family and fun
08.08.2009 - 31.08.2009
Madrid- So we arrived to Madrid sweating and exhausted. The hostel had the nicesest kitcheen and had a guy from Argentina who offered us Yerba Mate, so I was content. The first night we heard there was a festival going on, which I come to find out there's pretty much one everyday. It was a whole street blocked off and it looked like a mini carnival, food vendors and little games set up and at the end of the street there was a band playing salsa music. Spain is a whole different world, fiestas everynight, friendly people, very few know english which I like, and the style is hippie. Guys with the top half of their head shaved and then dreads on the bottom half. I really like the style haircuts of the girls, short bangs with a layered cut. Madrid was beautiful, we went two museums El Prado and Reina Sofia. El Prado had some beautiful paintings, had some from Miro, Goya, Dali, Picasso, and El Greco. It was a little overwhelming and overcrowded cause we went during the free hours. We also went to Reina Sofia which is a modern museum, which was um interesting. I'm not really into modern art, like the big painting of colors that looked like it was done by a kid, but it was nice seeing what else is out there. It was also nice seeing Andree 3000 from Outkast. They are a popular hip-hop/pop group from the south. He was there with his kid and parents and I was soo jealous cause he talked to Polly cause they were viewing the same paintings and my friend Kellie also went up to him and sayed how much we appreciate his work. That made the whole museum worth it. Well my friends are leaving to a journey back home while I continue on and visit with the fam.
Granada- I took a bus to Granada which took about 7 hrs to get there. My uncle Vicente and his wife Christina were waiting there with there two little girls:Erika, 5 and Eli-2. My uncle lives about 5-10 min. drive outside of Granada. His house was soo nice, they have three floors and a garage underneath that also doubles as a game room slash lounge area. We went to the church in Granada where the Spanish queen and king are buried:Isabel and Fernando. The food in Spain is amazing even for a vegetarian:tortilla de patata(eggs and potato dish), tomatoes, gazpacho, cheese...and my uncle and aunt were amazing cooks. I saw the Alahambra which is like nothing I have seen before, it took about 3 hours to tour the whole place. I went to a flamenco show in a cave with Vicenete, in Sacromonte which is just next to Granada. We had dinner on the terrace with a view of the Alahambra and then got front row seats for the flamenco. There were 3 girls dancers and one guy, such a beautiful powerful dance. I took a day trip bymyself and went to Sevilla, which is three hours by bus. I really liked Sevilla except for the crazy heat. People construct the buildings close together just so the side walks are cooler and more shaded. I went to Alcazar and the catedral. The Alcazar gardin was vast and amazing. Later I meet a guy from Sevilla in a bar who gave me a real tour of Sevilla; I had a couple of hours to kill so why not. He took me and told me of all these stories that a tourist would never encounter or read about. For example there were three crosses in a small street that represents this love affair of a lady with her husbands brother and in the end they were murdered by the husband. Alot of the street names also had refrenced to a story back in history. I aslo went to a history museum of flamenco which was really thorough and well set up. My aunt and uncle aslo took me to Las Alpujarras which are white villages that are enchanting. The villages consist of Pampaneira, Bubion, and Capileira. "The Moors took refuge in these hills and resisted here, maintaining their customs and way of life for well over a hundred years after they were expelled from Granada in 1492 by their Christian conquerors. La Alpujarra was their final battlefield in Spain."
I had an amazing time in Southern Spain especially with my family, they are wonderful generous, warm people.
Barcelona- This trip was about 11 hours by bus from Granada. My uncle, Joan, was waiting there for an hour until I arrived. He lives outside of Barcelona and near Molins de Rei. He also has a nice set up of a house. He took me to Stiges, a beach south of Barcelona which is a booming gay community, no wonder it was a well kept beautiful town. Joan is also a very good cook, he made one dish that I like alot. Its a cabbage type lettuce that has a dressing he would make with blue cheese and heavy cream..mmm. I explored Barcelona a few times by myself and went to the Picasso museum and the Chocolate museum. I wasn't a big Picasso fan until after visiting that. It had works from him as a student up until his most recent works, which was quite a contrast. The chocolate museum was pretty cool too, learning of the histroy and then seeing crazy creation people have done with chocolate, oh and having a chocolate bar as my ticket was pretty cool. My friend who I worked with in the states Juoquin, is orginally from Spain and visits his parents once a year. So I was able to go down to his town near Murcia called Fontealamo. It was nice cause I was able to stay in his friends house cause his friend was away for a few days. This house was nice but needed a womens touch because it didnt have any sinks in the bathroom, no kitcheen, a mini fridge, and no mirror. And his friend had been living there for two years. crazy. The whole week was fiestas to celebrate santo augustine. Of course most of the people there didnt know what they were celebrating. I liked this town cause its not a town that foreigners visit, so I was able to get a real authentic experience. I spent a couple days there and then went to Valencia to go to the tomatoe fight!!! Pretty much what I have waited my whole life for, getting tomatoes thrown at me. I stayed in a nice hotel in Valencia, which was a treat to myself and went to Bunol the next morning to experince the maddness of La Tomatina. La Tomatina was very crowded, it begins at 11 am and goes for one hour. Its not what I had hoped it would be but I think its just cause i didnt get there early enough. I was hoping that we would be swimming in a pile of tomatoe juice and have access to the truck to pick and throw the tomatoe at anyone. Not so much. We were crowded on the sidewalks while two or three trucks of tomotoes would slowly drive by with workers that would throw the tomatoes at the crowd. You could then pick up the remaining bits of the tomatoe on you and throw it at others. Overall I am glad I went there even if I didnt have a companion to go with. I also went to Vic where my grandpa used to live and Hopitalets to visit my friend Didac, whos 23 and a bum like me We ate in a town near his place called Tona with his mom.(whose friends with my mom and aunts) in this restaurant I loved how they give you a baguette and whole tomatoes and garlic where you can but it on the bread yourself. Of course there was another festival so we went out at 12am and didnt getd back till 8 am. Pretty rough. We went to the market in Vic and then I headed back to Bracelona. I was happy that I got to hang out with my cousins, Anna, Joan, and Eli. We went to some bars and discotecas together and played some texas holdem. Joan and his girlfriend Emma took me to Mounjewit(totally spelled wrong). Which is a fountain show in Barcelona, one of the most amazing ones I have ever seen, the first time they played it to classical music and the they switched it up and put cheesy 80s music which kindof ruined the moment but it was still beautiful. My aunt Esa took me and my cousins to the beaches in Costa Brava, which might possibly be one of the prettiest beaches I have ever seen. My time in Europe has come to and end, sad to leave but happy to experience something new and amazing in central/south america.