Posted 2 years ago

Back in the USA! I have one more hour until my flight to Phoenix leaves from Newark. American money seems so strange…

Posted 2 years ago

Outdoor bar in Madrid after Spain beat France 2-0 in the Euro Cup quarterfinals.

The camera goes a little crazy after 15 seconds because the French fans were throwing beer on us. 

Posted 2 years ago

Madrid (June 24-26)

Last weekend trip of the summer! Jess and I headed to Madrid for three days to explore Spain’s capitol. Our days were so busy (no joke 9am-1am days of walking around in 100 degree heat) but it was so much fun!

Our flight left Barcelona at 7:30am on Friday morning and we got to our hostel in Madrid around 11. After grabbing some afternoon tapas and trying a potato with quail egg our first place to visit was the Royal Palace. We took a tour inside before heading to the Royal Gardens, and then on Egyptian temple that was saved from a flooding river.

The next day we got tradition churros with our breakfast and headed to the Prado art museum. It was absolutely massive and we were in there for close to 4 hours. After the Prado we walked around Parque del Buen Retiro (Park of the Pleasant Retreat) and got some ice cream before walking back to Puerta del Sol for a bit. Saturday night was the Eurocup quarterfinal game against France. We found a great outdoor bar that showed that game and celebrated in the street after they won. 

On our last day we went to a fabulous outdoor market with all types of goodies. I got some great jewelry, spanish knick knacks, etc. for myself and as gifts. We were able to find a boba teahouse to get a refreshing drink before walking to the cathedral and spending our last few hours in Madrid. A great weekend overall and I would love to go back if Jess ends up studying there next spring. It was so different than Barcelona but they are both wonderful in their own ways. Jess and I thought Madrid seemed less crazy/ touristy and more relaxed, which is ironic because it’s a big cosmopolitan capitol. 

Posted 2 years ago

Palm Reading in Spanish Class

Here’s what my partner came up with, I’d be ok with this life.

Alexandria tendrá una vida ocupada pero muy feliz y emocionante. Ella casará a un hombre guapo pocos años después de graduará. Por casi siete años ella trabajará trabajos diferentes y viajará a todo el mundo con su esposo también. Entonces, ella y su esposo tendrá dos niños y necesitará quedarse en casa con ellos. Pero, ella descubrirá que sea una gran escritora y escribirá una novela buenísima, porque tiene una linea de la mente curvada. Se hará superrica cuando publicará su novela y su familia y ella vivirán en una casa grande en Colorado. Es posible que Alexandria escribirá otras novelas después de su primer novela, pero siempre tendrá mucha dinero. Seguramente Alexandria y su familia será muy felices.

Alexandria will have a busy life but it will be happy and exciting. She will marry a handsome man a few years after graduating. For about seven years she will work different jobs and travel around the world with her husband as well. Then, her and her husband will have two children and she will need to stay home with them. But she will be a great writer and will write a great novel, because she has a curved line of the mind. She will be very rich when she publishes her novel and her and her family will live in a large house in Colorado. Alexandria may write other novels after her first novel, but will always have a lot of money. Surely Alexandria and her family will be very happy.

Posted 2 years ago

Xabi Alonso from Spain making a penalty kick in the 90th minute of the Euro Cup quater finals game to beat France 2-0.The camera starts to move a lot after about 15 seconds because the French fans were throwing beer on us. 

This outdoor bar in Madrid was awesome! I hope we can find another great place in Barcelona to watch the semifinal game vs Portugal on Wednesday! 

Posted 2 years ago

Mallorca (June 15-17)

One thing I have learned while being abroad is how nice it is going on a preplanned trip. That’s why when I saw IES was planning a trip to the island of Mallorca I signed up right away. We met at the airport at 8:15am on Friday and found out there were 30 of us going. The flight from Barcelona to Mallorca was literally the shortest flight I could ever imagine. I was looking out the window once the plane took off and when 10 minutes had passed I decided to take my iphone out to listen to music. Right as I was grabbing for my purse the pilot came on the overhead and made an announcement that we were making our decent and would be landing in 10 minutes. After landing in Palma we dropped our bags off at the hotel and went on a walking tour of the historic part of the city. The cathedral was stunning and our guide, who was with us for the entire weekend, was a peppy woman who moved to Mallorca from England when she was 12 and still had her english accent. She was so happy all of the time and her voice could have been used in a Harry Potter movie. That afternoon we had 3.5 hours of free time at a beautiful beach. A group of us ended up swimming a half mile to this island just off the coast. We had a delicious dinner buffet at the hotel and spent some time at the beach before heading to bed. 

