OK so i dont think that my pictures are going to work on this thing, no NEVER MIND.
anywho spain was amazing, its very hard to put in words..... im gonna kinda categorize spain so it'll be easier to skim. (i dont kid myself, no one's going to want to read every little detail of what i did in spain) so here goes
Landscape: where i traveled (middle-south) dry, some rolling hills and a few mountains. Miles (or well meters) of Olive trees for as far as the eye can see, interupted by a few rows of grape vines. There are wheat feilds and wind mills though mostly metal ones now. Dry temp. Hot, about 40 C which is over 100F.
Food: breakfast about 10 am, small, coffee, pastry etc. they dont believe in either cold or skim milk, and dont drink coffee black.
Lunch is big 3 coursed meal or more at about 2 or 3. Paella is a rice with seafood or other assorted meat. They like jamon (which is pig) and bread is served with every meal, and delicious manchego cheese. They drink wine like water which isnt saying much since water is expensive and not offten drunk. Pop is very expensive and comes in tiny increments, so most people drink spanish wines and some water. i dont know how wine quences thirst though, its very dry. Dinner is a small affair at about 9 or so, comprised of a sandwich (bocadillo) or several small ones.
Spaniards: Love their nightlife. at 10 or 11 everyone hangs around outside, in bars or generally all over the street, and parties begin at about 1 or so. Many a morning we were out getting breakfast at 9 or 10 when drunk people were still very drunk and maybe thinking about heading home for the "night". They all have mullets, the young people that is. No this doesnt mean they'll come back in the US. Europe sends their fashions to us and then we send ours back to europe. Polka dots are also very much in. The tighter the pants the better. Jeans are only worn (for girls) with heals and a nice shirt. No one wears gym shorts or otherwise grungy clothes. There are several goths as in every country. Although there are many that are the tall, dark, type, spainiards for the most part could be US citizens except they speak spanish,.... and with a lisp. (thats just their acccent) many are blonde, or light brown haired, light skined, there are blacks there, chinese, and especially toward southern spain a lot of middle easterners. They are very forward in their noticing of the opposite gender (as i have been told) and along with staring at outright will call a girl 'morena' until she looks up at them. (i have only heard this and dont know if its true......................yeh).
Places to go:
Madrid: being the capital is an inevitable visit. It has the nicest metro system only slightly better than DC's nice new metro. (NY falls pathetically short of either one). It has a very VERY nice art museum EL PRADO where we saw many picasso's!!! YAY! my favorite being of the three musicians, very cool to see for real. Also THE famous velazquez painting of the austrian princess and many more of his. An endless supply of Goya's and many el Greco's. If you dont know art than forget it, but trust me when i say that they're famous spanish painters.
Toledo:A definate must see. I want an apartment here. I walled city on a hill with keyhole arches, narrow winding streets, and an ancient atmosphere. Everything's so amazingly antique, picturesq and beautiful. Here we saw the catherdral, a synagogue-turned mosque and we shopped and ate coffee with icecream at mcdonalds from the one euro menu. (mc donalds un-romatifyed it but oh well, it tasted good).
Sevilla: A very nice city, large but clean, tasteful, energetic, lively and altogether agreeable. i saw no barber there but a big bull ring. We saw the cathedral there, and in every city i think. The cathedrals are all huge and gorgeous and chillingly gothic, i could imagine up plenty of stories in each one of them. But in the end its kind of sad. Each ornate golden altar/ediface was built on the blood of spaniards who were accused of heresy in the inqusition and who's money was given to the church to worship a dead god. They worship an alive and holy Mary but Jesus remains dead or dying on a cross, sad and pale, he hangs, a dead god for a dead religion. They have saints and ritual prayers for every occasion but sadly their efforts fall short and in the end their cold stone mountain of a cathedral will not win them a place next to 'dead' Jesus when they die. how tragic
Grenada: I seriously want to live here, no joke. I am going to take up residence in the Alhambra: a gorgeous GORGEOUS huge palace that the moors built. Beautiful gardens with fountains and mazes of trees. Arched courtyard enough to inspire even the most unimginative and unromantic of persons. Ponds, columns, stuccoed ceilings in laid with gold, mahogany ceilings, pillars inscripted in the beautiful arabic print, towers, tunnels, more gardens, halls where moorish kings entertained visiters and bared windows above where arab beauties watched on through expensive finery. Oh my, i would spend a year of my life living in that paradise in a heart beat. There is an endless supply of rooms to explore and grounds to cover. i could dream and draw and sing and dance through there every day for no less than a year and be perfectly content. sigh......
The catedral too is worth visiting as it is where Isabel and Ferdinand attended mass and where Colombus sought their support. There too are buryed their plain wooden coffins, but above those are massive carved alabaster memoradums. There are many shops full of mirrors and beaded jewelry and shoes and purses and clothes. I wish i'd had more money and time to buy stuff there, it was great fun.
Merida: a random little town where there is a real Roman amphitheater and gladiatorial ring (?) the theater is where Il Divo sang (for those of you in spanish 4 last year)!!!!!! worth the stop.
oh we saw many roman aquducts and bridges etc. very cool
madrid again: we made full circle back to here and saw a bull fight, very cool. Six bulls die. Two for each bull fighter. Yes it's bloody but still very interesting. Ask me if you want more detail, i'd be happy to explain.
My favourite things about spain:
the times that they eat and sleep, for the most part, though i'd like more sleep. I like having the big meal at lunch OH by the way they all have a siesta from about 2-4:30 where all shops close and everyone goes home.
the fact that they dress up all the time. i could get used to that.
the language, its beatiful and i love it, i'd also love to learn french its so musical, and even german just so i could say very cool words like schnuct. (dont know how its spelled)
the proximity to .....everywhere! its so easy (relatively) to travel almost anywhere, france, germany, italy, africa, etc, etc.
oranges and olives. i love them and their fresh and delicous!
My least favorite things about spain:
They are afraid of wasting electricity so in many public bathrooms the light go off every 10 seconds. In somecases you just have to keep on hitting the light periodically but in one particular case it was motion sensored, but needed to be repaired......i felt like a fool waving my arms around madly so that i wasnt locked in the dark every 10 seconds!!!!!
Their deserts stink. I missed oreos and peanut butter, but then again americans are really the only ones who really eat peanut butter at all.
I missed free water. I got super thirsty all the time.
I missed all my friends here at home.
so really i've concluded that i can deal with the first three cons, so all i need to do is take you all with me and we can all move to europe!!!!! sound good? you'll get used to waving your arms like a banshee, comes with time.......:)
i gotta go to bed, i know i've forgotten some schtuff, but i have my day on campus tomorrow, so i'd better get some sleep. Hey in spain right now it's 5:05 am! party!
If i've seen you since i've been back, it was great to see you! If i havent seen you yet then you're a loser and i hate you........JK, to quote natasha, where have you been all my life? anywho lets call it a night. hasta luego.