Dia 17

Today, after classes, Juan (one of the group leaders of the Mundo Lengua program) took us all to the Torre de Tavira, which is a tower that, after climbing 11403405_848056445286308_7115009816044131444_n

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173 steps, you can see over all of the city of Cadiz.  Also, there is a hidden camera, “Camara oscura” that we got to see.  It is a camera that is in a dark room and can see the entire city, and zoom in, Live.  The focus and zoom is incredible and we had a tour of the city from just that small little room! The camera reflects the image into the dark room and the guide can turn the camera and zoom in all from right there.  Very cool.  Also, today was our first day having Gazpacho here for lunch. It was a lot better than the green gazpacho from Barcelona…. 🙂 this one had lots and lots of tomatoes.

Everyone here, locals at least, continually talk about how unusually hot it is here.  Apparently hotter than it’s been in many many MANY years.

Dia 16

Yesterday Mackenzie and I surprised Isabel with her favorite flavor of helado from the gelateria in la Plaza las Minas, she was very content and gave us kisses haha, we think that made up for the laundry:).  Today Mackenzie and I spent another nice afternoon at the beach and a few of the guys ended up joining us.  We didn’t have much homework tonight and my presentation for the art history class went well today!

 

 

Dia 15

Mackenzie and I did a lot of sleeping and homework today, it was very lazy, and then I went out with Ally and Beth at about 7 to grab a coffee and walk in a few stores, everything except for a few clothing shops are closed on Sunday, people don’t work a whole lot here haha!  It’s a very relaxed lifestyle, Saturday night everybody was in the streets (la calle) and every place is hopping, things don’t start up until 12 am at the earliest!  Sunday is very quiet.  Also, Mackenzie and I were kind of scolded by the host mom for making too much laundry….oops

Dia 13 y 14

The past few days have mostly just been a lot of beach, today is the Fourth of July and we all took a bus up to a different beach, Playa Victoria and it was so nice, more waves and cleaner water, and it was crowded but not overwhelmingly so!  Mackenzie and I stayed longer than everyone else, it was such a relaxing day just reading on the beach!  Attached below is a picture of the inside courtyard at the school, and some pictures from the beach! Also, the Italians (two of them) arrived today and are also staying here, we haven’t met them yet but they are two young girls, one is 12!  And I think the saying that Spain’s sun is so much hotter and easier to burn in than the United States is very untrue…I haven’t gotten burnt at all!   IMG_3367_2 IMG_3379 IMG_3384_2 IMG_3385 IMG_3387_2

Dia 12

¡Aye! No tuvo electricidad y la luz para algunas horas este noche. A las después de 9 y Mackenzie y yo estamos tratando hacer la tarea sin la luz. Hoy era un día muy divertido y relejado, porque después de las clases yo fui a la playa para muchas horas con el grupo de todos. Entonces, yo corrí con Christian a través de la ciudad y hay mucho viento y personas también. Cádiz es una experiencia que yo será recordar todo de mi vida y no quiero olvidarse nada de este mes. Las personas son compasionadas, el aire esta bien, el mar…!que bueno!…., y las clases también son muy interesantes porque todo que nosotros aprendemos es de España y lo aplica a nuestro tiempo aquí y su conocimiento para el futuro.

Also….para mi familia,

Today has been great and relaxing!  After classes we spent the majority of the day just relaxing on the beach.  Even though la playa de caleta is always packed it was worth it.  There were actually waves on the beach today!! Normally there aren’t waves because the way the walls around Cadiz work it ends up being more of a bay, yet we are going to try out the two other beaches later, maybe this weekend!  After the beach, we got home and our power was out, it’s been flickering on and off but there was a guy working on it and we hope it’s all good now! Christian and I went on a run around the city today and by the water, the wind is really strong by the water so even though it’s hot the wind cools it down significantly.  Now Mackenzie and I are working on our Tarea (homework) and then hopefully showering and dinner!  It’s 9:45 here, it’s going to be so hard getting used to eating early again when I get back to the U.S.!!!!

Love and miss you guys!! I don’t really have any more pics to share yet but I’ll take plenty this weekend I’m sure and I’ll post!

 

 

Dia 10 y 11

Yesterday, after classes, we had went to the market to buy some fruit, then had lunch with our host fam, took a quick break/siesta, and headed out to the beach with the group! It’s going to be so nice hanging around the beach most days for the next three and a half weeks! There are so many people on la Playa de Caleta, which is closest to our house, and the number of topless women is kind of funny. After the beach I went for a run around the city, it actually helped a lot to orient myself, and it felt great out!  After dinner with the host family, chicken sandwiches with egg, we went out to a plaza nearby to play darts and then went to ice cream!

Today after classes we shopped because it’s the first of July and the Rebajas (sales) are the biggest this month as they are all year! Then we had a walking tour of the plaza santa maria and the flamenco barrios around there! Now we are back at the apartment, it’s about 9 pm, and we are going to knock some homework out before dinner!

Señora Isabel  absolutely ADORED her hand-made blankets and she wanted a picture with it and me immediately, haha!

Dia 9

 

Today was our first day of classes and orientation to the university! It is not the medical university it is a two-story building that is an international university of Cadiz. We have a culture class, an art history class, and a two-hour grammar class, so we are in class everyday from 9:30-2. The first two classes shouldn’t be too bad but the grammar class is actually going to have a lot of work, written assignments, presentations, and journals, but the professors are very cool.

As for the rest of the day, Senora Isabel is fixing us lunch and then we might siesta before going to the supermarket or beach. Later today we are meeting up with the group for a tour around the city, and then a group dinner at la Catedral.

