I had such a nice weekend but I sure am exhausted. I’m having a hard time keeping up with the Spanish life style and its taking a toll on my health a little bit. I’m sick again but it could still be the same cold from before. Tomorrow I have class with Professor Delgado so I’m going to ask him to recommend some medicine that I could go buy because I finished the last medicine my senora gave me and it was really gross so I don’t want to take it again.
I had a lovely day today. Class this morning from 9-1 and then I went to get schwarma with 3 other girls from my class. Schwarma is this type of gyro thing that is INCREDIBLE. For some reason they have it all over Europe but I’ve never seen it in the united states. I really can’t even explain it. It has lettuce, tomato, onions, cheese, olives and then you pick your meat (lamb, beef or chicken) and then it has this yogurt/sour cream sauce on it. Our favorite place to go is called Kebab King and the guy there thinks we’re hilarious because we come a lot and we get so excited. After lunch Katie and I went back to school because we have a presentation tomorrow. Every body in the class has to present a Spanish current event and conduct a debate. Katie and I are discussing the new laws in Spain regarding smoking in bars and restaurants. Before January 1st it was legal to smoke everywhere except in office building and in schools. However now, it is illegal to smoke in any restaurant, bar, club etc. It has been a very controversial piece of legislation due to the fact that over 30% of the population smokes. Obviously I am in favor of it. I can’t imagine coming here before the law and always being around smokers. Its nice that the bars and restaurants are smoke free! I definitely appreciate it.
After school Katie and I wandered around a bit. The day was nice out and we didn’t have much to do at home. I checked out some hotels for mom and alex and katies family too, and had a really difficult time explaining what a twin bed was. Cama gemelo is the exact translation but does NOT mean twin bed. Lesson learned. My apologies. Also, after going to SEVERAL hotels I also learned that it is not common to have a fridge. But it was a really good time to practice my Spanish. Afterwards Katie and I had to buy textbooks for our Bucknell class but EVERYTHING is closed in Spain from 2-5. EVERYTHING. So when we finally found the book store it was closed. We had completely forgotten this custom. So Katie and I wandered over to a nice little café and had sangria and bocadillas while people watching in the street. It was really nice. Kind of chilly but nice wht the sun on our faces. There was this one woman sitting behind us who was smoking, reading a book, drinking a beer, and listening to music…talk about multi tasking! Its kind of annoying that Katie and I stick out wherever we go with our blonde hair and pale faces but our Spanish is getting pretty good so its funny to see the surprise on people’s faces when we can understand their Spanish.
Finally, at around 5 we headed back to the book store. There are tonsss of book stores around the city but this one was awesome! We found our text books and then wandered around and looked at all the familiar books but in Spanish versions. I also picked up a pocket dictionary so next time I don’t look like I have 7 heads when I try and describe a twin sized bed (the proper word is cama noventa by the way…bed 90 who knew?!) I realized later how crazy I must have sounded….
Me: do you have beds for twins?
Concierge: yes…twins can sleep in our beds.
Me: no no, beds that are twin sized
Concierge: yes…twins can fit in our beds. Are you a twin?
Me: no no small beds
Concierge: For a baby? Si.
Me: no no for an adult. But only one adult.
Concierge: ohhhhh! Camas noventas. Si claro.
Me: yes!! Do you have rooms with 2?
Me: do your rooms have fridges?
Me: Can I see a room?
Me: K BYE.
It was very entertaining.
Quiet evening tonight because I’m still not feeling so good. Tomorrow we have class in the morning and Professor Delgado’s class in the evening. I hope you aren’t all drowning in snow!!
I wish I was doing a better job at keeping up at this. Its really hard to do without internet. Our senora told us that she ordered a router 3 weeks ago and it still hasn’t arrived. Katie and I are suspicious and are about to take matters into our own hands.
My intensive Spanish class is wrapping up and we have our final on Monday. 1 hour of writing 1 hour of reading 1 hour of listening and 1 hour of speaking. YIKES. Then on Tuesday we’re off to Madrid, Toledo, Salamanca, and Segovia. I’m so excited. I love Granada but I’m looking forward to a change. Also, my neighbor and good friend since age 4, Lindsey is living in Madrid right now and I’m very excited to see her. I’ve been really home sick lately and it will be nice to see a face from home. Its been raining the last couple of days and for some reason I kind of like the city in the rain. Its obviously not as beautiful but it feels peaceful kind of.
