Spring Break 2012 added to my map

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Waka Waka This is Africa-Morocco

Jenna and I went to Morocco 2 weeks ago. We got up at 4am that friday morning to catch our plane to Seville where we would meet uup with the group we were going with. We get into Seville at 8am and don’t know what to do with our 8 hrs before we leave, so we went to Dunkin Donuts of course. We went sight seeing after that and went down to the river and laid out on a bench to get some rays 🙂 until 4pm. So then we caught our bus to AFRICA! After a 4hr bus ride and forever waiting at port and and hour ferry ride where the ferry rocked side to side the whole time, we were in Morocco. We went straight to the hotel and it was by now 11pm spanish time or 10pm Moroccan time. Jenna and I were  so tired we didn’t even make it through all of the 4 course dinner. We had a salad which I personally think was the weirdes salad ever and went to bed. I guess we missed out on couscous and ice cream 😦

The next morning the breakfast was pretty good but the coffee was eh so so We were Tangier and went about an hour away to Tetouan. We took a tour of the city and the street where they sell all the gold and a tannery and the market.
 We went to lunch and had soup that was pretty good, bread, skewered lamb yumm couscous, and cookies with a mint tea that was amazing. We drove back to Tangier and went to the beach in AFRICA and it was so beautiful. While at the beach we got to take a short camel ride and it was short but it was still cool. There was a baby camel that was the cutest thing but he had poop on his leg 😦 That night we had pasta for
dinner and it was an overall good day.

The next and last day in Morocco we went to Chefchaouen which is a beautiful city where all the buildings are blue. We took another tour of the city and got to go shopping. There was so much stuff and so many vendors it was crazy. We had lunch at a restaurant that had a covered rooftop where Jenna and I got eat. It had incredible views of the city and the mountains. We even got to hear when it was prayer time and some of the singing echoing off the mountains. After shopping and buying some postcards and pictures and a few presents it was time to leave. We made our long journey back and arrived in Seville at 3am. We went to a bar that was open and ate some food and off tot he airport we went.


Morocco was nice because itis a beautiful country and it was cheaper than Spain. The dollar is stronger than the Moroccan Dirham. There are poor people there obviously because it is a 3rd world country but they have simple lives. They don’t have all the gadgets we have or the oversized everything. I think the people that work hard live decent lives. But how they treat women is outrageous because they are considered property and treated like trash. After that trip I am now a feminist. At on of the rest stops the women’s bathroom was a hole in the ground that was overflowing, while the men had normal bathrooms with toilets. That’s just wrong! The men also look at women and especially us Americans like objects and I didn’t like it.I felt like I was being violated with a look and they had no right to look at me like that. And let’s be real thats not all men but yes there definitely were some. I even had one guy flip me off when we where on the bus. I’m not sure if it was because I’m American or a women but I’m guessing a combo of both. The culture is very different there and I was happy to be American because you realize the life you have is better than the rest of the world and just because of where we were born.

It was definitely a good trip and I’m glad I went because it was Africa and also because it was a beautiful country where I got to see how other people live.

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Carnaval and Randomness

Sorry I haven’t written in forever it seems. I’ve been so busy traveling, going to class, and doing work while making time for eating and sleeping haha I’m taking a class in the University with Spanish students and it’s a lot harder than I thought it would be. I have a lot of outside work like 4 projects. But there aren’t any tests and the things we do in class don’t matter at all except to inform us and hopefully we are interested. I stressing a little. I have 3 other classes, Women’s Literature which is hard because I’m not a literature person and especially when it’s in Spanish and it’s old Spanish haha I also have Spanish for the Health Professionals which I like a lot and we learn about the healthcare system here and the different things having to do with health. My last class is just Spanish which is basically grammar with a little but of everything else. I think it’s kind of stupid I’m taking class where I don’t really learn anything and is almost the same as last semester but hey who am I to decide that.

