This past weekend my program organized a trip for everyone to Grenada, which is almost due east of Sevilla (Granada and Seville in English). We left on Saturday morning and took a bus-the ride was about two and a half or three hours long, but not unpleasant at all. I slept some and wrote a few postcards. Oh, and ate my tuna bocadillo. The norm. Much of what we drove through was the Spanish countryside.beautiful.I still love the thought of living on an olive farm one day. We stopped halfway through the trip at this big restaurant/gas station to use the bathroom and get una bebida o comida. Once in Grenada, we went to our hotel and dropped our bags off and checked in. The Hotel was called “Hotel Los Angeles” and was a four star hotel. Not too shabby! It was also a restaurant and spa, but unfortunately we didn’t get to go to the spa. I would’ve loved a massage, but there are more important things to be seeing and doing in Spain. Such as…the city! We had a few hours after check-in to wander around, although it was during siesta so many places were closed. At four, we met back up at the hotel to go on a tour of the Cathedral and this lasted for approximately two hours. It was-like most other old churches- stunning. I have to tell you the truth here. I am running out of adjectives pretty quickly on these blogs. There are only so many words that mean “pretty”. I guess it is just implied that an old cathedral in the south of Spain is beautiful? Maybe I should let the pictures do the talking on that matter. Anyway, We learned a lot about the history of this area and whatnot as well as the significance of certain things on this tour, such as a statue over the bodies of Queen Isabel and her husband King Fernando. Isabel’s pillow was much more indented from her head, signifying she had more intelligence. The tour was good, but freezing. There is an unusual cold front (dang Siberian winds…) in Spain right now, although I think it is leaving soon, and this caused the temperature to drop to around -6 celcius saturday night. After the tour, we had until 9 to wander yet again, this time with stores open. We did just wander and buy some wine. It is possible to buy incredibly inexpensive bottles here. like, for 1.50.yeah. Oh, and I also bought a pair of ginormous wool socks from Corte Ingles in preparation for our late night “hike” that I will talk about in a minute. We were back to the hotel before nine and sipped a bit of wine and hung out. At nine, we went to the fourth floor dining room for our dinner. This meal was one of my favorites I’ve had here. It was amazing. The dining room was fancy, did I mention? We started by having a salad bar of sorts, with cous-cous, lettuce, veggies, asparagus soup, and some other things. We got bread on the table also and then were able to choose either chicken or salmon. I chose salmon and it was amazing! It came with a sort of cabbage/mushroom saute and mini french fries. yum. After dinner, at 10:30ish, we took a walk/hike (it was all uphill) to get a great view of the city all lit up at night. Ahh. It was so cold, but so worth it. Many people chose not to go and to go to bars/clubs instead, but they would’ve had time afterwards and I think the view was awesome. We were beat after this so went back to the hotel to sleep and take hot showers. In the morning, we received a wake-up call at 9. We had breakfast starting at nine in the dining room (again, great) and had to be checked out by 10:30 at which time we boarded the bus and headed up the mountain to the Alhambra. We had a 3 hr tour here and I took tons of pictures. I’ll give the link for the photos at the end. There was a mall we stopped at before heading home, where we found a small restaurant and ordered Alhambra beers and I ate my bocadillo I had previously made at the hotel. We sat under hog thighs. I have a picture, no worries. The ceiling of this restaurant was full of hanging cured meats. After this, we re-boarded the bus and someone had the great idea to watch a movie on the way home. This would have been great, except that the movie chosen was Bridesmaids which was slightly awkward to watch with your professors. We arrived back safe and sound in Sevilla around 7pm and headed home for chilling and dinner and sleeping, at which point I gladly did all of these. Our dinner conversation included bits about hookah, just as a little sidenote. Apparently my host sister has a water pipe, as does the host mother in my friends’ house.
Monday I went to class and ate a bocadillo (wow that word is well-used here) and procrastinated and walked down La Ave. de Constitucion. I have forgotten small details at this point. My memory is fading. I must be getting old. Anyway, another of my favorite meals was Monday night. It was essentially chicken cordon bleu (they called it pastel de pollo) with fries and pumpkin soup. She knows I love the soup. Strawberries and whipped cream for dessert. It felt just like being at home during the summer. ahh.I also went to Karaoke night at a bar near my apartment and danced and had fun.
Tuesday. Valentine’s Day! I bought mi tia another plant and chocolates and she bought my roomie and I a heart-shaped chocolate cake! My professor also gave us chocolate covered almonds. good day. Oh, I almost forgot that I got a lovely little package from my parents that included a card (thanks!) and that I sent a few goofy e-cards. They only come in two forms: goofy or uuber sincere. I’m not a serious type of person so I opted for super goofy. I hung out with my friend Sierra some today between classes also. Before lunch, I went to read in the park in the sun because it was actually warm (!). I was somewhat distracted, however, by a coupl-ey couple situated basically in my peripheral vision, and decided to just sit there and close my eyes and soak up the sun (song pop into your head by chance?) and ended up falling asleep for twenty minutes or so! I scurried up to my apartment which is just across the street and mi tia was like “Ah a little later today?” (not angrily), so I explained my nap to her and I believe she told me to be careful of getting burnt, but she may have told me to wwatch out for getting robbed. I’m not quite sure. The rest of my day consisted of class at 5, then searching for a costume for Carnival in Cadiz which is Saturday night!!! I just bought a somewhat elaborate purple and green masquerade mask and am planning on wearing all black with this. Laura and I also found some good little party type things for a certain someone’s upcoming birthday (I’m hoping she doesn’t read this tomorrow!). I enjoyed the Valentine’s Day cake and strawberries from mi tia and then headed to my room to try to do some work. now this. you know how it goes…. Oh! Today, from an upstairs window at school, I saw a guy rolling something-cigarette or joint-who knows-I’m guessing joint-while chilling outside of the school cafe. I also smelled it on the street of school. It’s different that way here it seems. So about 10 minutes ago, my host sister Ana walked in from her date (her mom thinks Ana just has “un amigo”-no es “un novio”) with a rose and chocolates. She was so very excited and asked if I was doing homework and I told her that I was doing my blog. She also said she needed to hide her gifts so her mom didn’t ask where they were from. Upon going to sleep, again, “besos”!