Friday, June 25, 2010

san sebast

Headed to san sebastian this morning; i'll be there and w/o internet for a week. (fyi if people email me between now and then...)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Un día de despedidas

This morning I went to the airport with Asad; he headed back to the states today.

Asad reorganizes his suitcase

After some studying, I met up in Retiro Park to say goodbye to my friend Melonie; she heads back home to Germany tomorrow.

Melonie and I

Then tonight I had my last English class with Pablo.


And now I'm off to cram what I can in the next two hours before bed.  Exam tomorrow morning!

Monday, June 21, 2010

rebe's word notebook: huelga

huelga = strike

The university had a strike one day earlier in June, so all the exams that day got moved to the 21st.  Oh wait, that's today.

So since the beginning of June there's been new graffiti all over the university, referencing the "huelga general".  (When people are protesting something here -- which it seems the students are always doing -- along with the posters throughout the buildings, people spray paint on the sides of buildings, staircases, cement benches, everything.  It's the norm, but kind of a shame since the buildings are so old and historic.

The reason I'm sharing this word today is because we just found out there will be another huelga - this time by the metro, June 28, 29, and 30.  We don't know yet if the entire metro will be closed down, or if they'll leave a few lines running, but very likely the whole thing could be closed those three days. 

Well, I'm off to the library - exam is Wednesday morning. Eek.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Last day volunteering

This past Monday was my last day volunteering at the center.  Asad came along as well to bid everyone farewell, as he heads back to the states next Tuesday.

Volunteers: Marina, Asad, and I

Teaching some maths = fun!

And a few more pics from a couple of weeks ago:

I'm especially going to miss this one

Sunday, June 13, 2010

rebe's word notebook: una mano de pintura

In English, you add another coat of paint.  In Spanish, it's mano (which also means hand).

How did I learn this?

I spent yesterday afternoon painting the new apartment.  I may not have mentioned it yet on the blog, but my roommate Gregorio bought a new apartment a month or two ago.  He plans to be moved in by June 30, but there's lots of work to be done first (painting, cleaning, installing appliances, moving in all the furniture, etc...).  His mom's been here living with us for at least 3 weeks now, and their daily routine is as follows:

When Gregorio gets home from work in the morning, the two head over to the new apartment where they pass the day working.  Around 6 or 7pm, depending on when Gregorio works that night, he drops off his mom at our apartment, grabs his work clothes, and is out the door.  Works all night, then repeat.  I don't know when this man sleeps.

The pink walls we're painting white

Gregorio's mother and I 

Ángel (so tall!)

Zulie, Ángel's girlfriend


2 more manos to go!

Friday, June 11, 2010


That Saturday we spent in Sevilla, and Sunday afternoon I caught a 7 hr bus back to Madrid.

Things we saw in Sevilla:

 Third largest church in the world

(We actually did some wedding crashing that afternoon and snuck into a wedding in the cathedral.  What can I say, I had never been to a Spanish wedding before - why not?)

(another gorgeous Moorish palace)

 Torre del oro

Plaza de España

Procession in the street
(Because corpus christi was Thursday)

Gran Granada

Last Thursday-Sunday I spent a long weekend out of Madrid, in Granada and then Sevilla.

I went with a German friend of mine, Melanie, whom I met in Lisboa back in February.  On Thursday morning we took a bus from Madrid to Granada.  Our hostel there (White nest hostel) was wonderful.  The whole middle was an open patio without a roof, and with a great view of la Alhambra from the top floor:

"Patio"/commons room with the compys

Our 8-bed dorm room 

View of la Alhambra from our floor

The whole town was gorgeous.  

I now understand why everyone says you must go to Granada to see la Alhambra (Moorish palace and fortress constructed during the 14th century).  Thursday evening we had tickets to go see la Alhambra.   It was also neat to see because we had studied the palaces in our art class from the curso intensivo we had back in September.  A few pictures:

Palacio Nazaries

Palacio Nazaries

Palacio de Carlos V

 Jardín de Generalife

Patio de Generalife

View of la Alhambra from Generalife

Later that night walking around town, we stumbled upon a free flamenco show.  Apparently we had picked a good time to go to Granada - there was a festival until Sunday, and that's why there was the flamenco show.  It was actually the first flamenco I'd seen in Spain, and I rather enjoyed it.


The next day we walked through Albaicín, an area of Granada with narrow winding streets displaying its Medieval Moorish past.  At the top of a hill, there was a great look-out point.  We could see la Alhambra with the snow-covered mountains in the background.

Mel and I spent at least two hours up at this site.  Lied under the sol...

That evening we went to a couple different places for cañas and tapas, since she and I don't usually go out for tapas in Madrid.
That night we stumbled upon another flamenco show in the same plaza as the night before, so we sat down and stayed until the end.  

The next morning we headed off to Sevilla.  Granada is now, without a doubt, somewhere in my top 5 favorite cities I have visited this year.  The whole town was gorgeous, stuck in the past.  Green, green, green, with beautiful aged stone.

(And as always, you can see more photos on my shutterfly site.)