A couple of weekends ago it was Carnival and it’s a huge festival here in Europe specifically known in Tenerife and Rio de Janeiro Brazil. One of the nights some of my friends and I met up with this lady we know from church and huge out with her sons. It was such a good night and all we did was talk and hang out in Burger King until 1am. The next night we all dressed up. Kelly as a Flamenco dancer, Erica, Cavewoman, and Jenna and I as birds, or fairies or as we like to call it Tortolitos. This is actually a Parejo de Tortolitos which is love bird which we of course arent but its an ongoing joke. That night while getting ready at my house I met my Spanish brother for the first time and he is super nice and so is his wife. We met up with some Spanish friends and went to the bars. It was a fun night. Jenna and I were  the only ones that made it to 6am. We went to the club when it opened at 3am and danced till 5am and after we went to one of the street vendors and bought the best hamburgers we’ve ever had haha probably because at 5am everything tastes so good. Jenna is new this semester but she lives in my complex and we have become really good friends.

Next weekend I’m going to Ibiza with a girl who who is here for the year Erica and that should be really fun St. Patrick’s Day in the party capitol of the world. In 3 weeks it is my 21st Birthday YAY! and I am going to Dublin with my best friend in the world Liasor or BFF for 4 days! After that almost all my work has to be done before our 3 week Spring Break which is almost the entire month of April.  This is because it’s all due the day we get back from break :/ But that’s ok Spring Break is going to be amazing. Me and my friend Kelly, who also has been here for the year, bought a train pass and we are going to  travel around Europe. Starting in Prague, Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg, Geneva, Nice and ending in Barcelona. I’m really excited for that. Once we are back there is only 2 or 3 weeks of classes and it’s finals. Can you believe how fast this semester is going? I can’t and I was here last semester. I was sad at first that I was gonna be gone so long but it’s flying by so fast I’m sad I have to leave Spain and my life here. But hey just another reason to visit 🙂

On that note I am going to be running the Boilermaker which is a 15K this summer in July. I ran it last year with my friend Jimmy and did great but this year I’m doing the 5K with my mom, aunt and my cousins girlfriend. (Sorry Jimmy if you read this before I get a chance to talk to you but my mom signed me up and she was like oh family event haha)  So it should be fun. And I’m about to apply for an internship this summer working with people that speak Spanish and going with them to the doctor’s office and helping them out in everyday life. I’m excited because I can keep my Spanish andddd I want to start going to the Spanish Mass in Utica on Sunday nights I think it is. So much is coming up I can’t even believe it.

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Madrid the Capitol of Spain; We went to Kapital!

This past weekend I went to Madrid with my program. We went to see a palace about 45 mins outside the city that was amazing. It was a grand structure that had gardens that I’m sure in the summer are beautiful. The inside has so many nooks and crannies. We saw the king’s bed and it is the smallest bed… If I were king I’d have a king size bed not a twin. We saw the basement where they keep all the dead royalty, Kings, Queens and so on. It was kind of creepy but cool to know that the royalty have the most decorative resting place.

We went to a museum called el Prado which has some of the most famous artwork. I’m not one for museums of art but I saw some cool things and I’m glad I went. We also went to a huge flee market that is famous in Spain. We went to the Real Madrid Stadium (which I am not a Real Madrid fan… GO BARCA) but it was pretty cool to see how big the stadium is, which is huger than huge, and that the players have Audi seats to sit in. Or to know how many trophy’s they have won. And I got to take a picture with my BFF Liasor in the store. He was just standing there wearing the Madrid uniform and I was like “hey there’s Liasor, I’m gonna take a picture.” Then my friend Jenna and I decided we are going out, we are going to have fun. So we bought some whiskey which isn’t that good but mixed it with Coke so it was all good. Then we had to go shopping for something to wear because this club is a little more dressed up and I didn’t bring anything to wear. Thankfully I found a dress for 5 Euros and some shoes for 6 Euros and a jacket for 13 Euros so I bought an entire outfit for like 24 Euros. I’d say that was a win. Unfortunately my dress was a little big on top and I couldn’t find a safety pin so we ended up stapling it (thanks for the idea T.T) and it worked like a charm. By the next morning though it wasn’t worth saving and I threw it out since the staples had started to rip the dress. My friend Erica was my roommate and she was going out too and was she excited 😉 and then all we had to do was convince Kelly to go out which of course she did. It was a good night with drinking, music, dancing, and a 7 floor club. We all got back late anywhere from 3:30am to 6am. Needless to say the next day we were all tired and all we really had to do was get on a bus and sleep. Thank the heavens. Madrid was especially cold and I was happy to be back in Alicante where it’s not as cold and you don’t have to wear multiple layers. But all in all it was a good trip and I like Madrid!

