This will be an adventure with completely new experiences. I hope to share my culture with the people I meet and learn in-depth about the culture and society in Nicaragua. Hopefully I can help my community in a meaningful way or at least teach something interesting! I'm sure I will learn many things from the experience. I'm off to discover a different part of the world for myself. Not to be cliche, but I hope to find myself on this journey as well...
So far the Italian list includes: pasta con guanciale, pizza, gelato, pasta al tartufo, lemoncello, panelle (like fried hummus?), wine!!, bicerin (a chocolate/coffee drink), giandujotto (hazelnut chocolate treat), et cetera.
French: fromage!!, wine!!, aligot, souffle, escargot, frog legs perhaps?, turbot, cassoulet (at least one variety!), absinthe, wine!!!, boudin noir (a winter treat; a type of blood sausage), a good steak frites, and probably some more fromage!
Suggestions are welcome of course...
A chance has arrived. Now, in 2009, Tiffany and I will venture to Western Europe in search of the architectural and gastronomic wonders of Italy and France.
Airline tickets are booked. Train travel has been loosely arranged. And I am preparing a laundry list of sites and foods that I hope to experience. Our brief journey is still in planning, but we will post some highlights on this rather neglected blog site.
More blogging to come later!
One night, I went to the ballet of "Romancero Gitano" in which I saw a wonderful mixture of modern ballet, flamenco dance and culture, and Lorca poetry. The stage is set in a cool and romantic section of the
I was also given the opportunity to attend a memorial for Lorca (he died 70 years ago) in a small pueblo outside of
The Spaniards know how to party...I visited
Noche 1 - Beautiful fireworks display accompanied by music...I think it was the best fireworks show I have ever seen! After the fireworks, Enrique Iglesias kicked off the concert at 12:30 am...we were listening/dancing/drinking on the beach until 5 am. We walked the city a bit, found a dive bar, returned to the beach for the sunrise, slept on two rented beach chairs until around 1 pm. We woke up to the beautiful beach-goers of southern
Later that day...
We ate in a Chinese restaurant to see what that experience would be like in
Noche 2 - Bull fight! Brutal, interesting, very hot, 6 bulls died at the hands of the matadors...and one man was hit by a bull a few times. I am glad I experienced this piece of Spanish culture, but I can see why some people are not fans. I think it might be more interesting if the bulls were fighting each other.
Later that night we took the bus to the fair grounds, just happen to meet up with 3 Spanish friends from the beach concert, and danced in the discotecas until 5 am. I was falling asleep on my feet by the end of that. We returned to the bus station, slept a bit in the grass in front of the bus station, bought tickets, and passed out on the trip back to
Check back for the posts! And eventually more photos...
It was quite the hike. Very steep. But, the view from the top was well worth it. I think I discovered the best view of Granada. I ran along the remains of the Alhambra´s outer wall and I found a community of cave ¿dwellers? ¿squatters? ¿yo no sé? I am going to try researching these caves a bit more, but they were cave homes in the side of a mountain. They had little chimneys, doors, etc. I was amazed, I have NEVER seen anything like this before. I think there is no running water, nor electricity...I got the feeling that they are homes to nomads and/or gitanos (gypsies). Really great view...I´m going to go back up the hill once at night to take photos of the Alhambra at night.
We arrived around 10 or 11 pm, and at midnight, we brought in the new year!! Bienvenidos 2006. It seems this town didn´t have power one new year´s eve, so they celebrated in August that year...and it stuck. So, this festival was rocking...fake snow being thrown from the church´s bell tower and all. The countdown to midnight involved eating a grape for each of the last 12 seconds. The music started shortly after midnight and went on until the sun came up I imagine...I had to leave at 5 am.
So, drinking and dancing in the streets until the bus left at 5 am to get back to Granada. I was soaked with champaign (it was being sprayed on everyone from rooftops and the ground). I got back to Granada in time for 9 am breakfast with my host family. It was quite the experience.
I am uploading photos to my flickr account as I type this...
More updates to come now that I am settled in and have a somewhat regular schedule of classes.
This really nice bohemian looking woman made this 3 course meal and home-made sangria and it was all you can eat for 3.5 euros.
I really enjoyed the building and its location. It was really hot until the sun went down, but the night and this morning are quite cool.
I will head to my language school in a bit to begin my course(s).
I will take a bus to Granada tomorrow morning.
In Madrid, I will be staying at La Posada de Huertas and, for my first night in Granada, I have a bed reserved at the Oasis.
Also, I registered my trip with the U.S. Embassy so that they will know I am in Spain ;-)
The address appears to be the bus station that I have been searching for!
Also, the Spanish Civil War is quite interesting...
Getting from Malaga to Gibraltar
Bus site for Malaga
Public transport in Madrid
Malaga website...looks like they have a festival in agosoto