La playa era muy divertido y la mayoría de nuestro grupo se reunieron en la playa. El camino a través de la ciudad era bueno también y ayuda a orientar nuestros con las plazas y las direcciones de la ciudad. La cena era tapas en la plaza Catedral y el escenario era muy bonita. Ahora, Mackenzie y yo necesitamos esperar para el niño, Adan, a ducharse antes de nosotros, pero estamos muy cansadas…..IMG_3352_2 IMG_3353_2 IMG_3355_2 IMG_3356_2 IMG_3359

 

Cadiz Dia 8

 

Today was mostly spent driving to Cadiz, but we stopped in Merida for two or three hours to see the excavations, crypt, and theatre of the Roman ruins in Spain. It was over 2,000 years old (18 B.C.) and was excavated in 1986, and is one of the largest and most well-preserved Roman ruins there are. It was over 100 degrees though today so it was almost unbearable to walk around for way to long, but the museum inside was very large and had three stories worth of mosaics and excavated statues.

Arriving in Cadiz. Our host moms met us in the main square, with big smiles! Mackenzie and I’s mom is in her 60s, and lives with her daughter and two nephews, one is two and one seems to be in high school, and likes listening to Drake haha. We were warmly welcomed by Senora Isabel. There’s also another exchange student here who’s been living with them for 5 months but is leaving tomorrow for Alaska, she is very sweet and speaks Spanish so so well that Mackenzie and I are slightly embarrassed. Anyways, we are hoping to learn a lot from living here for the next few weeks but there’s so much to adjust to. We first got here and it was so hot our host mom sent us almost immediately to explore the beach (after meeting about 10 of their closest family or something…who we cannot tell apart very easily yet…4 people live here with us and it seems they all share one bedroom and bathroom?) The beach was PACKED and we were there from 7:30-9. There are really no waves, the water’s pretty chilly but felt great in the heat, and there are lots of kids playing soccer along the beach (they love their futbol here). It was amusing that almost all of the young girls were topless just like the boys on the beach. We ate dinner around 10, Senora Isabel is a good cook! Her apartment is very pretty and has yellow walls and flowers on the sheets. Laundry is done once a week by our host mom, and she insists on doing it herself.

Mackenzie and I look forward to orientation tomorrow morning and navigating the streets (but we will be walked to class tomorrow by our host mom J ). Classes are from 9:30-2 everyday! More to come…Miss you guys!

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Madrid Dia 6 y 7

The first night in Madrid was very restful, and I woke up early the next morning and went for a run in one of the large parks about 10 minutes from the hotel. The city is not too used to runners but Dr. Sample pointed me to the nice place he normally goes to run. The hotel served a great breakfast, you can almost always count on there being fresh fruit, yogurt, cereal, pastries, and meat and cheese. The group headed to el Museo del Prado, a very famous art museum that features art such as the original Las Meninas. The art in this museum was much larger than I had anticipated and it’s really cool to be able to see the art on such a large scale instead of just featured as tiny pictures in our textbooks. We also toured the Modern art museum en el Centro del Arte and got to see a lot of Ashley’s favorite, Picasso! The grandiose La Guernica is featured here and it is captivating, only using grayscale as the color scheme, which is very different from all of the other paintings we had been seeing.

After these art museums, we had the chance to walk around and shop a little bit, the streets were very crowded this afternoon because it was Promenade, where everyone dresses up all fancy and walks around, kind of to show off in a way! We joined a larger group for dinner at an American Mel’s Diner (figures…) and enjoyed one of our last American meals for a while, with the best milkshakes we’ve ever had (with flavors like Nutella, Toblerone, Sweetarts, etc.) Might’ve topped cookout Kayla….

The entire group then got dressed up in fancy dresses because we were going to experience the famous 7-story club in Madrid called El Kapitol. People who came were dressed to the dime and this club was said to hold 8,000 of these people. Each floor had a different theme, with the VIP area being the roped off roof-top lounge and bar on the top floor.

 

The next day we were all downstairs for breakfast by 9:15 and then began the tour of Madrid with our favorite guide, Ricardo, a history professor here in Madrid. The tour took us around to some of the statues, monuments, and grand buildings, but the heat was pretty intense and everyone was exhausted by the time 1:00 rolled around. A couple of us grabbed bocadillos (foot-long sandwiches on baguettes) and headed back to the hotel for a really nice siesta. Two hours later we are all re-energized and a group of the girls head out to shop a little more, and then join up with almost the entire group of students to go out and find a good spot for dinner. The places for dinner around here hardly ever open before 8, a normal dinner time in Cadiz is going to be approximately 10 pm…..uh oh! After dinner, about 9:30, I went for another run in the park, it stays light here until a little after 10 pm! My roomies and I started packing up our bags then, headed to Cadiz at 7 tomorrow morning!

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Zaragoza y Madrid Dia 5

Today was mostly spent driving in a large bus through the mountains of Spain to get to Zaragoza and Madrid.  Our pit stop in Zaragoza was to eat lunch and see the large Basilica Pilar, which was from the Renacimiento period and employed a very baroque style, with colorful paintings on the ceilings and very ornate walls and domes.  We finished out the trip with four hours to Madrid and once here we dined in a restaurante called Mingo and had tapas and chicken! It was very interesting to see how different the two cities are (barcelona and madrid), Madrid has a bigger-city feel and seems almost like a trip to New York in some ways.  Dinner was excellent and everything is done family-style, I’m pretty sure the restaurant only serves a few menu items and everyone goes there for the potato pancake type dish and for the tasty chicken breasts.IMG_3268 IMG_3270_2 IMG_3274 IMG_3276 IMG_3277

Trip Log

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