Now classes have started and I can feel that I might have a lot of work this semester. My class in the University has a lot of outside work but I don’t have a Mid-term or a Final. But we shall see what the rest of the semester brings. I will be one busy bee this semester with my classes.

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1st Month Back…ahhh Espana

When I wrote last I wasn’t sure how I felt or what I was thinking about being back in Espana but now I know that staying for a year in Spain was one of the best choices I have ever made. It wasn’t easy at first because none of the new students were going through what I was going through. I had been through that six months ago and I am on another level. This isn’t new for me because I’ve been living here and traveling around Europe and I really missed the home I just came from. I had just spent 20 day home with my family and friends. I had to adjust back to my life in the States.  Adjusting back was hard at first too because you look at things and think that isn’t the same or everything looks different or have jokes with your study abroad group or things about Spain that you miss or customs and you think “Oh my this is so different, I’m different” and it’s true you are not the same person that you were before you left. You talk to people and think this conversation is retarded why are we talking about this, it’s not important. I know I did. I just thought about how some people never think outside the box, never leave their city and never have experiences that would even come close to anything I have been through or experienced. It’s just a different same level. But as I went through the Intensive Course a second time and started meeting new people and getting back into my groove, I realized that I wasn’t missing home and I was glad to be back. I hadn’t been sad when I left because I knew I was coming back and I guess it took some time before I could readjust and be right back into my Spanish life.

But I know this was the right choice because I am becoming better at Spanish, I have the opportunity to travel to more new and exciting places, I am forming a relationship with my Madre that I will stay with me for a lifetime and I will never forget her, I have friends that are from all over the United States but in Spain as well, and I am living a life that isn’t always easy (no life really is ever that easy) but really is the easiest life I will ever have. Life here is hard because you are away from home, family, friends, ha food, and everything you are used to. First semester I understood it but I was on an excitement high and everything was so new. Now after going home and thinking about the rest of my time here I truly understand how hard it is to miss all of those things. But at the same time I appreciate them so much more. I realize that this is my life and that in no time it will be over and then everything I have experienced and the bonds I have made will come to an end. And my no pasa nada life style will end as well. Life in Spain isn’t tough but laid back. I have classes that require work and are hard in the fact that everything is in Spanish (although that now is no problem) but not in the amount of work they require. Which is good though because if they were like my classes in the States I’d never leave my room or have time for anything like traveling,  meeting people or learning the language or culture. My classes in the States are extremely harsh with the amount of work they give. I take a siesta almost every day, my madre does everything for me from laundry and cleaning to making all the meals, I get to travel to countries all over Europe and CIEE even takes you to some places in Spain, and I get to live 10 mins from the beach in a climate that is beautiful (except right now… no heat and it being like 35/40 degrees is not fun ahaha but thankfully I have like 5 blankets to sleep with at night.) I really want to integrate my two lives. A life with siestas every day, speaking Spanish, eating American food, seeing  friends and family, and living and traveling in Europe.

 

Anyway the whole point to this post is to say that I couldn’t be happier that I made this choice to stay for a year. I had thought that it might be a bad idea or that I couldn’t do it (which of course I could) or that it way too long. But after one semester you realize that 4 months just isn’t enough to see everything you want to see, do everything you want to do, and learn as much as you thought you would. So it will be a hard end of this journey because I love my Spanish family and especially my madre and I don’t want to leave Alicante when its summer and I could spend every day on the Mediterranean beach or laying out by my pool. Or always seeing the same people that I have grown close to like Kelly and Erica and those who have left already Annie and Maggie and the whole group really 🙂 But at the same time I’ve been here for a long time and I can’t wait to go home and first eat everything I’ve been craving and to see my family and friends. This journey I’m living has had its ups and down but what’s about to come is exciting and going to end is a second.

