Today has been different from the standard day here and it was a lot of fun. After we took our two finals, Mackenzie and I headed to Playa Victoria, the nicer beach you can take the bus to reach, and we spent the majority of the day there with beautiful sand, nicer water, more wind, and fewer people than Caleta. Ally and Madeline joined us for the last two hours until 8 rolled around. At 8 some of the Denver MundoLengua students and Montmouth students joined a group of Davidson students for an organized futbol (soccer) game on the beach! The beach has soccer goals and areas set up along the beach, as well as volleyball nets. Some of the locals even joined in.
After everyone was hot and sweaty after the 7-3 game, we all went swimming in the ocean in our clothes as the sun was sweating. Playa Victoria is beautiful.
Tomorrow we have our last final and final day in Cadiz…..que triste!
Yesterday was a beach day and then a little hanging out at O’Connells, but today we had an activity! After classes we had tortillas espanolas (my favorite, I’ll make them for you when I get home), and then we had another dance class. This class topped the Flamenco class by far. Although it was terribly hot, we learned how to dance merengue, BACHATA (me encanta), chachacha, and a simple version of salsa! It was so much fun and we got to dance for a few hours. Can’t wait to show Gaga the steps I learned! The instructor was a male this time and he was very funny and a very good dancer.
Tomorrow we have two of our final exams! Can’t believe the classes are coming to an end…..
Lazy day! Beach and coffee shop and a little bit of homework is all today consisted of and it was definitely needed. Besides, everything’s closed on Sundays anyway!
Today’s been very hot but also super fun! After classes we had a major bonding experience with our host family (the madre, Abel, and the italianos). We all had lunch together and laughed about selfie sticks, spilling food on ourselves, and Justin Bieber. Later, Mackenzie and I got to learn Flamenco dancing with the Mundo Lengua group. There are a lot of steps but it was very entertaining and challenging! We’re going to video it so we can remember the steps! Tomorrow is a Festival de Carmen in Cadiz and there’s a huge market in the plaza right outside our apartment and we went exploring and found some really cool handmade gifts there, with lots of people! I love Cadiz.
Yesterday and today we had classes, and Mackenzie and I had lots of beach time afterwards! We got our tests back and everyone seemed pretty pleased! Mackenzie and I also had two presentations for two of our classes today and they both went really well, now it’s just the home stretch until finals and sadly the departure:(. But we’ve got this full weekend and we are all planning on heading to Tarifa, which is a beautiful beach near Gibraltar. A few people plan to go into Morocco, and two are even staying the night, but given the ISIS situation a lot of us decided that wasn’t such a great idea.
Good news, host mom gave us a fan for our room today! It is glorious and makes a big difference.
Yesterday, after arriving in Granada, the group was able to drop their bags off at the hotel and have a little freetime before dinner. This hotel has got to be one of the coolest I’ve stayed in, not to mention it had air conditioning, which we were all thrilled about (cranked the AC at 18 degrees Celsius all night last night). The hotel is only partly sheltered, there are several open-atrium type areas and it is only about three stories high. The patios and buildings were beautiful and it was tucked away on a side street in the middle of Granada! After looking around in some of the cool Moroccan and Arabic stores around town we all toured La Capilla Real (where Isabel and Ferdinand are actually buried!!!) and we got to see their actual sarcophaguses. Then we toured a very pretty Catholic Cathedral. The white washed back of the church was in stark contrast with the front, which was ornately decorated with a lot of gold.
After being allowed a little more free time, we met up for dinner where we had a tapas style meal and tried Dogfish shark, a bean and pepper soup, and finally a salad (woo!!), among other things. After dinner we all headed to a real Flamenco performance, which was really cool to see because the dancers were all Gaditanos (from Cadiz) and so Flamenco is in their culture and the performance was 100% authentic (with live singers and guitar player as well). The Flamenco dancing is actually very sensual in a way and the dancers faces are very intense and full of concentration and passion, I have it on video, you’ll have to check it out! Our group is taking a Flamenco class next week and learning how to do one of the dances we saw!
Today I woke up early and went for a run, literally no one is on the streets this early haha. Also, many of the sidewalks are not regular pavement, but are actually made of slick tiles. After breakfast in the hotel we all boarded the bus to head to La Alhombra, Granada’s main attraction. It was a palace for Sultans and it has both Muslim and Christian parts to it. The designs in these buildings were so intricate and beautiful, with inscriptions from the Quran carved in the walls and into the designs. The gardens surrounding the palace were also gorgeous…and I have pictures! The entire fortress is seated above the city so that they can see who is coming and protect themselves and the city, so obviously the views from the top of this palace were great.
After touring the palace for a few hours we had lunch at an authentic Moroccan restaurant and tried some new and very interesting dishes, my favorite part was the house-made lemon ade with mint…it was green!
We’ve boarded the bus now and are heading back to Cadiz…four hours! Granada is one of my favorite places we’ve visited so far, I wish we had stayed for a little longer!
The past few days have been really nice beach days but we also have been studying on the beach, because we had three exams yesterday. All three went pretty well I’d say, and then we all booked it directly to the beach for the rest of the afternoon. Last night I tried to collect my money from Western Union and had a really big problem trying to get it from the ladies….all I needed was my passport and my transaction number, and the ladies were telling me they couldn’t give it to me. The only way I got my money was by crying a little and saying “no puedo salir sin dinero” and telling the lady I was alone in Spain without my family and needed money. “Magically” the third ladies computer began working…
Last night the group met up at O’Connell’s again but Ally, Madeline, Beth, and I headed home at a decent time while the rest of the group kept on going and headed to La Punta, one of the clubs for the locals. We are currently on the bus to Granada this morning and are thanking God we went back early….the rest of the group on the bus right now didn’t get home until 5, and others 7 am…..! Anyways, I’m excited to see Granada, we’re staying overnight and I know we’ve got a picnic, some cathedrals, and La Alhombra (a huge palace for the sultans) to see this weekend!