11 July 2013

¡Un fin de semana espectacular!

Last weekend was kind of a crazy 42 hours with hardly any sleep for some of us. Saturday morning we woke up early and met at the doors of the University. Elisabeth, one of our friends who is working here in Barcelona this summer, also joined with us, as she had taken a class with Conxita last semester.

First off, Spaniards generally exaggerate. The week before we went on the hike our teacher asked us if we wanted to actually hike the mountain of Montserrat or if we wanted to take the train to the top. She told it was VERY VERY difficult, but you have to keep in mind that this is the same teacher that told us that ALL of us were going to get robbed in Barcelona. So, the majority of us hiked up, and hands down it was either the most difficult hike, or second most difficult hike that I have ever done. The total time was hiking for 1 hour and 54 minutes for myself.


The hike sucked, I am not going to lie, and I don't have any other words to describe it other than just that! Elisabeth and I wondered around the city and had a lot of fun checking out some of the different areas. I took the train down the hill, because I needed to save my energy. ¿Por qué? you might ask... Well, the truth is that on the same evening, just hours after returning back from Barcelona, twelve of us caught a bust to go to Pamplona. And why do people go to Pamplona on July 6 - 14?


The Running of the Bulls or in Spanish "San Fermines" is a crazy fiesta in Pamplona that lasts a week. The majority of you have probably heard about it, remembered your Spanish I high school Spanish teacher mentioning something along the lines of it... Well, it was amazing to live it!


We got to Pamplona at about 5 in the morning after one of the most uncomfortable seven hour bus rides ever. But it was totally worth it. The bus rolled into the station, and for a second I thought that we were pulling up into a sketchy trashy side of town. No... that was just a mountain of garbage from all of the party that had happened within the past 14 hours.

Our group split up into two groups. My group stood towards the end of the run, right before the bulls enter their slaughterhouse Plaza de Toros. Yes, the bulls die. Meanwhile the other group was at the beginning. I have a YouTube video uploading right now which everyone will be able to access later. After the epic three minute run, if that, which brought us to Pamplona, it was time to wander throughout the town and check it out. Randy and I went to a place that I had heard to check out that is called Bar Gaucho, which had Basque Tapas, since Navarra is really close to the Basque Country. It was delicious!

Everyone was wearing red and white! Those are the traditional colors of the fiesta. I saw people who were wearing orange shirts and running with the bulls, and I did not quite understand it, but that is fine. There were no deaths the day we watched it, however there were people that I saw who had become injured. I was afraid that one of the people that I saw was dieing, that was really intense for me, but it was still exciting. I wish that I could have ran, because it is not nearly as big of a deal that people made it out to be. Also, women... you can ran. Traditionally women were not allowed to do it, as the fiesta expressed masculinity at its finest, however I saw women running. So pack your running shoes!

At five pm we caught our bus and made the return back to Barcelona. We arrived around 11 back home, and when I got home I saw my bed and went into a coma. Yes, I slept that hard! I hope you have enjoyed this epic blog post, I never thought I would be able to post anything about it, but I did! Erika gets here tomorrow so I will be sure to post photos and such with our travels within the next week, and then I come home on the 24th! Thanks for reading!

Un abrazo,

05 July 2013

Barcelona, Catalunya

I have been studying in Barcelona for a few weeks now. Of course, I absolutely love it. The two classes that I am taking are called "A literary walk through Barcelona" and "The coexistence of three cultures on the Iberian Peninsula: Islam, Judaism and Christianity". The courses have a lot of fun, and I am really glad that I was fortunate enough to come abroad again and study here.

Catalan is the main language spoken in the city; all of the metro stops, plaças, everything is written and spoken in Catalan. However, everyone (even if they do not want to admit it) speaks Spanish so that is a lot of fun. I have been on the other social media mostly during this trip, as I have used Vine, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to share my adventures in the second largest city in Spain.

Personally, Barcelona is great and all but I could not live here. I would prefer to come back and teach English in southern Spain. Below you can see some photos and some adventure notes. Also, I am going to Pamplona tomorrow night to go to the Running of the Bulls which is going to be very exciting. I am looking forward to it. A lot, actually so I will have a ton of photos there as well! (And maybe a video!)

You can see some of the adventures and such, it is ALL written in Spanish though, here at this blog that we are using for our trip: Barcelona Literaria 

Photos:
I actually live just a few blocks away from La Sagrada Familia. I almost always get off at this stop of the metro and love to just sit on a bench and think in the shadows of the building.
 This is Parque Güell and it is at the top of a hill. It was a 30 minute walk to the area, which was quite an adventure of its own. Getting to know these other people in my class has been a lot of fun too. We are all studying at the University of Wyoming, and now at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

Seeing Kitt (one of my really good friends from Granada) this summer was also a highlight of my trip. She is studying up here in Catalunya also!
 This is Plaça Catalunya (Plaza Cataluña) which is located at the top of Las Ramblas. Its the third largest in Spain. This photo was taken the night before Sant Joan (San Juan) which is a huge fiesta here in Barcelona. There were fireworks going off like crazy!