 

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My Trip Home

I started off this journey the night of Dec 19th by saying goodbye to all my close friends and family of Alicante. It was sad knowing that the family that our group had created wouldn’t be together anymore. By the time I was ready for bed it was almost 1 am and I had to get up at 4am. The excitement rushed through my veins and I couldn’t sleep. Who could? I was going home for 20 wonderful days and I couldn’t wait. At 4 am I proceeded to get ready and off to the airport I went. I waited for my 6am flight and slept all the way to Madrid. There I waited for what seemed like forever, reading my Spain book and listening to music and have a cappuccino. Before I knew it, it was time to start the over 8 hour flight back to the States and I was pumped. After 3 movies, 2 cds on repeat and a 2 hour nap it was only about hour before touchdown.

I made it Philadelphia and I turned my American phone on and began to get the excitement back from the night before. I called my mom, used facebook on my phone, got American dollars out the ATM and bought a Vitamin Water. There was only a few hours left before I could see my mom for the first time in 4 months and when I got off that flight in Syracuse and walked past security, there she was waiting for me! She didn’t recognize me at first because I had straightened my hair and there were quite a few people coming out. She greeted me with a huge hug and started to cry and that was one of the best hugs of my life! My luggage unfortunately hadn’t made it yet because well customs is slow. So I waited 2 hours for my luggage to arrive.

A few days later I did get sick but this time is wasn’t bad just a little sore throat and I was tired. I spent Christmas in bed sleeping but out of all the places I could’ve gone for Christmas I’m glad I went home because there really isn’t any place like home for the holidays. I spent my 20 days catching up on some sleep, seeing my family, seeing my friends and shopping.  I even made a special trip to Rochester to see my 3 best friends Amanda, Liasor aka BFF and Egzon aka other bff! I also ate so many foods I hadn’t had in 4 months like tacos, waffles, sushi, steak, chicken wings, bagels and of course Dunkin Donuts!

Looking back 20 days wasn’t long enough. I wasn’t ready to come back to Spain yet and I even had a few tears.  I guess it’s hard knowing that I have to leave everyone again and I didn’t realize how much I missed them until I got to spend time with them and have fun together! And even though I’m not a fan of Spanish food I actually missed some of the food like spanish tortilla and the yummy rice dishes my madre makes.

I am back in Alicante after another long and exhausting 20 hour trip. This time is seemes to fly by and I was here before I knew it. The weather is beautiful and warm. The sun is shining. It’s just how I left it. My madre greeted my with a big hug and besos. It was nice to know that she missed me and that she was happy I was back! I slept for about 14 hours that first night but couldn’t sleep my second night. While I was home I used Wal-mart.com and made my spanish sister a photo blanket for her husband who is in Panama for 3 years working. I used about 9 of her photos and it came out beautiful. Everyone loves it and they can’t wait for him to come home in March to give it to him.

Friday I get to see the lovely Erica  and my girl Kelly on Saturday. Both of whom were here last semester and are here with me for the year. My orientation starts Sunday night and the Intensive starts the 18th. I’m glad I have 5 days with nothing to do but speak Spanish and get back into the Spanish groove. But I still miss everything being in English, my mom, my friends, and my comfy bed. This experience has been amazing so far and I hope this semester goes well. I want to be so much better at Spanish, which is inevitable since that’s what I learn here. I want to travel to Prague, Madrid, Lisbon, Vienna, Salzburg, Barcelona, Geneva, and Morocco. Erica and I have a South of Spain trip planned in April which I’m really excited for. That’s because we are gonna go to the Strait of Gibralter where you can play with monkey’s! How cool right? Yea there will be pictures of that!

My study abroad family asked me if was a good idea to go home because the other girls staying for a year stayed in Europe. The answer to that question is hard to answer. Before I left, I said it was fine. I wanted to go home because I knew I was coming back. Did I have a good time? Of course I did. It was amazing to see everyone and be home. Did I miss Spain? Yes. I missed my spanish family and the weather. Did I speak Spanish while home? Nope. Was it hard to come back to Spain? Absolutely. It was hard leaving home again and coming back to complete immersion. Am I happy to be back? I’m still deciding. I realized I didn’t miss the food like I thought haha I like being with my madre and I don’t have anything to do but relax. I’m speaking spanish and trying to gain my level of achievement before I left. And I miss home more than I thought I would and possibly more than last semester! Who can really say that they don’t love their mom, her cooking and her hugs? I may be 20, almost 21, but my home will always be my home no matter where in the world I am.