The next day we woke up and headed to Fornalutx, a village in the Tramuntana Mountains. This part of the island used to be full of olive oil producers and while there are still some there aren’t nearly as many as in the past. We got to take a tour of Can Det’s Olive Oil Factory, which was in a 400 year old house. It was really interesting to see the traditional way of producing olive oil. I had no idea that it is possible to go from a bucket of olives to pure olive oil in 4 hours. After the tour we got THE BEST snack I have ever had. Freshly squeezed orange juice, bread with tomato, cheese, salami, nuts, baked foccacia, and almond cake. We got to spend another afternoon at the beach before calling it a day.

On our last day we went to Valldemossa, a traditional town with the Cartuja Monastery. The monastery was beautiful and we got to see a piano concert in the old music hall. I got to try coca de patata which is basically a warm piece of potato bread with powdered sugar  and a specialty of the city. From Valldemossa we headed back to Palma and stopped along the way at Bellver Castell to have gorgeous views of the city, port, and ocean. I was able to take a “Happy Father’s Day” picture for my dad from the top which I thought was cool. From there we headed back into Palma and I got some coconut gelato before we headed to the airport. 

It was a wonderful weekend and the perfect combination of cultural activities and relaxing at the beach!

Posted 2 years ago

I love being in Europe for the Euro Cup!!!

Posted 2 years ago

I decided to take a day trip up to the country of Andorra between Spain and France. It was super easy to plan, the toughest part was waking up at 4:30 for the 6:15 bus ride. It is a 3 hours drive north through the Pyrenees but the road can be quite busy because there is only one way in and out of the country. I loved seeing the landscape change as we ascended higher into the mountains. I arrived at the station in Andorra la Vella around 9:15am and headed to a cafe for some tea and a croissant. Apparently Andorra doesn’t have a law about smoking indoors because it was super smoky inside. I decided to walk around for a bit and ended up at this famous glass spa. I didn’t have time to use any of the amenities there but it was cool to see what treatments they offered. After that I decided to head to the old town and check out the Casa de la Val (old government building) which is free but you need to have a reservation so they put me down for a  3pm tour. I headed up a side street that took me on a short hike up the side of one of the mountains to get a gorgeous panoramic view of the capitol, Andorra la Vella. I went to the Pyrenees Department Store and looked at some of the shops and churches before grabbing a panini for lunch next to Central Park. At 3 I went back to the Casa de la Val and got a private tour. The woman was so nice and we talked about Barcelona, traveling in Europe, and Miami, Florida. By the time the tour ended I only had 2 hours left so I walked around some more, got a snack, and visited an art gallery that featured photos from WWI and replicas of the old castles in Andorra. It was nice to relax and take in the beautiful little country after moving around all day. My bus back to Barcelona left at 6:15 and I ended up sleeping the entire 3 hours back. It was such a tiring day but so worth it! Andorra was country #15 of the year and I’m pretty sure it will be the last new one I add to the list before heading back to the states. 

Posted 2 years ago

I’m studying for my history midterm tomorrow and ran across a quote of a Majorcan poet in 1365 that I had underlined. I really like it so I though I would post it on here to share.

"Money does good, it does evil,

money makes a man a demon

or a heavenly saint-

 Depends on how he uses it.”

not super long and it doesn’t even rhyme but for some reason I just really find it interesting that it still holds true after several centuries. 

Posted 2 years ago

This weekend I went to Costa Brava (Wild Coast in Spanish) with the entire IES program. After waking up super early to catch the buses our first stop was the Dalí Museum in Figueres, about 1.5 hours north of Barcelona. It was definitely one of the most unpredictable and interesting museums I have ever been to. Since Dalí was a surrealist artist the museum (which was an old theater that was burnt down) was supposed to be “an experience” not just looking at paintings behind glass. There was a huge theme of bread and eggs. The bread was to represent Christianity while the eggs symbolized the fact that Dalí claimed to have recollections of being in his mother’s womb. After spending some time at the museum we headed to the seaside city of Cadaqués, where Dali had his home studio. It was a beautiful little town and we had a few hours of free time to grab lunch, walk around, and go to the beach. The only problem was the beach was rocky and the water was full of jellyfish so nobody really went in. 

The next day we got up and headed north towards the French border. We stopped in La Jonquera to go to the exile museum. The museum is dedicated to sharing the stories of hundreds of thousands of political refugees as they fled Franco’s fascist Spain after losing the civil war in 1939. I had no idea of the magnitude of the exodus of Spaniards during this time but it is estimated that anywhere from 600,000 to a million people left Spain during this time. After the museum we crossed the border in France and went to Collioure. It was such a picturesque town with old churches and building high up on the hills overlooking the sea. After swimming in the refreshing water and eating a crepe we boarded back on the bus to head to our base town of Girona. 

On our last day of our trip we went on a two hour walking tour of Girona. We got to see the largest Gothic church with a single nave, walk on top of the old city walls, see the Arabian baths, and hear some of the old city legends. We were supposed to go to a beach that afternoon but we headed back to Barcelona a few hours early because the weather forecast was predicting thunderstorms.