Sunday, September 26, 2010

Happy Houses and Abstract Angels

I cant believe I've been here for a month already.... time flies by so fast!!!

Here are some of the wonderful things we did this week:

Number One: Go to McDonalds. yes, shocking I know. I don't even like McDonalds--but the smell of American food wafting down the street I go by everyday finally lured me inside. I had the best HAPPY meal of my life, even though according to this picture it gave us Jaundice.

Number Two: On Friday, we went to La Reina Sofia, which is the modern art museum in Madríd, Personally, ABSTRACT art is not my favorite, but here are some of the highlights:

Guernica- Even though its kinda weird I really like this painting because it represents the cruelties of war--especially against innocent civilians. It stands as a symbol of anti-war movement even today.

Guernica: Pablo Picasso 1937
We also saw a lot of art by Salvador Dalí, and I still have no idea how I am suppose to interpret it, so I don't.... But here is one of the paintings anyways!

The Enigma of Hitler: Salvador Dalí 1939
Number Three hasta Seven: On Saturday we took a day trip to Cuenca and Uclés.

In Uclés we explored another Catedral, but this time we really explored it. We got there so early in the morning that no one else was there besides our group. Also, pretty much any door that was open and didn't have a sign saying 'private room' we went into....

Making a wish in the well in the courtyard

sitting on my thrown..... (chiste)
playing a SUPER old piano

exploring the rennovation unit... glad that this ANGEL has top priority
After our stop in Uclés we headed to Cuenca, the city of hanging HOUSES.

pretty houses along the street

First, we went to another cathedral (surprised?) which was awesome, but we weren't allowed to take any pictures. However, that didnt stop me from sneaking a few in.
The stained glass is all yellow: hence the yellow glow. SUPERbonita
Of course we had to brave the huge bridge (it moved back and forth) to get the ultimate view of the casas colgadas...

I love these girls:)
Spitting contest!! Syke. We were spitting off the bridge because it looked really pretty falling in the light.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Beauty of Northern Spain

This past weekend we went to the towns of León and Burgos in northern Spain to visit their huge and glorious cathedrals!

We left on Thursday (ditching class of course) and on our way to León we stopped to see this stellar castle.....

Where we climbed and explored its hiding places and secret passageways

And hiked to the top to see the whole town of Coca

After our stop in Coca, we arrived in León, and visited its impresionante cathedral

it was pouring rain, so we got to hang out in the courtyard while the gargoyles sprinkled 'holy water' on us... (actually im practically catholic because we (as in all the girls) bought rosaries that smell like roses, as well as attended mass, and did the four corner cross thing with holy water).
       The catholic church is everything here--like you go into a church and there are all these old women wispering prayers or just pondering, and i love it. An old woman in the town of Silos stopped me and started speaking in rapid spanish (i only understood half of it) but she did say that you can find faith in all parts of the world and shes right.

      After León we stopped in San Martín to see another church as well as this museum full of everything and anything. This museum was built by this one man who collects old/vintage things and just has them lying around everywhere.

So pretty much this man who started this museum is the epiphany of the Spanish man. Tall, dark, and handsome. He was legit.

Well we finally made it to Burgos and took a tour of the magnificent catedral... its huge and covered in ornate gold objects--of course all the gold is from Latin America. They also had a TON if stained glass windows

The group!! (minus McKay)
coolest ceiling ever

 So pretty much this past trip was amazing. I loved all the cathedrals and church's, even though they were all the same. To me, they are beautiful. Spain has proven to be everything I imagined it to be and more, and I am so grateful I have the opportunity to be here for 3 months:)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Do as the Romans Do

This past week we went on our first excursion to Extremadura where we visited three cities: Merída, Cáceres, and Trujillo.

The first day we went to Merída, which contains the best-preserved Roman "teatro" or roman coliseum along with other Roman artifacts
This Coliseum was built in 17 B.C...... so its EXTREMLEY OLD!!!!
Coincidently we are learning all about the Roman conquest in our Iberian Civilization class, so it was ever more delightful to see the Roman ruins..... and I would totally explain certain facts about the Romans, but considering that 1. That would be even more boring than this post and 2. I only know the Spanish terms to explain them, I decided i would spare you.

So here i am acting as a tiger about to attach the super buff gladiator (they come out of these little holes).........

Who clearly must not have been any good considering that these three caballeros decided to kill him

Pointing your thumbs down means that the crowd wanted to kill the gladiator
 Lucky for me, I survived and was able to visit the beautiful Roman Pilars

Along the way, the girls and I decided to become Hercules's Muses

The other Roman ruins we discovered were super old coins (for daddy) and the Temple of Diana


We were in Cáceres for the night as we toured the old city still hidden and protected by its ancient walls

It was well worth the two euro or so to hike to the top of the walls

The next day we traveled to Trujillo to climb and explore the castle!

Earlier in the week some of us went to the Parque Retiro where we played with everything and anything


                                     Statues not meant to be climbed on

                             An actual playground for children under the age of 12

                         Ancient arches (Im pretty sure this was extremely prohibited)
   and even in row boats where our very own captain decided to over take the other boats in our         group...... also illegal

Sunday, September 5, 2010

La Primera Semana

I cant believe its only been a week!! We have done soo much I dont even know where to start.....
First Day of School
Well, school is awesome. Seriously, we barely have any homework and one of my teachers said that if we would rather explore the streets of Alcalá or hang out with a new "novio" instead of going to class she was totally fine with it. Awesome right? We also have about 10 hours of class a week with fridays off for traveling.... its the best:)

Plaza de Cervantes.... I walk by this beautiful scenery everyday

The city of Alcalá is BEAUUUTIFUL. And very large, I have gotten lost of couple of times.... for example Lindsey and I took the wrong bus back from church today and ended up hopping buses for over an hour trying to find our way back haha. To our credit, there are NO maps of the different bus lines or ANYTHING anywhere.

The architecture here is my faavorite... not just in Alcalá but everywhere! They pretty much have every era possible: Baroque, Venitian, Gothic, and the list keeps going.

Plaza en Madríd
Spikes on a Medevial Door
la Catedral in Alcalá

Even McDonalds resides in a beautiful building
The coolest doorknob ever

Plaza Mayor en Madríd

For Emily: Super old bookstore!!

The next subject is food. If anyone knows my family very well, they know that we LOVE to eat.... especially desserts. Well, I am a huge fan of the Spanish Cusine. My host mom is an AMAZING cook and has yet to cook something other than delicious. She has already made us classic Spanish dishes, including paella, albondigas (best meatball things ever), tortilla española, y mucho más.
A market in Madríd. I love the colors!!
chocolate and churros:) SOOO delicious

Shrimp!! I usually am not a fan of seafood, but i told myself i would try everything and its surprising really good. So far Ive had shrimp and cod.