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Hay fotos y una mapa de mis adventuras

 

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It’s Christmas Time!

It’s almost time to go home and I am so thankful that I have another semester here in Spain. I have so many places I want to go still and I want to improve my spanish even more. Plus who can say they study abroad for a year? Not many people. Plus I like my Spanish life syle and my madre. Life is more relaxed and life is easier in ways.

But now that it’s Christmas time, I’m in the Christmas spirit. And that also means that I’M COMING HOME! Who would have thought this day would come? I thought it would be a lifetime away and here it is only a few days away. I’ve been to many places and done so many things that it’s weird to think of home. I mean I am excited off the wall to go home but will things really be the same? Everyone has also moved on in their lives and I don’t want things to be different but in reality they are different, I’m different.  But I’m no matter what has changed my mom will still be the same and she will of course still love me and be proud of me! I can’t wait to see her and my cat too! Also, I can’t wait to see my friends and coworkers from over the summer! And I definitely can’t wait to see my best friend in the whole world Liasor Dima! He doesn’t read this blog I don’t think but it would make him smile to know that I said that. I am excited to have normal food like tacos and hamburgers and chinese and sushi, shout out to Jimmy my sushi partner and best friend.

I even have presents for everyone! I have gifts from Italy and the Vatican, London, Amsterdam, Paris and Spain of course. But my most creative gifts come from Walmart.com my best friend. And yes I have many best friends. I have this great idea for my  grandpa. My grandpa growing up was like my dad and we have always been close. Unfortunately after I went to college that relationship wasn’t the same. And now that he broke his hip in 3 places this past March he and my grandma are in a nursing home. Anyway the point is I love my grandpa and my mom told me that he talks about me all the time to the nurses. This made realize how much my grandpa loves me and how much I miss him! So I wanted to give him and awesome gift. I decided that since walmart.com photo center is the best I would do something there. I decided to make him a scrapbook of photos of me traveling around Europe. I decided this because I know my grandpa wanted to travel and he was in the Philippines in WWII. Also my mom told me how proud of me he is. I knew that he would enjoy this present more than anything I could buy him. I sent about 60 photos to be printed and delivered to my house. I also was looking around walmart.com and found some cool things to make like ornaments and other christmas things. I made a christmas card with photos of me around the world and had them sent to my house! In the past I’ve made a puzzle with a photo of my and my ex and I made a blanket with photos on it for my mom when I went to college. So when I was looking around I found that you can make playing cards with a photo on it. So I decided that I would make that with a picture of my mom and I to give to my grandparents. I thought this was a cool idea. Then I told my madre about it and the things I was making and I told her I had a good idea for my spanish sister. Her husband recently went to Panama for 3 years and I thought that the blanket would be a good idea to give to her husband with photos on it of her and her kids. She was really excited for this because here in Spain they don’t have that sort of thing. And I’m excited to give her that as her present.

So in 2 days I’ll be on a plane back to the United States and arrive in Syracuse at 6:15pm on Tuesday. I can’t wait and I only have one final to take before my semester is over and I have 25 glorious days of no school! My christmas break will be filled with many memories and happy times. Then I get to come back to Spain for 5 months. My best friend Liasor will be in Granada for the semester and my other best friend Jimmy is coming to visit me. Plus I have almost the whole month of April off and my wonderful mother will be bringing me home at the end of the semester after we hopefully travel somewhere in Europe! Ta Ta for now!

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December Break Trip…4 Countries, 4 Cities and 10 days.