Pride in this city was a lot of fun! I have only been to one before this. Catalunya is very open minded and this Pride is well-planned and is internationally claimed to be "one of the best". I had a lot of fun, and met a lot of great people that weekend. I was not able to make it to the parade because we took an adventure to the Dali Museum.

 Of course one of the great things about Barcelona is that we have montañas, and we also have playa, all accessible at anytime that we want. Here are Kori and Kathryn burying me in the sand. (Photo is of Mary Goetz)

30 April 2013

¡Barcelona!

¡Hola todos! So, rumor has it that I will be going back to Spain this summer. I am here to confirm this! I will be studying in Barcelona from June 14 - July 15, at which point my sister is coming over and we are going to do a little bit of traveling in the south and center of Spain, and I will return on July 24 to los EE.UU. I am really excited!

One of the classes that I am taking is "Un paseo literario por Barcelona" which is a course where we will do reading, and then go out into the city of Barcelona and see some of the sites. I have designed the blog that we will be using to post photos and such, so I apologize if I do not post much on this one, just keep up to date with my travels if you would like, at the following link:

www.barcelona-literaria.blogspot.com

The other course that I am taking in BCN is going to be a class about the coexistence of three cultures in Spain, and it looks at Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, and how Spain has all three coexisting with one another. I am really excited for both classes!

I have not been to Barcelona since Jerad and I had a 14 hour layover and we spent the majority of the time in the airport sleeping on the floor. The only other time I have been there previously is when I went to Cádiz, the program started in Barcelona so it will be nice to spend a good chunk of time there... and they have plenty of beach! I will try to get an updated photo of the following so that we can see a difference in me 2008-2013 (definitely more bald... jaja)


What else is new...? I got got my student teaching placement for Cheyenne East with Preston Duran for Spring 2014. I am really excited, as I am nearing the end of my academic career, unless I decide to still around for a masters. But we will just have to see about that! I hope all is well with you all. Thanks for reading! Abrazos!

Hasta luego!

17 May 2012

Lo siento, ¡hombre!

Hola, lo siento muchisimo!
So sorry I haven't updated in a while, those of you who read this. I realized I haven't really updated since March, which is not what I had planned on doing. I even have to struggle to think of everything that I have done since then. At the end of March we said good-bye to all of our friends. I miss Hannah, Maddy, and Rachel a lot, we had a great time in March and I can't believe we are already halfway done with May now. After Alpujarra was my last week of level 7 which I am happy to announce I passed! To celebrate, and to get out of the United States, Jesse came to Madrid so we all went and met up there like our old time group minus Nicky.

2008
2012

We seemed to have lots of fun, with not a lot of sleep. Jesse came during Semana Santa which is a "Holy Week", the week right before Easter which has tons of processions that were really fun to watch. Many foreigners (American's, I should say...) look at Semana Santa and feel a little sick to their stomach because of the caps and gowns that the penitentes wear, which resemble the KKK. Rumor has it that one of the members of the KKK went to Sevilla and saw how the caps hid the height of the penitentes, and the gown the rest of the body, then chose white as the color for what they stand for. This is just what I have been told, so pick and chose what you want to believe. Anyways, I saw many processions when Jesse, Cori, and I returned back to Granada, got caught right in the middle of one which was interesting as Jess and I needed to cross the street and couldn't.

So, after a few days in Granada, Jesse leaves on Saturday, and the following week I start to die in bed. I was sick with the flu, and not the 24 hour version that I have suffered before, but the 7 day one. At first I was so scared because I didn't want to have to go to the hospital, and in the end I didn't, I just laid in bed and Cori brought me 7Up. I love her so much for that! The following weeks I just took it really careful. Nothing bad has happened in the streets at night time, but I definitely studied a lot and have great news, I passed my  level 8 course with a 92% in the class, which puts me right now halfway completed with level 9. I have enjoyed Granada so much and am not ready to leave, but really I have to admit that I am excited to get home and see everyone.

After Level 8, Carla came down for the the last few days of April and the beginning of May, which I had to say goodbye to her on the 1st because one of my Spanish friend's (Aurora's) mom was going to Cadiz so I got a free ride to Cadiz to make it there and see Jesús for his birthday. That was a big surprise for him, because his girlfriend and dad sneaked me into the house while Jesús was getting ready, he walked out into the front room and saw me standing there and he could not believe it. I was very impressed with the whole surprise and its outcome.

So due to lack of updates and photos I will just make a huge post this week (I promise) of photos that I have accumulated here in Granada and my adventures. I hope that you guys enjoyed reading this, sorry its a catch up post, I will work on getting at least two more out before I get back home on June 12. Thanks so much for reading!

¡Abrazos!