Day trip 1: Aranjuez
With no shortage of friends to travel with, 17 of us exchange students went to a close town called Aranjuez. This is a town that has a beautiful palace and day/party house that the kings and queens of Spain would frequent with their court in springtime. We walked straight from the train station to the palace (which was freezing inside!). The rooms that we were able to explore were absolutely incredible. Each room had a different style and different feel, though they all carried the same lavish, ornate, overwhelming fullness that is typical of these palaces. There is not a spot in these rooms that your eyes can't be entertained in looking at. There were decorations on the ceiling, walls, and floor, along with all the objects simply in the room to begin with. The other interesting thing to note, was the fact that there were many rooms that you would think were just the same as they always have been, however, many of these rooms were adjusted by different royals throughout the years of the palace's existence. It really got you thinking.
After walking through the castle, we had lunch, and then half of us have to literally run to catch the last tour we had booked. It was the last one being run, and they were going to close the gates at 5pm whether we made it or not. Luckily we did make it, and did get to participate in a tour of what is called Casa del Labrador. This was a play house for the court while they were living in the Spring palace. It was a place for them to enjoy themselves during the day, and then they would go home to the palace. This too, was absolutely gorgeous. There were decorations throughout the entire house. The one thing that connected all the rooms was the theme of Greek mythological stories and images.
Unfortunately there were no pictures allowed in either places, but I got a couple of good images of everything else!