Where’s Baldwin? Puerta del Sol, Madrid!

Nearly 50 percent of BC students study abroad in some context before they graduate, which makes for a lot of Eagles flying to a lot of different places (insert “Eagles on the Warpath” cheer here).  Follow this Baldwin as he sets out on one amazing abroad experience in Madrid, Spain.

Puerta del SolPhotograph by Jillian Timko

Puerta del Sol
Photograph by Jillian Timko

First stop, Puerta del Sol.  Having been in Madrid for more then two weeks, you would think that a group of thirty or so BC students would develop a fairly good grasp on how to navigate the city.  You’d be wrong.  Puerta del Sol is the heart and center of Madrid, and life for the past two weeks has centered around this plaza.

Our Friend the Horse StatuePhotograph by Jillian Timko

Our Friend the Horse Statue
Photograph by Jillian Timko

Once we get here, we can go anywhere – conversations about making plans usually end with “Let’s meet in front of the horse statue,” and if you’re trying to give someone directions, you start off by saying, “Walk out of the big subway dome and turn left.” Go beyond Sol, though, and it’s like being in no man’s land – we go on runs and get hopelessly lost, we don’t realize the Real Madrid Stadium is pretty much in our backyard until after we go to the Barcelona game, and we ride the Circular metro line in the wrong direction, a fatal mistake for getting to class on time.

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Palacio de Telecomunicaciones Photographed by Jillian Timko

Lucky for us, Sol is an awesome area, so we don’t have to go far to see the sights and have a good time.  Go west, and you’ll see the Palacio Real and Plaza Mayor, go east, and you’ll end up by Banco de España, Parque del Retiro, and my personal favorite, Palacio de Telecomunicaciones.  Stand in the center of Sol, and you’ll see street performers doing seemingly impossible tricks (it took us a lot of staring to figure this one out).

Madrid Street PerformersPhoto by Jessie Carbone

Madrid Street Performers
Photo by Jessie Carbone

A famous (and delicious) churros place named Chocolateria San Gines is just off of the plaza, and next to that is Joy, one of the famous Madrid discotecas.  The Madrid nightlife goes way beyond expectations – between cheap bars with buckets of cervezas and one euro chupitos (our personal favorite is a Heineken bar right off of Sol), seven-story clubs, and pizza places that are still open at 5 AM, it’s hard not to have a good time.

These past two weeks have flown by, but it’s been an amazing beginning to my semester abroad.  Check back next week to see where Baldwin goes next!

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Name: Jillian Timko
School, major and year: Arts and Sciences, International Studies, 2014
Hometown: Basking Ridge, NJ
What makes the Gavel so BANGin’? I love the Gavel because it’s so new. We are still figuring out who we are as an organization and how far we can go. While this presents us with a clear set of challenges, it’s really fun to try different things and build our own identity.
You have 24 hours to give prospective students a tour of BC and convince them to enroll. How do you spend the day?
First, I would take them on an actual tour of the campus—it’s beautiful and deserves to be shown off. Then I would take them to a football tailgate, a hockey game, and to Marathon Monday. And we would eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Hillside – after an egg sandwich, a Panini, and a cheeseburger, who wouldn’t want to go to BC?
If you could go back in time and give yourself a pep talk the night before you moved into BC as a freshman, what is the most important piece of advice that you would give to your former self?
I would tell myself to keep pushing to meet new people and try new things. It’s easy to get stuck in a groove you’re comfortable with, but you should never limit yourself like that—the people at BC and the school itself have so much to offer.
What is your favorite study spot on campus?
A classroom in Gasson, or the booths on the first floor of O’Neill.
What is your go-to meal at Late Night?
Usually mozzarella sticks, sometimes pizza…
What is the #1 most played song on your iTunes?
Love and Memories by OAR
What is the best Halloween costume that you have ever worn?
I was a gumball machine, along with our lovely editor-in-chief, and we rocked it.
If you could only eat at one restaurant for the rest of your life, which would you choose?
There’s this Italian restaurant called Bolu in my hometown. It’s always absolutely delicious, and it has enough variety on its menu to get me through the rest of my life.
If you could befriend the main characters from any TV show or movie, who would you choose and why?
The characters on How I Met Your Mother. Mainly so I could experience the joy of high-fiving Barney Stinson all the time.

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