Thursday, January 27, 2011

Time flies when you're in Spain

Well I realized I've been living it up too much here and neglecting those people who want to catch up on my life. First off, I'm finally beginning to understand the language better! Angeles talks to me and I can now understand about half of what she says to me... MUCH better then the first week when it was nada.

Life here I think is just going to keep getting better and better. (Especially since it's raining today) Barca plays Hercules on Saturday. If tickets stay at a low cost, will be repping the Alicante pride for sure. If not, might head up to another coastal town to see what's going on elsewhere in Spain.

For those of you who just look for the pictures up in here:

 Esplanada, grove of Banyon trees
 Santa Cruz community in Alicante
 Sampling some local brew... no Pale Ale, but pretty good
 View of the City from the Top of the Castle
 If you don't know this one... go open a book
 Downward view of the port district
My Chico homie here in Alicante, Bianca

Classes are going well. Haven't started my Economics of the EU yet so that could be why, but Spanish is picking up and the likes. The Spanish cuisine class is AMAZING! It's once a week with a different meal each week.  This week was parrillada de verduras, pollo a la naranja, and crema catalana for desert. MUY BIEN, especially the eating part.

If you want more posts, just remind me. Shoot me an email or fb message. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The start of something cool...

Well no pictures in this one, just wanted to give a quick update before my afternoon siesta. (These things are addictive!) BUT as of yesterday I am a college student in Spain.  My Spanish class is Monday through Friday 10 am to 1 pm. 3 hours every day of espanol definitely wears the brain out.  My economics class doesn't start for another few weeks because the Spanish are in the middle of finals, and that class is with other international students. I plan on making friends with them all so I can travel to their homes this summer! Ohh and my Spanish cuisine class starts next week... you buy the ingredients, I'll cook the tapas when I get back.

This place is really a fun town. With almost 250,000 inhabitants, Alicante is a rather large place, but everything is focused around the city center (blocks away from my house) that I forget that there is so many people out there. I'm sure once the festivals start that I'll see every one of them. Carnival is supposed to be pretty amazing here... it's like I get another Halloween, ya'll are jealous I know.

After class tomorrow, the group is hiking up to the Castilla de Santa Barbara.  Should be able to get some good pics from that so expect some photos soon. (AND the apartment photos too) I told ya these siestas are getting in the way of things.

Picture from my first day here. 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

In the beginning, I experienced Madrid

Well folks, it’s weird to say but my time in Madrid has come to an end.  The history, architecture, and atmosphere were like nothing that I have really experienced anywhere.  After landing in Madrid around 8:00 am I was a lucky traveler who was greeted with my luggage. In the city, our group stayed at the Hotel Regina. A place very centrally located just a block away from Puerta del Sol.  Bianca (another Chicoan) and I walked around a bit and eventually had our first plate of Spanish Paella. Definitely an interesting dish. 
Enjoying Tapas

Our first day in the city was a walking tour of Madrid.  The Prado Museum was our first destination where we say many pieces from El Greco, Bosch, Goya, and too many others to really be able to give justice to.  We then walked to Plaza Mayor where we were told that the people used to watch the bull fights in the city. We then headed to the Madrid Cathedral and Royal Palace.  The Palace really looks like a lot of other buildings in the city from the outside, but once inside we experienced a very in depth look into Spain’s royal past. (The current king, Juan Carlos I doesn’t live in this palace though) I don’t really have a lot of pictures from these places because photos were prohibited, as it seemed they were in most museums. I think they were just trying to get me to buy the postcards.  That night, Real Madrid was playing Athletico Madrid so a group of us found a nice pub to eat, drink, and watch the game. Apparently Spain uses military time because the dumb Americans we are almost didn’t go in to the place because we thought there was a 22 euro cover charge… but that’s just when the game started.
 Royal Palace
 Prado Museum
 View from the Palace
Day two brought us to Segovia, home to a 2,000-year-old Roman aqueduct as well as the home of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.  This ancient city was really an amazing cite.  As with a lot of the ancient towns, there was a large mixture of Gothic, Moorish, and Classical architecture. The tour guides really emphasized the history of Ferdinand and Isabelle. Apparently they are the ones that commissioned someone named Christopher Columbus within the same year as driving out the last of the Moors.  If you want to know more, open a history book and do some reading, because this is just the highlights of my travels. That night, after a nice little siesta (this might have to be implemented in my college life post Spain) Laura, Allie, Michael and I headed to Santa Ana Square where we had tapas and wine for dinner.  We already know that I’m a fat kid, but the food here is going to make me gain some serious weight. All part of the experience I guess. 
 Roman Aqueduct
 The gang in Segovia
 Cathedral in Segovia
 Dali painting at the Reina Sofia Museum of Modern Art
That next day we went to Toledo. Talk about an amazing city.  The city was legit; we went to the Cathedral of Toledo (no pictures again inside) where we saw ancient relics from the Catholic Church, including the crown of Queen Isabelle. You all should Google that place and see what you’re missing out on. We also learned about the cities past and how it has much influence from Christians, Moors, and Jewish background from when the different groups used to live there.  A group of us had lunch at an outside tabernia, and then walked around to soak in the sights of the city. That night we walked to El Parque del Retiro in downtown Madrid. This is the place where the locals seem to hang out.  Definitely a place to check out if you want to blend into the community.
 View of Toledo
Stroll through the park
Now I’m in my city, just took a siesta and getting ready for orientation tomorrow. Next post will have lots of pictures of Alicante, my room, and life trying to blend in… key word is TRYING. Until then, enjoy and thinking of what to do next while living abroad. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

from the airport...

It seems that months... weeks... days... have been leading up to this moment (AND it's finally happening).  I just really wanted to start this thing off from the beginning and let you all know that I am SO thankful for this experience. Made it through security with my luggage under weight (Corrin, learn to pack like your younger brother). And as I'm sitting here about to leave the Golden State I think it is fair to reflect on my surroundings.

The sounds of the jet engines fill the air, and it really is overwhelming that I won't be back here for some time. (California, not SF).  Not gonna lie, I'm slightly freaking out that I'm leaving.  Hopefully that only lasts for a few hours.  Not sure if I am ready for 12 hours of flying, time to get my read on.  Know that if you're reading this, then you most likely mean something to me.

See you next summer!

my scared face that I'm leaving