Torrejón de Ardoz: My school and Parque Europa

Nike of Samothrace in Parque Europa, Torrejón de Ardoz

with my cute 2nd graders

So the school I work at is in Torrejón de Ardoz (or just “Torrejón” for short), which is a city about 18km east of Madrid. I am a very lucky girl because I absolutely love the school I work at. From the beginning, my colleagues made me feel like part of a family. Everybody is very friendly, and the students are generally well-behaved, very loving and appreciative :). I am always showered with hugs, kisses, and random drawings and paintings.

My school, Colegio Severo Ochoa

I'm a teacher!

inside of the Cercanías train I take everyday

Even though Torrejón is outside the city of Madrid, it’s very easy to get to. From the main train station in Madrid (Atocha), it only takes 25 minutes to get to the Cercanías train station in Torrejón. Madrid has an amazing public transportation system consisting of buses, the metro (subway), and the Cercanías trains, which are nicer commuter trains that have a farther reach than the metro system and go to the neighboring towns.

Cercanías train station, Torrejón de Ardoz

Torrejón actually used to be the site of an American military base, but it was closed about a decade ago. One of my co-workers, who has lived in Torrejón his whole life, actually used to know some of the American soldiers from years past, and actually learned English from speaking with them.

Even though I wouldn’t want to live there because I love the life and energy of Madrid, I do really like Torrejón. I work at an absolutely amazing school with some proud Torrejoneros (natives of Torrejón). From them, I’ve learned to appreciate the city, and they’ve introduced me to local restaurants, and more importantly, to the local discotecas!

From the exterior, the town is not necessarily aesthetically pleasing per se. It’s industrial, with factories, and many plain looking apartment buildings. But the Plaza Mayor is small and cute.

Plaza Mayor in Torrejón de Ardoz (photo taken last November, with the Christmas lights)

Torrejón is charming because it has the smaller town feel that Madrid doesn’t necessarily have. And the mayor/town hall always puts on lots of fun and free events for its residents, such as concerts, elaborate fiestas, parades, etc (the city has it’s own annual 5-day feria in June). During Christmas, they even set up an ice skating rink.

Plaza Mayor in Torrejón de Ardoz

In Torrejón, the vibe is more working class, and there are also many immigrants (African countries, Romania, Poland, China, etc). I really like this type of environment, as my students are sweet and humble, as many of them come from working-class backgrounds. And if it tells you anything, I’ve heard that rap in Spain originated in Torrejón.

The town is really up-and-coming as a nice place to live and raise your family, which is a reputation it deserves. They are building many nice new apartments. They just built a new hospital and the metro system is being expanded into the town.

Parque Europa, Torrejón de Ardoz (with the Brandenburg Gate in the background)

They also have a nice new park, Parque Europa, which is an adorable public park with replicas of 17 famous European monuments.  I went there last October with some of my colleagues, we had a nice picnic lunch and wandered around.

with my amazing co-workers in front of the Viking Boat

I have many students who haven’t had the opportunity to travel much, and it’s awesome that they can go to this park and still see what some of the other European monuments look like.

with my friend Stephanie in front of the Eiffel Tower in Parque Europa

London Tower Bridge

with 2 amazing co-workers

Viking Boat

group photo in front of a partial Trevi Fountain