Wednesday, September 21, 2011

¡Bienvenidos a Madrid!

I really should make an effort to blog more often. So much happens in just a few short days here. Since my last post I took a long weekend trip to Madrid. And it was awesome!!! I give you a few quick highlights.

My friend Rachel has a friend that lives just outside of Madrid and so we had a free place to stay, which is key especially since i am trying to save for a 10 day trip to Italy in October. We spent 2 and a half days wondering around in the city. We road the bus 5 hours each way. I think i slept the whole time. no surprise there.

We visited the Prado museum and I was able to see several of the pieces of art I studied in Art History my freshman year of college. It made that class mean a whole lot more to me and made me so excited to see Florence and Rome. We also visited the Royal Palace which was gorgeous. It is so hard to believe that people actually used to live in places like that. In Madrid there is an abundance of parks to visit. Park Retiro was one of my favorites. It had a small lake where you could rent  a row boat and go out into the middle. It is such a big park that you can hear no city noise. There is also a park called Casa de Campo which was once the Royal forest where they royalty would go to hunt things like bears and take long walks. Now it is public land.
We spent a lot of time just wondering around the city looking at all of the beautiful buildings and visiting famous Plazas.

We also visited an Egyptian temple that was given to Spain in the 60's. The park in which it was located was on a hill over looking the city. Rachel and I spent a few hours Sunday morning laying in the grass listening to a guy playing Spanish music.

We also ate A LOT. Rachel's friend provided breakfast and dinner so we just had to eat lunch lunch on our own. Both days we ended up eating really well for a moderately priced lunch. Lunch here is the biggest meal of the day and so each time we would stagger out of the restaurants and promising we wouldn't touch any more food for the rest of the day. I mean for 10 euro i had 2 drinks, two full plates of food, and a piece of watermelon bigger than my face. We had to go lay in the park afterwards. Rough life, I know.

During the trip about every 5 minutes Rachel and I would turn to each other and say "Are we really in Spain right now? How the heck did we get here?1" It was so cool to literally be navigating the Madrid Metro and Buses on our own. It was a really good feeling. And at the same time a very strange one. After this weekend we felt very accomplished. Here are few (or a lot) pics from the weekend!

Plaza Mayor

crazy sword shop. swords from Toledo

paella. a traditional Spanish dish

me & Rachel

there was a lot of this happening this weekend

The very center of Spain

the symbol of Madrid

Egyptian Temple in Madrid. Egypt gave this to Spain. 
guess they have a few to spare.

 Royal Palace. This place was huge

 Bull fighting ring in Madrid

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Thanks Mom!!!

So for those of you who do not know Chacos are my favorite pair of shoes I own. I would wear them everyday if winter did not exist. So I made sure that they would be part of my attire for Spain. They are clearly not up the fashion standards here but sometimes you just need a few comfort items in your life.
So you can imagine (maybe not) how sad I was when I was flying over the Atlantic Ocean and realized that the one material possession that I kind of actually really cared about was sitting on my back porch baking in the Texas sun.

But thankfully I have a family that loves me very much and understands my love for these shoes. They also understand my sweet tooth because the shoes arrived today accompanied by Sour Patch kids, gold fish and Milano cookies. I did a little dance and squealed a bit. I think my host family thinks I am strange because I got shoes in the mail and ones that didn't smell very good at that. But anyways. Now that I have publicly expressed my love for Chacos I shall be on my way to Flamenco class.

Can't you just see my feet smiling....

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Thankful for Eyes that Can See..

I have completed 2 full weeks here in Granada, Spain and am well into my 3rd. Two weeks has felt like 2 years but each days seems to pass faster than the last. So far my time here has been wonderful. I feel as if I am now just emerging from the shock of actually being here. Thought I would post a few more pictures from the adventures I have had in the past two weeks

mini walking tour with my group. building used to be a market.

 walking through the Moorish district of the City.

'The Cathedral' build by Queen Isabel. Houses the bodies of her and King Ferdinand. And for all you history buffs out there Granada is actually where Columbus was when he and Isabel did all of there negotiations about his trip to 'India.' I had no idea..

 Basically this translates into "there is nothing worse than being a blind man in Granada."

The backside of the Alhambra. Haven't been yet. but soon!

waiting for our Flamenco lesson!

The caves. popular Flamenco place

Alba. our instructor

churros con chocolate! delicious, cheap. they even help you lose wait ;)


more tapas. and these are just the so-so ones. Tapas are a specialty of southern Spain

exterior of the Plaza de Toros in Granda. aka the bull fighting ring. we didn't want to pay to go inside so we just walked around it. Pretty crazy this still goes on

Pomegranates! I mentioned earlier that the Pomegranate is the symbol of Granada because the is what the city name means. These things are literally everywhere...

Cafe Futbol. A place that I frequent quite often. They have a lovely outside area but oddly enough it is cheaper to eat inside. Yay for being a college kid!

This weekend I am headed to Madrid with my new friend Rachel for our 4 day weekend. I know, rough life. She has a friend for us to stay with which is incredible! especially since I am in the middle of planning a 10ish day trip to Italy for Fall Break which by even going the very cheapest way possible is still expensive. But it will be so worth it!

So there you have it. A little picture update on my life the past few days. I probably have at least 10 more posts up my sleeve. It is so hard to sift through to the most important stuff because it is all so blog worthy!

Hasta Luego.