SO SO many pictures to share with you all and adventures and whew the time is FLYING. So crazy.
First. Some pictures from a while ago at the parque that I thought were share-worthy.
Very chill much awesome
Just so nice.
Ok second. Last weekend, CIEE brought us to Granada. It was a quick trip but SO much fun-- Granada is a seriously amazing city. It's a little bit smaller than Sevilla, or at least it feels like it, and has a really cool vibe. Also, it's, of course, incredibly beautiful, right in the middle of the mountains. AND it's also known for it's bars that give free tapas with every drink ordered. PRETTY NEAT RIGHT. It was pretty neat. There's also a ton of history in Granada having to do with King Fernando and Queen Isabel, the famous royal pair that ruled during the time of Christopher Columbus and when Spain was really an empire. Before them, Granada was ruled by an Islamic kingdom, who built the AMAZING structure/castle/fortress (I'm not exactly sure what to call it, can you tell?) La Alhambra. We also got to explore El Albayzín a little bit, which is a famous "neighborhood" (barrio, for those of you who remember what that means) in Granada. It's the older part of the city with these tiny little streets and beautiful houses, but my favorite part of it by far was the fact that it was literally in the side of the mountain. Because of that, the air was so fresh and nice and the views were incredible. So here are a lot of pictures of this really cool city and La Alhambra and El Albayzín.
Getting ready for La Alhambra.. Kate looks a little skeptical though. A lot of these pictures at the beginning are courtesy of Henry.
Including this one.
Angel doing what he does best.
Excited for La Alhambra.?
Even the ceilings were incredible.
Columns looking so good
More ceiling amazing-ness
So much love
Almond trees in bloom
Yes, that is snow. (!!!) There's a place where you can ski (not really sure if you call it a resort or not, but it's at least a village I think) close to the city.
I think the trees were one of the coolest elements of the view of the city.. Love it.
Random cute couple Takin' a break
Orange trees are forever a subject of fascination for me.
I really love this picture.. The city in all its glory seen through windows of La Alhambra.
This is taken from El Albayzín, the cool/old part of the city I was talking about. SO BEE-YOU-TEE-FULL.
One of the super cool houses. Man, I was really in love with this place.
If you don't love this, you're not human.
This is taken from a part of El Albayzín called El Mirador de San Nicolás (Outlook of Saint Nicholas) which is famous for it's incredible view of the city and La Alhambra. I promise you, pictures could not do it justice if you had the best camera in the world.
Enjoying some Granada sunshine
Alright so that's Granada. Pretty incredible. Unfortunately, my camera died the first day during our tour of La Alhambra so I didn't get to take as many pictures of El Albayzín as I would have liked, but that's ok. I think I've drowned you in enough pictures, anyway.
Third thing. Yesterday, we got to trying making torrijas, which is a very typical Semana Santa (Holy Week) food. It's a lot like French toast (but don't tell a Spaniard that-- it's NOT French toast to them), but more complicated. Apparently French toast actually comes from torrijas, as well as a similar food in Portugal and South America (of which I cannot remember the name). Torrijas were originally made because Semana Santa is lent, during which Catholics do not eat meat. Because Spain is very historically Catholic, there were a lot of people cutting out meat that week and there are, consequently, are lots of dishes people made up specifically for this week. They're usually pretty heavy dishes to keep people full and satisfied during the week. People definitely needed sustenance at this time because Semana Santa, while definitely a really fun week, is also a lot of work for the people who march and area actually in the processions. They can walk for 12 hours a day with only short breaks, and aren't even supposed to eat while they're walking. So obviously, when they get home after that (and this is mostly historically speaking; I think less people practice meat-less Semana Santa nowadays) it makes sense that they would want a filling meal, albeit meat-less. I can definitely tell you, it's very filling. But so delicious.
So the bread is first dipped in a milk and cinnamon (I think?) combination, then they went onto this plate, then into the egg plate (you're thinking this is French toast, I know), but then (PLOT TWIST) the bread is deep-fried. Or just regular fried. If we're being honest, I'm not really sure what the difference is. But basically it's put in a pan of sunflower seed oil and fried until it's golden brown.
The pieces are then brought over to the SYRUP station (wow yes I know). They're put in this casserole dish and have the syrup-y stuff poured of them. The syrup isn't really syrup-- it's a homemade thing made of honey, vanilla, cinnamon, and some other stuff that I forget (oops).
The syrup station. Scary.
My, oh my.
Ok, fourth and final, a couple things to add to lists.
Things that are different:
- Ok, so I can't say I've confirmed this in Spanish law or anything, but my teacher's house got robbed a couple of days ago (so sad) and the laws that she explained to us having to do with robberies are UNBELIEVABLE. Again, don't quote me, but basically what she explained to us is that there is very, very little right to self defense. If someone's robbing your house or your bag, or whatever, and you hit them or hurt them in any way, they can sue you. And what's more crazy is that they'll actually WIN the case!! Apparently there was a case a couple of years ago with a guy who was trying to rob this girl and got beat up by her dad. He sued the dad, and the dad had to PAY 600 EUROS. For defending his daughter!!!! Ahh if these things are true my head is exploding. The thief has more right than you do!! Wow. No wonder they think we're crazy for having guns in our houses-- self defense is basically a moot point here. I think this changes if the person is actually trying to hurt you, but if he's just minding his own business while robbing you (ha ha), he's perfectly within his rights to go un-hit. What is life.
- It's been 75-80 and sunny by 1:00 every day this week. "But it's March!", you say? I know. I'm in shock, as well. Come May, I will be MELTING.
Things that are the same:
- Although it's already summery weather (by Maine standards) during the day, there's a variation in temperature from the morning to afternoon that is quite reminiscent of Maine freak weather. I usually wake up and it'll be 45-50, then I walk home and it's 75-80. It makes dressing a little difficult. But it's ok. I struggle through, somehow.
Things I miss:
- Starting to miss those open-faced sandwiches again :((
Alright. That is all. Xo everyone, until next time.