The American fiction writer F. Scott Fitzgerald once said. “I’m not sure what I’ll do, but — well, I want to go places and see people. I want my mind to grow. I want to live where things happen on a large scale.” This defines my study abroad experience in Madrid, Spain. To this day, I cherish the sights and sounds of all that I experienced during my year abroad in Europe.

One of my favorite spots to visit in Spain was the Chocolateria San Gines. The Chocolateria San Gines has been open since the 1780s and is known for selling churros and hot chocolate. This store is such a great find, especially for those who stay out late, because it stays open from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. Some native Madrileños will come here for breakfast after a night of dancing or visit for a late night snack.

The churros are long pieces of dough, dipped in oil, crispy and crunchy in the mouth. The hot chocolate is not like that found in the U.S.; it is almost like dark or bittersweet chocolate melted, with no milk so it is very sweet but tastes excellent when churros are dipped inside. I enjoyed long conversations with new friends in this small shop.

I am still friends with many of those I met while studying abroad and I hope to return to Spain again one day to experience churros and chocolate.