Sunday, October 24, 2010

Day 45

Before I start this post I wanna show a few more pictures from Barcelona.  I kinda got side tracked last post and completely ran out of time so here are a few pictures from a resturant we ate at- its the skyline of Barcelona and I really liked them...

Ok well today is day 45 of my trip which completely blows my mind because it means I´m offically half way done.  By no means do I feel like I just got here but at the same time I feel like I have not been here for a long time at all.  Its wierd how time can work like that sometimes.  But I was thinking about what to post here and decided that instead of filling everyone in on two trips I´ve been on since I´ve updated last I would show you pictures of where I live to fill you in a little bit more about my day to day life in Santander.
So this is my building. Not exactly easy on the eyes, I know.  I live on the first floor, on the left side.  Actually you can see my window- its the outside window in the middle of the "V" being made by the slant in the building.
As you walk in the thresh-hold (one word? two words? who knows I decided to play it safe with a "-") of the house you got a long hall.  I have pictures of the rooms but first I thought you would like me to talk you through where each room is.  First you got my bathoom on the right and mi madres bathroom on the left.  After that you have a guest room on the second door on the left and the kitchen second door on the right.  The third door on the left is my room and the third on the right is my padres room.  He works in Sevilla and only comes home for the weekend every 15 days.  I really havnt figured out there relationship and I dont ask so I´ll just call him my padre for now.  After my room and his room we have the living room and mi madre´s room which is off of the living room.  I´ve never seen it before so just imagine what it looks like because your guess is as good as mine!

This thing is on the right when you walk through the front door.  Idk why its important but my madre insisted I take a picture of it, so, here it is...

This is the guest room on the left.  When my madre has her grandkids over they stay here.

This is my bathroom, nothing to exciting and since space is at a premium there isnt much room to move around.  Usually she keeps stuff in the tub and I move it when I take my one shower of the day.

This is the kitchen and as you can see its not very large and the actually keep the table pushed up against one of the walls.  When I eat I almost always eat by myself and my madre eats with a tray in the living room.  Dont ask me why.  The washing machine is TINY and can only fit like two or three things in it.  No dryer, we hang our stuff outside.  As for the fridge its in the right corner but you cant see it-sorry.
Ok this is my room.  As you can see just as spotless as my one at home.  My bed is small but pretty comfortable and the last picture is of where I keep all my stuff.  Its perfect because I can hang all my jackets up and have a little dresser for my other clothes.  The othe picture is of Justin.  The kid that came and lived with my madre before me that I´m pretty sure my madre is in love with.  She constantly talks about him and all this stuff and I feel like I´m living in this kids shadow! haha  I dont really mind it I just kinda think its funny. They actually still stay in touch and write each other.
Ok so this is the living room and if you havnt guessed the theme of this house yet let me spell it out for you... SMALL.  Its as small as the picture makes you think but I really enjoy it its pretty comfortable.  If I had to guess I would say my madre spends about 80 percent of her waking time in the chair in the far courner across from the tv just watching w.e is on. So needles to say this room smells like smoke and at times its even cloudy.  I try to keep the door shut to limit my chances of getting cancer through second hand smoke haha

So thats a quick run down of my house.  I live at the bottom of a street off of one of the two major streets in Santander- General Davilla and this is what it would look like if you walked out of my front door and up the hill to the main street, in both directions.

stay tuned for more of my life... I know this post was boring but I felt like it was about time

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Barcelona... What a crazy place! By far the longest post I´ve ever done

I would first like to say, that for the first time in a long time, I´m actually updating in a timely mannor so everyone that reads this (all 5 of yall- the 5 people in my family) can be proud.

This post is going to focas on Barcelona, a trip I went on during the last weekend in Sept. and how crazy it was! Never in my life have I...
This is a statue of Columbus pointing to the New World in the end of Las Rambles

1. Flown so off the cuff
2. Gotten so lost
3. Seen so many prostitues
4. drank so much beer
5. Been in a club so big
6. Taken a Taxi to McDonalds
and most importantly had so much fun as when I did in Barcelona... the city is literally NUTS.  Its the only way I can truly describe it.  We left Santander on Thur at 1 and returned Sunday at 3 had I been there much longer I´m pretty sure I would have died.

To start out I´ll give you all the boring details- Me, Chris, Morgan (a dude with a girls name), Ryan and Chris´s girl friend Lia all decided to go in together and book a flat in Barcelona, a city like any major city is extremely expensive.  We had planned to save money by cooking at home and pre-gaming before we went out to at night.  It worked out great being not expensive and really nice BUT it was in a place most taxi drivers had never heard of. while traveling it ended up that Lia couldnt come for the first few days because her father works for an airline and flies stand by.  Needless to say Chris was upset and we MAY have gone a little crazy having no girl to keep us in check (or clean for that matter)
 This is a picture of that flat.  It really doesnt do it justice but as you can see it had nice wooden floors a nice tv and a sick couch.  We all had beds too which was a huge plus.  For the price we payed I wont complain.  The first night after we got settled in we decided to explore Las Rambles THE main straight in Barcelona.  During the day this street is filled with tourist and venders and is prime time Barcelona.  Anything you can image is there along with throngs of people from all over the world.

