day, my three madrileña friends had taught me how to make gazpacho, una tortilla española, and pan tumaca.  Later we went to a see a Taiko performance, and then decided to dine in Alcalá de Henares.  Fortunately, it was La Noche en Blanco there, so everything was still open when we arrived, and stayed open until about 1:00 am.

On the way to dinner, we walked through the old part of the city and passed an artistic lamp made completely from recycled materials.  At dinner, I tried some traditional, Spanish foods I had yet to probar.  We ordered morcilla de arroz, pisto manchego, and of course, some croquetas.

"What giants?"
"The ones that you see there...with the long arms..."
Later, we checked out Cervantes' house.  Cervantes nació en Alcalá de Henares, y the city has really capitalized on that.  There are Don Quijote restaurants, bars, sculptures, and more.  Even the heladerías have Don Quijote sculptures in the windows.

The quotation in the photo on the right is an excerpt from DQ, in which Sancho Panza wonders what giants DQ sees since he, himself doesn't see any.  To answer, DQ points to some molinos de viento and explains to Sancho that they are giants.

Don Quijote Sculpture in front of Cervantes' House

Enjoying the extreme heat of Spain, we decided to get some ice cream.  There was this flavor called Crema de Alcalá, that of course I had to try because I was in Alcalá de Henares.  I also got a 1/2 scoop of Ferrero Rocher flavored ice cream.  Mmm.....

Universidad de Alcalá
We happened onto the end of a flamenco concert and the beginning of a music group's concert, and then finished our ice cream and went to check out the university, Universidad de Alcalá.  To me, the old university building looked similar to the old Universidad de Salamanca.  Both are older than old, are covered in plaques written in Latin, and have hallways lined by arches.  I can't quite imagine studying in a place like that.

After strolling around for a while longer, we hopped back in their car and headed back to Madrid.  What a lovely day to spend with friends!

Caballer@ Buddies Since 2009

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