Archive | February, 2013

Roma, Italia

26 Feb

This past weekend I got the chance of a lifetime to go to Rome with my study abroad program. The trip was off to a rough start when our flight from Granada to Madrid was cancelled because of strikes at Iberia airlines. British airways owns Iberia airlines and is cutting 20% of the jobs so they did have a reason for a strike. This meant we had to take a 5 hour bus ride instead at a brutal 7am. Once we got to Madrid the airport was insane. It was so loud and there were thousands of people protesting. This is what we were welcomed by:

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After we made it though the chaos thanks to our incredibly calm directors, we made it to Rome and safely to our hotel. That night after we settled in we went out for our first Italian dinner which was pizza of course followed by gelato.

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The next morning I woke up to a gift from the gods (or the hotel) . We had breakfast for free at the hotel and to my surprise there was bacon and eggs! I could not have been happier.

Then we proceeded to our panaramic bus tour of Rome that was scheduled for the day that looked a little something like this:

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Just when I thought the torture was over, the bus dropped us off at the colosseum in the pouring rain without any tip on how to get back to the hotel. We thought we could rely on our favorite API intern to get us back but it turned out he also had no clue. So there we were, stranded in the middle of Rome in the pouring rain. I was cranky.

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Once we got past this brutal afternoon in the freezing rain I enjoyed Rome much more. We ate, and ate, and ate some more and I got to enjoy all of Italy’s typical tourist must-eats like gelato, pasta, and even a cannoli ūüôā

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Of course I did other things that eat (surprising I know). I had the incredible opportunity to see the Pope’s last angelus, wander around the Vatican museum and sistine chapel, visit the Pantheon, and even make a wish of a lifetime at the Trevi fountain. Overall Rome was wonderful, bad weather and all. However, I’m happy to be back in Spain ūüėČ

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you only live once

20 Feb

This is for my sister and aunt who just recently learned what YOLO means.

Comida!

17 Feb

So everyone keeps asking me what I’ve been eating over here. Luckily my host mom is an amazing cook so I eat delicious food (almost) everyday. Besides the occasional pasta with¬†octopus¬†in it, I love everything. A lot of our meals are food that is pretty similar to American food like grilled chicken and eggplant fries or beef stew. She seems to always know when one of us is sick because those are the days we have soup for lunch. My favorite has become garbonzo bean soup. It’s heavenly. At every meal we have fresh bread and usually a tray of fresh sliced tomatoes with seasoning on them. This is what the daily spread usually looks like:

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Some days we get extra spoiled and Elba makes us homemade paella which is a typical spanish dish with rice, vegetables and usually seafood but can be made with any meat. Shes a professional at paella. The paella in restaurants don’t compare because those are mostly for tourists.

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And on the rare occasion that we don’t eat with the host family and Elba just brings us pizza our dinner looks like this because yolo.

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Aside from eating meals with our host family, we also go out for tapas often. Spain is known for their tradition of tapas and I love it. Tapas are almost like appetizers you get for free when you buy drinks. It is typical that you just go out for tapas with friends instead of eating a huge dinner. My first favorite tapas were muscles we got at a lovely hole in the wall restaurant in Madrid. However, Granada does have the best.

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And on to my all time favorite food here in Granada: Shawarma. Because Granada is in the south of Spain, there is a ton of Arab influence on the culture here and I am so thankful for it. You can find the best tea houses, hookah lounges, and Shawarma places around here. Shawarma is an arabic style of cooking meat. It is usually chicken or lamb but can be beef too. It is basically like a burrito without rice in it and it is like crack. They are also all open until like 7am so I can eat it whenever I please. This is the shawarma I ate after my hike last week.

Here are some pics of other things the spaniards know how to do well including olives and desserts. They don’t mess around when it comes to desserts. The first one is basically a grilled cheese sandwich in dessert form. Aka heaven.

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Too incredible for words or pictures.

10 Feb

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There have been many times in my life where I have said “that was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen” or “this is the best day of my life.” ¬†I’m usually referring to a really good breakfast sandwich I just ate. However, I think that after the incredible hike I went on here in Spain, I don’t think they could be more true.¬†Without much struggle I convinced a few friends to come on a hike with me.. a 16k hike… aka 10 miles.

The adventure started out with a bus ride out to a village about 20 minutes away called Beas de Granada. I told them we had to by one way tickets because we would be hiking back to the Granada through the mountains. For some reason they didn’t argue. They may or may not be just as crazy as I am.¬†All we had to get us back to Granada was two maps and me as a tour guide. yikes. After we wandered the village (population like 3.5 people maybe) and through some weird farms, we discovered the trail (I think) we wanted to be on.¬†It didn’t really matter whether we were on the right trail or not because with the view from these mountains you could see for miles and tell where the other trails met up.¬†The mountains we were on ran¬†parallel¬†to the Sierra Nevada mountains. Every inch of this hike was full of incredible breathtaking views. We stopped to eat a few times and to take classic awkward Meg photos and spent the entire afternoon in one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. It was perfectly silent up there and not another person in sight for miles.¬†After about 5 hours of winding trails and terrifying cliffs, we finally saw La Alhambra over the hill which meant the city center was just down the hill.¬†To reward ourselves for this exhausting day our first stop when we got back to town was to a place called Shawarma King to shove our faces with french fries and shawarma. I’m obsessed with shawarma and am assuming none of you know what it is. Thats a blog post for another day.

Today I’m laying in bed¬†incredibly¬†sore and sunburnt and cannot move thanks to this hike. However, every second was worth it.¬†Pictures definitely do not do it justice.

A Day in the Life

5 Feb

So I just got off the phone with my mom and discovered that my grandma actively reads my blog. In that case I hope you thoroughly enjoyed my post about the bar grandma. Don’t worry, I’m behaving and studying very hard.

Today we ate pasta with little octopus legs in it for lunch and I was scared. Today I also started a lovely class taught only in spanish (which they all are) called Spanish Literature of the 18th Century. It was a terrifying day to say the least.

Yesterday I booked my spring break to Paris (where I plan on buying peanut butter) and Ireland (where I plan on eating a real fat and carb filled breakfast). The trip will start out in Malaga where hopefully there will be some Semana Santa festivities going on. If not there better be some warm sun at the beach. I cannot wait. Also in a little over two weeks I’m going to Rome and right after that is a weekend in Morocco. Lesley would be so proud of my culturally diverse activities.¬†It feels really strange not having a job or anything to fill my free time with. I usually just shove my face with pastries, read on the balcony, hike up to watch the sunset with friends, or look for cool street art.Occasionally I go for runs which are filled with incredible views everywhere and occasional stare downs from Spaniards who were never taught that staring is not nice. Regardless of their lack of manors (which they admit they have none) I love it here. Everything is so relaxed and no one rushes anything.

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Things I miss that don’t exist in Spain

1 Feb

1.hot water

2.heat

3.peanut butter

4.sour cream & onion chips

5.mexican food (they don’t eat burritos, tacos, or salsa here fyi)

6.breakfast sandwiches

7.my dogs

8.bacon

9.my queen size bed

10.wifi everywhere