We bought some food and ate dinner at home after we had explored for a few hours and planned on going back out after.  As luck would have it I have a friend from Brazil named Bosquo who had recently visited Barcelona and had given me the name of a pub we had to check out off Las Rambles.  Having just beethere we figured it would be a safe bet to have a relatively quite night at a bar... SIKE

First off as anyone who has ever been to a European city there is no such thing as ¨right off¨a street.  There are alleys and alleys and short cuts and long cuts that pretend to be short cuts and end the end it took us about 2 hours to find this bar BUT we were not dissapointed.  The Ovella Negra (black sheep) is a pub like nothing I have never seen before.  Completely underground there are about 15 huge tables that each sit about 20-25 people.  What you do it buy a Torre (tower)  of beer or sangria and chill with your friends for hours drinking and hanging out (its only 20 euro for a tower and its about 15 beers worth).  But since they dont kick you out of your seats the place is packed with groups of people looking for an open table some people drinking pitchers of beer or other drinks as they wait.  They have pool tables and other things also so all in all it was a good time.  Unfortunatly I do not have pictures of the Ovella Negra but on my facebook I do have a few of me with my friends sitting at large oak tables with a tower of beer if you would like to take a look.  We ended up staying out until about 4 (still a early night in Spain) and getting McDonalds before heading home.

The next day us guys do what any guys do.  Make no plans and simple wing it.  We woke up and left the house around 12 and we ended up walking around Barcelona for about 5 hours.  I actually really enjoyed it because although we didnt see any MAJOR things I felt like I got to know the city better and really finding out what it was all about.  The Highlight of the day has got to be the Paella we ate at some local place.  It was amazing.  Una Mezcla, it had clams, crabs, crawlfish, squid, and actual fish in it along with rice vegetables and chicken. Along with bread and water it was only 9 Euro each, not a bad find at all. We also saw the Gallery of art.  Being dudes we didnt go inside but it made for good pictures!

The pan was about 3 inches deep so it was a lot of food but... we were all able to finish it.
This is the place were we ate and the picture below is what we were looking at while we ate.  I have no idea if the church was important but I just think its crazy how you can live next to something hundreds of years old in Europe.  Thats one thing you cant do in the states.
That night, we met up with some other American students who were also visiting Barcelona, all in all there were about 10 of us and the girls ended up coming over and making dinner for us (pasta with red sauce, bread, desert) and then we all pre gamed for a little before heading to THE BIGGEST CLUB I have ever seen named Razzmatazz.  It was 15 euros to get in but def. worth it.  Kanye West had just recently bought it out for a music ideo but it was 5 stories high and on each story they had 2 huge dance floors and bars each with a differnt theme.  We ended up not leaving there until about 4 30 and we ended up walking to McDonalds about a mile and a half away.  Because it was so late they were only taking drive thru orders but in a stroke of brillance we decided to get a taxi to take us before taking us home! (we already needed a taxi to take us home so hey what was another euro or 2 when it comes to getting American food!?)

The next day was saturday and because we were leaving the following day we knew we needed to hit the big sites and thats exactly what we ended up doing.  First we went to the Olympic Stadium and toured it. I really enjoyed that they still keep the park in great condition.

Then we went to the Sangrada Familia the defining work in Barcelona.  A church still being built since the late 1800s this church was designed by Gaudi and was literally one of the most moving works of art I have ever seen.  It was so intricate I felt like I could have sat ther for hours and not seen enough of it.  I loved it-end of story.

I have so much more to say but I have no time so I hope you enjoyed my story of Barcelona.  Sorry for the short ending!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Viajando Covadonga

So once again let me apologize for the long over due updates.  By now I´m thinking everyone is getting sick and tired of me never posting and then when I do writing a small novel but hey what can I say... These past few weeks have been busy and when I try to update either the cafe has been closed or I´ve had internet issues.  Either way I´m sorry and I promise to try to update with more frequence.

This is Covadonga, an extremely important part of Spanish history.  And because we Americans had no idea what it was our professor thought a good trip would be for us to go visit.  Without boring your socks off I´m going to give you the abr. version and if you want to wikipedia the history later be my guest.  When the Moores were invading Spain pretty much all of Spain fell.  The only part left was the mountains of the far north aka Cantabria (where I study) and to the west a region called Asturias.  The leader of the remaining forces was this dude named Pelayo (just follow me for a second).  When they were looking for a place to gather there forces and fight the Moores they thought this place looked good.  So as story has it Pelayo went up to this cave and prayed to the Virgin Mary for victory.  The next day Pelayo led the Spanish forces to victory.  This is important because Pelayo eventually became the first king of what is now Spain and it marks the beginging of the reconquista of Spain from the Arabs.

