Sightseeing around Spain and a trip to Morocco

So I am going to breeze through these weekends, más o menos, just because there are so many to be talked about and so many questions I would like to answer from the letters I have gotten recently. If there is anything you would like to know more about, feel free to let me know and I can tell you all about it, whether that is now or in the last weeks of your semester when I’m back home.

El fin de semana tres: 17/10-18/10

This weekend was planned out by International Studies Abroad (ISA), the program with which I am here studying, for all students from the US to travel around together. We headed up into some other mountains about three hours away to a little place called Ronda, followed up by a trip down to Málaga, not too much farther from Ronda.

This was a very nice and relaxing time, as we were able to hang out, all of us here with ISA , in a new and exciting place.Ronda, being one of the oldest functioning cities in España with one of the oldest original Plazas de los Toros, was fantastic. Although we only took a walking tour of the city and then made our way back to the bus to head to Málaga for the night, it was a beautiful place.Don’t take my word for it, see for yourself:

Málaga was quite a bit of fun too.My friends and I grabbed dinner at an Italian place with some of the best pizza I have ever had the opportunity of eating, then sat on the beach beneath the moon for a good two or three hours. The following day we had a morning full of tours and site seeing, but after that we made our way to the beach as quickly as possible and enjoyed our time there as well.

El fin de semana cuatro: 24/10-25/10

After a fun-filled month of beach hopping and finding new reclusive places to hang out, most of us needed a weekend off and we stayed in Granada.Little did I know Granada has tons and tons of options for fun and, although it may not be a huge tourist town, it holds its own with the best of them.

I obviously go to school here, so I spent a good amount of the weekend working on mí tarea, but I was also afforded the opportunity of attending a Granada CB (that is Club Baloncesto) game. Desafortunadamente ellos perdieron, pero no pasa nada, porque el partido fue divertido.

El fin de semana cinco: 31/10-2/11

¡MARRUECOS!Sí, fui a Marruecos.Morocco was a fantastic place to learn, visit, and simply be. It is very difficult to put into words what Morocco was like, and seeing how it wasn’t España, I’ll just show you some beautiful pictures:

El fin de semana seis: 7/11-8/11

We legitimately didn’t get back from our six day trip to Morocco until Wednesday night, so I did miss some class, but on the bright side, we had the following weekend to recuperate, and that would be this one. Had the opportunity to go out with friends and see each other all together again since only about half of the program went to Morocco.

El fin de semana siete: 14/11-15/11

This was quite the trip, up into Las Alpujarras, a set of small towns set up together in the mountains containing Granada. The Sierra Nevadas to be exact.

This weekend was filled with quaint hotels, small handicraft shops, and about eight hours of hiking.It was a beautiful place to visit and had picturesque views that I do not believe could be reproduced anywhere, but let me tell you, altitude is not my friend.Being from Nebraska, where we have oh so many montañas, I did not take to the thin air and sharp alteration in my environment too well, so for the second day of hiking I just relaxed in town and enjoyed the scenery.

You can see our small mountain town on the left, and the view from our hotel room on the right.

El fin de semana ocho: 21/11-22/11

So who can tell me what this is?

Well, this is the team logo/crest of the best football (o fútbol) team in the world.FC Barcelona my friends, and during this weekend I traveled to the city of Barcelona, or simply Barça, with some of the best friends I have made here in Granada through ISA.

Barcelona quickly and easily jumped right up to the top of my list of favorite Spanish cities; however it is a good comparison to New York City and Lincoln.One would love to visit and/or live in New York City or Barcelona short term, but in the long run, Lincoln or Granada are better for living and family.Another drawback to Barcelona was the lack of Spanish, because in case you did not know, they speak Catalan in Cataluña.Who knew?

The architecture in Barcelona, specifically that of Gaudi is amazing, and I know my words will never do it justice, so look below:

El fin de semana nueve: 28/11-29/11

The final excursion which ISA planned for us was to both Sevilla y Córdoba, and it was again fantastic.We had the chance to visit Sevilla first, which was the central port for all of the imports and exports that went either to or came from the West Indies (North, Central, South America, and the Caribbean) during the early centuries of their existence, and then moved on to Córdoba, home of the oldest mosque in Europe, which of course had also been converted to a church.

This was a Friday, Saturday, Sunday event and our time in Sevilla was wonderful.Seeing how we all have been in Spain for about two months time, it was a moment for a little America to sneak itself back into our lives.We had dinner at Burger King, got together in one of our rooms to watch the Charlie Brown Christmas Special (thank goodness for iTunes), and the following night we found a KFC across from our hotel, and then proceeded to watch the movie El Orfanato (all in Spanish, but I recommend), which I brought from home on my computer.

Highlights from the city itself: oldest palace in the Iberian Peninsula, mosque destroyed and turned into a cathedral, and resting place of Christopher Columbus (Cristiból Colón) to which you can see Brian pointing.Overall, it was a fulfilling and entertaining time in Sevilla.

¿Y más?

Bueno, creo que voy a cambiar a español ahora para practicar un poco, y para daros la oportunidad para practicar también. Ojalá que os gusten las historias de mis fines de semanas aquí en España.Espero que entendáis que estudiando en España no es sólo una fiesta, pero asisto un horario y muchas clases cada semana también.Sí queréis viajar durante colegio o la universitaria, os consejo que hagáis, pero tenéis que preparar para una cultura nueva, una lengua muy fuerte, y una viaje demasiada divertida.

Todas de las personas aquí son muy amables.En Nebraska nos reímos en la calle o en las pasillas, pero es un tipo diferente de “amable” aquí.Granadinos (personas de Granada) no son antipáticos, pero la cultura de la calle aquí es muy diferente.La gente no se reye, y se dice “¡Hola!” a cualquier persona que se conoce, pero nada más.La cultura y la ambiente son muy simpáticas, pero es muy diferente también.

La universidad aquí es lo más grande en todo del país, y uno de más grande en todo de Europa.La universidad de Granada (UGR) tiene más que un mil cincuenta estudiantes de España y Europa.Asisto una parte de la universidad muy específicamente, se llama El Centro de Lenguas Modernas.Cualquier estudiante que quiere estudiar una lengua tiene clases en el centro.Tengo clases de español con estudiantes de los estados unidos, de Francia, de Rusia, de Japón, y de Italia.Me gusta mis clases mucho, pero es difícil hablar en español cuando se puede usar ingles con otros estudiantes de los EEUU.

Y finalmente (hoy), me encanta mi familia española.Tengo cinco personas en mi familia: Carmen, mi madre, Fernando, mi padre, Pablo, mi hermano mayor (21), Alvaro, mi hermano (20), y Elena, mi hermana menor (14).Todos tienen trabaja o escuela, pero veo cada persona cada día, usualmente durante almuerzo o cena.Diariamente tenemos almuerzo juntos a las tres por la tarde, y todos vienen a casa.

Pues…es todo para mí hoy.Sé que hay más preguntas en las cartas que tengo, y voy a trabajar contestar cada pregunta en el fin de semana viene (el próximo fin de semana).No tenemos clase en lunes o martes y voy a hacer mucha tarea y escribir una carta a vosotros.Aquí se dice “¿Si o sí?”¡Ojalá que es “Sí” con vosotros!

Hasta el próxima vez…

Leave a Reply