Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Goodbye Huelva

After living in Huelva..........I am glad I was here and I am ready to leave.

Some of the students and pictures of the school.....

Many of the things that are great about living in Spain:
  • Futbol on TV all the time
  • Walk everywhere, no traffic
  • Few people have dishwashers or dryers...makes you feel less wastefull.
  • Most cars are standard, and you cant use the cell in the car, so people pay attention when they drive
  • Flamenco shows
  • The love of soccer, the amount of people playing in the parks
  • Hamberguesa completas......not as many McDonalds and fast food places (at least in Huelva) 
  • Seville
  • Cheap medicine and you dont have to pay to go to the doctor
  • Cheap wine and olives
  • Cathedrals
  • Nap time at 3 o'clock
  • My realaxed schedule with tons of time to read
  • The students in class apparently do not have cliques
  • Nap time again
Goodbye, Huelva!

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Cathedral de Se in Lisbon.
Hilary and I went to Lisbon in April 2010.
The city is bigger than it seems, it has over 2 million people.
 Tram #28 takes you to all the best spots.
Hilary in Lisbon! We rented a moped for the day, which is why we are carrying around helmets.
We went to a town called Sintra. The palace there was used by the King and Queen of Portugal.
The palace is surrounded by beautiful gardens and nature areas.
We then traveled to the WESTERNMOST point in Europe: Cabo Da Roca.
Hilary on the beach, the Atlantic ocean:
We tried a famous liquor the people of Portugal like, Gihng Ging, (prob. spelled wrong), pronounced "Jing Jing".
Portugal was great. We stayed in the Smile Hostal, a great value for 14 euros a night.
Good Trip! (minus getting a fever)
Lisbon was one of my favorites in Europe,  can't get enough of those cobblestone streets!

Similarities and Differences of Spainiards and Americans

This video is of an American english teacher, choosing to live in Spain.

He lists the similarities and differences of the cultures, and after living in Spain for a short while (7 months to observe).....I agree with most of these points except for the food! I guess, "to each his own". We don't judge all that much, but he does make a point.

Scroll over the youtube writing below:

I think that my experience has been different from the typical "study abroad" experience. I did not know anyone coming over here, and have not been surrounded by other Americans while living here. I believe that my experience was more authentic than a study abroad experience, which has good and bad points......I did tend to get more lonely living in Huelva. On the other hand, I probably branched out more, and got to experience and observe the culture in a more authentic way.

I remember meeting a guy at the gym, Harold (ironically a very American name), and he invited me to come to his pueblo (small town) outside of Huelva, and join in on a "bodega". A bodega is an awesome event. Its a weekly gathering of people in the pueblo that bring their own meat to a patio bar and cook it on the same grill and hang out with thier neighbors. Everyone was drinking wine and beer, eating meat, and talking with all of thier friends. It was a blast, and probably one of the most authentic things I did while here in Spain.

In this video, one of the last points that he makes is that he thinks Spain is a much easier place for a normal, middle class guy to live. He states that the pressures and the desire to be a "winner" in America can sometimes make the middle class man feel insignificant.

The Spanish unemployment rate is at 20% right now and problems may be on the way. I suppose there are ups and downs to this Spanish "relaxed" lifestyle.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Trip to Barcelona

We went to Barcelona during Semana Santa of 2010. It was crowded. Semana Santa is like spring break for Americans, except in Spain they have parades with Jesus as the centerpiece. Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain, behind Madrid, with around 4 million people. We took a bike tour on day one:
The guide and the "natural bike rider":
Along the beach we were told that it used to be the slums. Rows of old apartment buildings lined the beach, but after the 1992 Olympics, the city was cleaned up, and became a popular tourist destination (and a place where Hil and I would eat sandwiches courtesy of the H10). We saw a completely nude old man riding a bike along the beach, and then we left for the Sangrada Famalia.
A reminder of the old:
One of the main Plazas where we had dinner on the last night of our trip.
Guadi's Sangrada Famalia, still not completed (est. completion: 2040):
Guadi died from crossing the street and getting hit by a rail car. He was only around 60 years old.  He was dressed in work clothes and no one knew of his importance when they found him, and his medical attention was laxed. He died while waiting for attention in the hospital.
The other side:
An apartment building built by Guadi. It is supposed to resemble the ocean, with the curves as waves and the balcony decor as seaweed.
Guadi's park Guell:
The entrance to the park, tons of people b/c of Semana Santa.
La Rambla, the busiest pedestrian street I know of, with lots of eccentric street performers:
Off of La Rambla, there is a popular open air market that has lots to choose from.....pig heads, lamb heads, cow tounges, fish. Hilary didnt have a good experience here, being an animal lover.
On the last day, we went to Montserrat:
Tibadabo has a greak overlook of Barcelona, and a ferrycar to take you to the top. We ran back down and beat it.
Montjuic, where the musical water fountain is:
Waiting for the Magic Fountain to never start, becasue the last show was at 9pm, and we arrived at 9:15.
So we came back during the day:
Barcelona was fun. It feels more modern than the rest of the cities in Spain. Eating at the Hard Rock Cafe was a highlight, we (I) still think that the Spanish need to use more spices in their food, and include some vegetables.  

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Trip To Italy!!!!!!!!

My Parents and I met up with Kelsy, David, Matt, Angie, and Hilary in Naples, Italy. A friend told me about Naples, "You'll either hate it or love it". We stayed long enough only to find we didn't feel safe.We walked around Naples for a few hours and felt like we were about to be innocent bystanders in a mobster clash. The city is very active, loud and dirty, but it has a cool feel to it. Naples claims the birthplace of the pizza. (Hilary would arrive later this night).
 We discovered that they keep thier pizza simple, thin crust, tomatoes, and cheese....made in a brick oven. Most of the time we were all looking around in different directions.....
Naples was founded in the 8th century BC, it is one of the oldest citites in the world. It was also one of the most bombed cities during WWII, some of the buildings looked like they haven't recovered.

Our next stop was an hour south, to Sorrento. Rick Steve said it is the best place to stay near Naples, and I agree. It is a small town with nice hotels, nice resturaunts, and an awesome coastline.
There was a view of old roman ruins right outside of the hotel.
Some authentic Pizza:
On day one, Hil and I decided to rent a moped for the day.
The Italians on mopeds are crazy, but smart, you save so much time in traffic with one of these.
We travelled along the winding roads of the coast to Positano and the Almafi Coast.
The Positano beach is amazing, we felt like we were in a postcard. We ate pistachio gellato, napped on the beach, and saw people coming out of churches with palm branches.
Dinner in Sorrento:

On day two, we travelled to Pompei by train next to some smelly Italian guys.
Pompeii is a town near Naples that was covered by the ashes of a volcano that erupted on Mount Vesuvius. The ashes covered the town in 79AD, at the height of the Roman Empire.
Mount Vesuvuis in the background:
Pompeii was lost for nearly 1,600 years before its accidental rediscovery in 1592. Since then, its excavation has provided an extraordinarily detailed insight into the life of a city at the height of the Roman Empire. Today, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Italy, with approximately 2,500,000 visitors every year.
Hil and I (head of the god Jupiter in the background):
The 3 large stones signified a two lane road.
David found a drain to worship:
Hil was having some "girl issues" this day, and I was scared.
We sat in a theater built over 600 years before Jesus walked the earth and watched a performance of French 10th graders perform skits.
Hilary wanted to take a picture of this guy in the theater becasue she said thats what she imagines Jesus to look like:
On day three in Sorrento we went to The Isle of Capri. We hiked along the coast and saw some awesome views:
The Mediterranian sea is beautiful:
We liked Italy.
Good Trip!