On December 1st my friends Erica, Annie, Luke and I flew off to London. London was an amazing city. For one thing everything is in English oh how I missed English. You really don’t realize it till you can understand everything and just talk normal to people. The taxi’s are like old cars and the busses are the double decker busses like they should be in London. Our hostel was right next to Hyde Park and there was a big Christmas festival going on. It was nice to see all the Christmas things and for it to be chilly. It felt like home more than Spain ever did. We saw Big Ben which is amazing and we saw West Minster Abbey where there are the bodies of  Locke and Dickens along with royalty of England. And of course where the royalty get married like Prince William and Kate. We saw Buckingham Palace of course and it was actually a let down. It is so small compared to what I thought it would be or even compared to Palace of Versailles. Then on our walking tour we saw the Palace of the Queens son Prince Charles and the actual address of the Queen- the Palace at St. James Street. That was even worse because literally was like a big house/ barn thing.  We saw the Eye of London and the red phone booths. The London bridge and the Tower bridge were really cool. In Hyde park we saw a lot of wild life including ducks, pigeons, dogs, squirrels and horses. There are even horse trails in Hyde park cool huh? Yea. The night before our early morning flight we went to a hotel right next to the airport. It had good enough wifi that I got to skype my mom!

Then we jetted of to Amsterdam the well known city of legal prostitution and legalized weed. Well the city is actually much smaller than I though ti would be. I’m not kidding when I say we walked the whole city it one day. We saw the old Palace of the royalty and all the little streets and river ways. It was also interesting to see Anne Frank’s house which was actually only the hiding spot during the war but very informative and well kept. There wasn’t really anything in there but all the history and stories were shared with the public. It was a sad part of the day knowing what they went through and how bad WWII was. There was one of the Occupy groups in Amsterdam when we were there. It was really cold too. In fact I bought a hat and scarf to stay warm. Coming from Upstate NY one would think I would be accustomed to the cold but nope! This cold was different like bone chilling cold and I had layers on too. I don’t know what it is about Northern Europe but winter is a bad time to visit if you hate the cold. Our hotel was right next to the Red Light District. It was interesting to see that it literally is a part of the city with red lights above the doors with girl in them. Also, another thing is that the streets in this part of the city smell like straight up weed. No joke the cafes just have the doors open and there are people smoking away. We did learn though that only 5% of people from Amsterdam or Holland in general smoke weed. So people, its the tourist that make it so popular for weed. Amsterdam is a very relaxed city that had Christmas markets and the Heineken Factory and the I amsterdam sign. I saw the mini one and it was cool. And this is also the city where our friend Maggie joined us!

Next stop Berlin. Berlin was colder than Amsterdam believe it or not. Our hostel was in East Berlin near the East Side Gallery. That is one of things we saw too. It is  a part of the Berlin wall that is still up and people have made art on it for whatever purpose they like. It was really cool to see what people had created. We also saw the square where all the embassies are. Before arriving at this plaza I found DUNKIN DONUTS! And you better believe I had a Carmel Latte. Yumm it was so amazing! Anyway back to Berlin. We also saw the block where there is a momument to the Jews who died in WWII. It takes up a good square block and it is a lot of different sized rectangular blocks in rows. We saw Check Point Charlie and looked at West Berlin then continued the other direction. In all the cities we go to there are free tours that we go on and they are actually really good. So we never actually saw anything in West Berlin but when we were at the East Side Gallery we crossed the line just to say we made it. Berlin is such a big city that I bet some people never see West Berlin and it kind of reminds me of when the wall was up and they said you can’t go over there. Obviously it’s not the same but even today it’s possible not to cross that line. There is a lot of history in East Berlin and maybe West Berlin doesn’t have that much history I don’t know. It was a good time with more Christmas markets that had homemade German food. There was Mulled wine-hot wine that was amazing- and potato pancakes. And Erica got a German boyfriend that gave us free donut hole things and wrote her a note. We saw the outside of all the cool museums in Berlinon Museum Island as it is so properly named. And one museum named the Pergamon Museum has the Pergamon Altar and the Ishtar Gates of Babylon. This museum is basically stolen things from other countries in the past. The next day we went to a comcentration camp about an hour outside Berlin. It was a sad day. Although this wasn’t a major camp it still was a place where people died and were murdered. I learned things I probably never really wanted to know but that is the history of WWII and unfortunately Germany as well. Later that night we got lost on the subway and were finally on the right train and being students and knowing that no one checks the tickets we never bought one. It isn’t like London or NYC where you need a ticket to get it, there simply isn’t a place to check tickets. Well we were on the wrong train at the wrong time and got caught without tickets. It was a 40 Euro fine for each of us. That was a horrible time right there people yelling at you in German and being like what? I don’t understand you. But we paid it and bought a ticket to get to our hostel and life was good. Well we were our 40 Euro but what can you do?

