Last night I went to Paddy´s Pub with some IES kids to watch the superbowl, we could only stay til 3am because Paddy told me he legally has to close at 3am or he´ll be fined 3000 euros, but he let us finish up the third quarter and then amanda and I raced home to catch the fourth (her boyfriend matt is my hero and set up his skype so we could watch his tv, which let us actually see some of the commercials too haha). It was so weird, there were only three of us rootin for pittsburgh, but I stood my ground and we were pretty rowdy. There were a bunch of americans there but they all didnt care about either team so were just rootin for the cardinals since they´re the underdogs, which in most situations is understandable, but if barack obama is for the steelers you´d think the europeans would be too just be default. Only lame parts were, 1.) the announcers were british which was entertaining, but just not the same 2.) we didn´t see any of the commercials, which has never been that big a deal to me but budweiser always pulls out a few gems! During the skype quarter we saw the polamalu\joe green coke commercial, which made me smiile. When we won it felt SO good, but Trini was asleep, I was in Granada, Spain, and had no one to go crazy with. It still hasn´t fully hit me that we´ve won because I´m not surrounded by my steeler nation, but I´m still ecstatic, and am going to hunt down Santonio Holmes to marry. It is fate.
Anyways, I am sitting in the student center at IES after my first day of classes, and still don´t have internet at homeee! This weekend was our IES outting to Ronda y Sevilla, gorgeous cities within a few hours of Granada. I have never travelled with so many people before, and its a huge pain in the ass. But other than that it was pretty incredible. Sad thing is that I´m already getting used to the scenary and lil white villages dotting enormous mountains that we pass by on the highway, its still all gorgeous though, just not as new and exciting.
We drove to Ronda in the morning and went on paseos throughout the city and saw the arab baths and their bull fighting arena. Ronda was beautiful, and best of all sunny and ... WARM! I didnt need my coat, and the blue skies made the landscape surrounding us that much more impressive. We went to a lot of spots that allowed us to see how high up we were, there were tons of overlooks above huge valleys with little rivers, farms, rocks, and at one point a horse arena. The Arab baths were sweet, we learned about how they syphoned hot water underneath these stone rooms to make suanas and spas and all that good stuff. I took a bunch of pictures but until someone mails me my camera cord everything will remain misterioso.
A lot of the building in Ronda are extremely old, which made it really uniquely gorgeous; there were a lot of cool arab and mosque influenced buildings and arches scattered throughout the city, and especially in the older parts of Ronda. Honestly, I can´t do it justice through words, you´re gonna have to wait until I can get these pictures up! After our paseos we had lunch ... basically half a hunk of italian bread with chorizo y queso (que sorpresa!) which is officially Trini´s staple picnic lunch for amanda and me... and went to see the bull fighting arena. We went out and stood in the ring, and looking around you had no way of telling what century you were in (minus all the IES and asian tourists, of course) which was unreal. Mom, you would have hated it because we walked through all the stables where they keep the bulls and were told all about the proper way to kill the bull, etc. Apparently June is when the toro fights start in Granada and there are huge fiestas everywhere. If I´m still around I definitly want to check it out (the fiestas, not the bull fights, I don´t think I could stomach that).
We left Ronda and got to Sevilla that evening. We had free time and then a ¨fancy dinner¨... which was a cocktail party for the IES kids and IES coordinators. Possibly the most awkwardly entertaining event I´ve experianced since Supafun. Waiters brough wine and beer around along with odd snacks involving fish, fried cheese, and ham on breads, not a great dinner but it got the job done. At first everyone was just standing around (it was literally an enormous empty room, with nothing but a bar and chairs lining the permiter, no one knew what to do at first) but eventually after a few drinks class pictures were taken and everyone was laughing. Oh, IES.
The next day we got up early and ventured around Sevilla. It was a beautiful day, a little chilly but sunny and wonderful. We visited the Cathedral where Columbus´s tomb is and the palace (whose name I should remember but dont at the moment, i´ll edit this later). Everything was so gorgeous, all the tiles on the floors, walls, and ceilings were so intricate, colorful and beautiful it was overwhelming! There was a wedding and a baptism going on in the cathedral while were there, I missed the wedding but saw the baby girl carried by on her way to the baptism, so cute. We also climbed all the way up to the top tower of the cathedral which had the perfect views of Sevilla from all angles. Again, the pictures will hopefully help give you a better idea of everything!
That night we saw a flamenco performance, which I still cant decide how I feel about. It was extremely intense, and entertaining to watch. But the flamenco beats are so sporadic and hard to follow, its not easy to listen to. And the singer kind of wailed, it almost sounded like native american music at points, I don´t know .. I´ve never seen flamenco before so I guess I had this preconceived idea of what it should be, and it was nothing like the brightly dressed women dancing with flowers image that I have in my head. Afterwards we went home, grabbed some tapas and went to a few bars. We wanted to go to a discoteca, but we were american and not allowed in, it was really strange. Oh and also, by nightfall, the rain found us again. Sheets of rain. The next morning I originally wanted to go to an art museum (there were a bunch of optional trips) despite getting to bed around 5am, but when we woke up it was literally monsooning so we just hung around the hotel. Everyone who went came back soaked and pissy, and I´m not exagerating, people were ringing out their shirts and making HUGE puddles on the floor of the lobby. It was pretty miserable.
On the way home we stopped at a rest stop. This is one of the things America does better than Spain ever will. First of all we pull up and there are probably at least 8 other huge tour buses there. It had just stopped pouring rain so we didn´t bring our rain gear in, and outside of the restaurant it reeked of weed. Inside, it was a mad house. You could either go to a restuarant, ¨self-servicio¨ deli ish kind of thing, a buffet, or a little store that had like 4 varieties of candy and Country-Clutter worthy trinkets. The stop was dirty, and smelly. After waiting for 20 min in the most confusing ¨line¨i´ve ever seen, waiting for the self-servicio, which no one knew what it served, our IES coordinators took a bunch of us to a buffet, which was 10 euro for the grossest food I´ve ever eaten. An hour later, by the time we are able to escape the rest stop, of course its pouring outside again. Overall miserable day, only salvaged by the steelers bringing home numero seis !!
So today was the first day of classes. I had Spanish Grammer fro 955-1055 (I placed into one of the middle advanced ones, exactly where my orientation group had been, and amanda´s in my class too which is awesome!) Then my Islam Civ class. The grammer class seems like a good fit, so i´m happy about that. The civ class was just an intro to the course and expectations, etc today, which was so boring esp because im exhausted. But the material looks sweet so hopefully today was just a bad day since it was just summarizing what we´re doing. I´m free now and planning to look up a gym, join said gym, grab some coffee, buy some notebooks, and go home for lunch around 230.
It´s supposed to rain all week, this is getting VERY annoying. All for now!
How bout them stillers??