Today was our last day of class so Katie, Tamara, Elise and I went out for lunch afterwards to celebrate. We were going to go to this one restaurant but when we got there we realized it was really expensive so we wandered around the city in the rain until we found this little hole in the wall gem of a place. It was Argentinian and the food was amazing. There were only like 5 tables in the whole place, 1 waitor, and 1 chef. They treated us like royalty. We ordered wine (claro que si) and toasted to the completion of our Spanish intensive class. The gave us tapas with our wine which were delicious. I don’t even know how to describe them, they were like little empanadas with cheese and corn. YUM. Then we ordered grilled provolone which was ammaaaazing. OH and to top it off we ate bread that they had made in their own restaurant. It actually melted in my mouth. For my meal I had a salad with nuts, cheese, and apples. Then, because they liked us so much they brought us this chocolate liquor served in chocolate cups. The woman then revealed that she was actually from the England and spoke English and she said that she was very impressed with our Spanish and that we weren’t like most American students! We were flattered. She then gave us the business card for her hair salon where they speak English! She said that when she first came to Granada the hardest thing was going to get her hair cut because her Spanish wasn’t very good and it was hard to communicate what she wanted done. Katie and Tamara were very excited about that.
Tomorrow we’re going to the Sierra Nevada with a lot of the people from our group. Some people are going skiing but I’m just going to walk around. Its supposed to be beautiful, I’m really excited.
Yesterday (Saturday) we went to the Sierra Nevada. We took a 10 minute bus ride from our house to the Granada bus station and took a bus from there to the mountains. It took about 1 and a half hours and it was an incredibly beautiful ride, very windy though. When we got to the top it was covered in snow and very cold but it was awesome. Katie, Tamara, and I didn’t ski but the other kids we came with did (there were 5 others). We were expecting to camp out in a lodge but for some reason there wasn’t one so we went from café to restaurant to café enjoying the view, the snow, and each other’s company. We brought packed lunches so we had to eat very discreetly so we wouldn’t get in trouble at the restaurant. On the way home we wanted to sleep so tamra, Katie, and I sat in different rows on the bus so we could put our heads up against the window and nap. At the very last second this group of 3 guys came on the bus and each sat down next to one of us. Tamara sat with Jesus from Madrid who is 30 and sells aluminum, Katie sat next to Travis who is from San Francisco and is teaching English in Madrid, and I sent down next to Javier who is from Granada and owns a restaurant. Javier and I spoke in Spanish the whole way and he gave me lots of tips and it was so cool! After we got home Lolita invited Tamara over for tea it was so cute.
At night we went to this club called Camborio (I had never been there before but some of the others had). It is all the way north of Granada and is VERRYY uphill. Then all of a sudden you turn a corner and there is the Alhambra all lit up and beautiful. The club is in a cave and has two levels. The dance floor is in a green house where you are literally surrounded by mountains and the Alhambra. It was truly incredible.
Today Katie and I slept until 2 and then 2 of Lolita’s grandchildren came over. Racquel is 3 and Julio Cesar is 2. They are ADORABLE. Katie and I colored with them and then they taught us how to dance. It was hilarious. I have my 4 hour final tomorrow morning at 9 and then we have the rest of the week off. The group is traveling to Segovia, Avila, Salamanca, Madrid, and Toledo. Here is my itinerary so you can follow my travels!
• 8am: Leave Granada
• 3pm: Arrive in Segovia
• 4pm: tour of the cathedral
• 8:30 dinner in hotel
• 8am: breakfast in hotel
• 9am: leave hotel
• 10:20: stop in Avila
• 11:30: leave for Salamanca
• 1:30: arrive in Salamanca
• 2pm: Lunch in hotel
• 4: special tour of the city
• 8am breakfast in hotel
• 9am leave hotel
• 12:30 arrive in Madrid
• 1:30 eat in Museo del jamón
• 4:30 Palacio Real
• 9am: breakfast in hotel
• 12:45 museo del prado
• 2:30 lunch at the famous restaurant La Cocina de Neptuno
• 5:30: Museo de arte Reina Sofia
• 9am: leave for Toledo
• 10-4: tour of the Sinagoga del Tránsito, Santo Tomé (Greco museum), Catedral, y Mezquita del Cristo de la Luz
• 4pm: Plaza de Zocodover and leave for Granada
• 8:30 pm: arrive home in Granada
BUSY BUSY WEEK! I should have internet at the hotel so I will try and keep in touch!