Last stop Brussels. It literally was just like a long layover in Brussels. We were there for not even 24 hours but boy did we see and do a lot. We saw the famous peeing boy which really was just stupid. Again went to again Christmas market in the morning. Ate delicious Belgium waffles that were like heaven on your tongue. We saw the old Palace of Belgium…damnnnnn is all I have to say. They knew how to build a Palace. BEST PALACE I’VE SEEN YET! It was huge like almost triple the size of the Palace of Versailles. IT had views of the city that were just beautiful at sunset. It is now used as the Hall of Justice and Court System and is also being re-furnished, or re-built or re-structured I don’t know the right word. It’s funny how when you don’t use English that much you forget words or sometimes even how to talk. Anyway after that we saw some more gardens. Like I said Europeans love their gardens and they are all beautiful. Then we saw yet another PALACE. It too was incredible. To be honest most buildings in Brussels could be Palaces compared to other Palaces I’ve seen. Brussels is also the home to the head of the EU and it also speaks French and Finnish, neither of which I know. That night we saw a light show and went to another Christmas market. There are a lot of churches in Brussels that are all amazing, big and decorative. Did you know that french fries come from Belgium? Yea I didn’t either. We tried the french fries and they were really good too! Then we hung out a 2 bars for the night. Our flight was at 6 am and there was no point in getting a hostel since our bus for the airport left at 4am and the fact that we had one but there was a mix up and we are students so cheap is always the way to go. We cherry beer and I don’t like beer but this was one of the best drinks I’ve had in Europe, besides that mulled wine I tell you. We finally get going back to Alicante and pass out on the plane as to the point where we don’t remember take off. Then we got home about 10am and I slept straight on through till 6pm at night. I was exhausted.

That ended one of the best trips I’ve taken and believe it or not all my flights were less than 30 Euro! Yupp 30 Euro! I travelled with a good group of friends and there wasn’t a problem in the world. We left our Spanish life for 10 days and had an amazing, cold but amazing trip. But it was still nice to be in the warmth again.

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Sevilla the land of rain

Every trip our group takes it always rains… go figure the place that has 330 days of sunshine we end up with like all 35 days of rain. Sevilla is a very old city and looks very Mediterranean with its very charmy feel. We saw the Palace that has a Muslim influence and is very beautiful. Again the gardens were beautiful, the Europeans and their gardens. It had such pretty colors on the inside. There was some amazing stained glass and fountains. The one big fountain had these huge catfish looking fish.

I found Starbucks everywhere! Thank the Lord! I love my coffee and the Spanish don’t know how to have regular sized coffee I swear it’s all expresso cups where you can drink it all in one sip. Anyway best part and worst part. I had the Peppermint Mocha and it was amazing but then I spilled it everywhere..what do you think I did next??? Any guesses??? That’s right I went and got another one! Come on that was easy. I love my coffee…don’t mess with me when I need coffee.

We also saw the Cathedral which is the 3rd or 4th largest Cathedral in the World. It had the bodies of Christopher Columbus and his son along with a few Kings and royalty. We then climbed to the top of the tower that it has. It has amazing views of the city. I love when you can go to a city and climb up a tower or a hill or mountain or even up to a church and it has the most beautiful views you will ever see in your life. Inside the Cathedral there was a huge golden gated area where they have mass. Also attached to the Cathedral was an area where they have all the documents of the New World and the conquest of Central America. Also a crazy thing about the Cathedral is that there used to be a Mosque literally right next to it or attached to it in history, not sure which but Mosque and Church don’t go together well.

Saw the Plaza de Torros or where the bullfighting takes place and it was along side of a river. It just so happened to be sunset when we were there and the sun setting is so beautiful! We went out that night had some drinks and most people went back early because we had an 8 hour drive back to our home Alicante. We even ate Mexican that night that was sooooo delicious for it being Spain and all. It was a fun trip and it was nice that it was paid for by CIEE since they pay for the 2 weekend trips we take within Spain. So much history in Spain that most people never really get to see the country they stay in… good thing I have next semester.

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