This is the back of the Church, the actual site of the cave where Pelayo prayed.  I couldnt get a picture of the Virgin Mary because there are actual pilgrams that are there and I felt pretty bad but hey this is a pretty good picture if I do say so myself.
At the bottom of the cave is a fountain which, supposedly if you drink out of all 7 spouts you will be married within the year.  I gave it a try but dont hold your breath... unfortunatly idk how to get those pictures of me drinking out of the fountain to the blog but just check out the f book for details.

After we visited Covadonga we went the lakes up in the mountains.  I cannot tell you how amazing they were, you just have to be there.  Honestly the pictures do not do it justice at all.  Lets just say it was like Montana or some other rocky state but it also had a European feeling because cows were all over the roads and stuff.  Loved it- end of story
Unfortunatly I was going to post about Barcelona as well. A trip I took with some of my friends on this trip but I do not have the time, or the euro to do it at this point.  I know this blog post is weak but I´m going to write again tomorrow so stay tuned.  And in the mean time I have tons of more pictures on fbook of my trip to Covadonga!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


will be the THIRD time I have attempted to post a second post on this freaking website.  I´m sorry its taken me so long and I really have a lot to talk about its just that every time I finish and hit publish post for some reason it denys my request.  But since everyone has been blowing up my facebook I figured it was time I took another shot at it!  I´m jsut going to warn everyone this is a months worth of information so I suggest you take a bathroom break, maybe get a snack? Before you start reading this.

I´ll start from the begining of my trip and hopefully post enough pictures and things for everyone who reads this to be happy! 
The first picture is of where the Parliment of Santander is held (Santander is the Capital of Catabria) and is located in a plaza that me and my friends usually meet at at night when we are trying to go out and have fun.
When I first got to Santander and got settled in the next two days mi amigos y yo took a trip around the city, which I really enjoyed.  Santander has great beaches and views and since it is on the water and the shopping district is on the water it really does make for some great pictures.

(yes I realize my finger is in this picture but I like the boats so...)

So at the end of the second tour, our group went to get Churros, which is a big deal here especially during siesta hours from like 1:30-4 where literally everything closes down.  The idea is to buy a plate of Churros with your friends (like 3-4 people) and buy an individual cup of hot chocolate.  EXCEPT the hot chocolate is the consistancy of melted hersey kisses.  So while you still have Churros you dip them but after they are gone your suppost to just drink the rest.  Lets just say no one was able to finish it and we all left feeling like we needed to throw up... or take a siesta to sleep off the suger.

All in all the food here has been... an adventure.  I told dad that for breakfast all I ate were cookies... and the sad thing is its completely true.  I go to the gym in the morning but its hard for me to workout hard because all I have is suger to make me workout and after about 30 min. I´m completely burned out!  Luckly the food during the rest of the day is better.  Usually I´ll eat a soup a plate of like cured ham or sausage and then a plate of some sort of carbs (which Spanish people are really into) all with a huge thing of bread (aka pan) which I love because you buy it every day and its super fresh.  This is my breakfast and then an amazing meal I had on Sunday (when my madre usually goes big... its chicken with potatos, carrots, onion, peppers, and peas it was AMAZING)
(like I said cookies with chocolate milk... talk about a starting your day on the right foot!)

Usually after I eat I go to the gym.  I´ve made friends with Franz, the guy that is the ¨monator¨ which is like a mix between someone who tells you what to do, cleans equipment and checks people in, and a spotter because there isnt a verb for ¨spotting¨ in spanish.  You just ask Franz for help.  The gym is small and hot but I´m actually starting to like it and it makes me feel better, like I´m not that far from the USA.  Also people here think I´m like some sort of legand, not because how I work out but they are constantly asking me if I take this suppliment or that suppliment or what gyms are like in the USA.

School has offically started for me (I´m actually done with one of my classes already, it was only two weeks) and the weather has gotten a little colder here.  The last few days have been in the mid to low 60´s which is pretty average here unfortunatly.  BUT before school started me and mi amigos spent a lot of time at the beaches here.  And yes they were topless.

If you look hard on this one there is a pier in the very back.  We jumped off of it into FREEZING cold water but it was a lot of fun.  The water was fridged but since it was about 75-80 outside it was all good

Ok the last pictures for the day, and for this post, is of the view of the park below my school.  If any of yall have looked up my address on google maps you´ll see the university has a huge wierd looking park underneath it.  Well this is what it looks like standing on a ledge above the park.  The silver dome to the right is the University of Catabria´s sports center where they play basketball and handball and other sports.  Behind that, is the Santander Racing Football Club´s stadium.  In Spain, they have three leagues for football A, B and C.  At the end of each year the highest two teams in Premier League B get moved to Premier League A and the worst two teams of A get moved to B.  This forces owners to work hard to keep there teams good so they wont lose tv sponcers and other stuff.  Racing is in its second year of Premier League A so everyone here is crazy about them.

I´m going to post another blog either tomorrow or the next day before I leave for Barcelona with pictures of my day trip and maybe a few of my casa and my madra so you can see more where I live exactly.  I hope yall enjoyed this and let me know if I need to talk about anything else!
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