Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Reading, Studying, More Reading

The title says it all. That has been my last two days. I am happy, though, because I never have time to read at school or home. I have knocked out 4 books so far! 

For those who don't know, I seriously am staying in a palace. Well, not literally. The home in Écija is so beautiful. 
I am currently sitting on second floor where I get the most wifi. It is so beautiful. Again, adding things to the list for a perfect house. 

We went to the mall yesterday because Alicia, my host sister leaves tomorrow for Holland for 6 months on a college study abroad. She needed a larger suitcase to fit her winter coats in because its really cold in Holland. 

It was very different. One of the stored we went in (a super market) had dried lamb legs everywhere in the food area. Along with a case of brains and intestines. The sign said organs on it. It was strange, but the cokes are cheaper in super markets here. It was equal to $1, when usually they're $1.50. 

Tomorrow Alicia leaves, and in a week and a half I begin school! 

Defining excited. 

Until next time,

Monday, August 26, 2013

The End of the Vacation Road

Tomorrow we head back to Éjica. Today we were in Cárcaras. It's really pretty and a big city. We went from our hotel down a couple streets, and suddenly it looked like we were in Italy. 

We went to the church of the city as well. 
These are tombs. I still can't get over the fact that they are the ground in the church. Sometimes, when I step on one of the designs on a tomb that comes up, I jump. I just can't help it. 
This was outside the church. I was taken aback for a moment, given the history of America, but I recovered quickly remembering it is a big part of a holiday in Spain. During Semana Santa, groups of people dress up (as so) and parade around the cities in large festivals and parades. I have heard it is very fun. The outfits are worn to represent by the Nazarene as another way to ask for forgiveness. It is definitely a happy holiday, having nothing to do with the unfortunate past of America.
We walked up a very long and narrow staircase to the top of the tower of the church. Very beautiful, no?
On our way out, we saw this and it made me think of home. (I say this because there is a house in my neighborhood with two or three peacocks. And many times, they get loose and walk down the street.)

We leave bright and early tomorrow. Two weeks until I begin the Colegio! 

Hasta luego



Descansar. Relax. That is all we did today. And it was much needed. Me and Alicia slept until 11:45. I enjoyed that very much. And we read all day. I should have been studying, but I read a book on my phone instead. I left my actual book that I brought in Eníjca. 

My host parents left the house for a while, so all the children (even though I am the only technical child in this house) read all day. I finished that book. It was a long book. And now I plan to get the second one once I have WEE-FEE. (Don't be surprised if I come back to the US pronouncing it like that. )

We young adults had "sausages" for lunch but really they were hot dogs. And tomato paste stuff that was exactly like ketchup, but less acid. They were Oscar Meyer hot dogs. Woo for something my stomach is familiar with!

Also, we had these after the hot dogs:
They were pretty much Nacho Cheese. Very nice to see a familiar food. 

Also, Fanta de Naranja, or as English speakers say, Orange Fanta, is now my favorite drink. I am always careful when I drink it because I can already hear my orthodontist telling my I need to drink clear sodas if I drink any. Also, coffee. I have coffee everyday. Cafe con Leche. I brush my teeth after every time I drink one of these. So do you hear that, Grandma and Mom? I am trying. It is just very hard to say no when my eyelids barely stay open in the morning. 

And in the afternoon. 

And after dinner. 

Well, today was a nice lazy day. We ate most of the food tonight because we leave tomorrow for another hotel in the West of Spain. And guess what? There is wifi. (I hope you just read that with an accent because I do when I type it). 

Well, hasta mañana. 

Caves and Gaudí


Today has been quite a long day. I had to look in my pictures to remember how the day started. 

We started our day earlier than usual. We set off to the Altamira Cave at 10am. 

Well, it isn't technically the Altamira Cave. It's a NeoCave. The actual cave is extremely endangered because when it was first offered for viewing, people from everywhere came and crowded in the little cave. Because of the temperature change and so much movement, along with people being handsy all over the prehistoric art work, it was in big trouble. So they created an exact replica of the cave and put artifacts in a huge museum.  It is really cool. 

So back to the explanation. 

The Altamira cave is a 18,500 year old cave that was used by the monkey-man creature, Neanderthals and, once they went extinct, man. There are many artifacts that were found in the cave. From tombs and carcasses to tools and clothes. 
When I saw this, my heart jumped. All I could think was: Slenderman. 

What is most significant about the caves are the amazing drawings found on the ceiling of the cave. The cave is very short, so it was easy for the people to draw/paint. 

We went from there to another city with a big church and many stores and restaurants. The town itself dates back to the Medieval times. 
We went into the church am there was a big quad with one wall full of ivy. 

From that city we went to Santamilla del Mar. This city is famous for its amazing architecture. Gaudí designed one of the buildings and another is a famous Gothic style church. The Gaudí house was definitely my favorite because I love sunflowers and that was the theme of the home. 
These flowers were planted all around the entrance. I thought they were really pretty, so here ya go. 
"The Tower"
The stained glass of the entrance way. 
The main bedroom. The sitting area was originally a bathroom. 
The ceiling of the main bed. 
There are two little balconies with wrought iron that are very unique and really cute. There were some details about this house that I would want to have in my own. Like this balcony, for example. 
This stained glass is the bathroom, I am pretty sure. It's very famous because the man that Gaudí designed this house for, Máximo Diáz, loved music. In the left window pane, there is a bee playing the guitar. And in the right, there is a bird perched on piano keys. 
This is the entrance way to the first floor balcony (big, not the little iron one). 
I really love the sunflowers. It was a summer home, after all. 
So this is the part of the attic. It is split into two because the living room ceiling is so tall that it splits it in two and there is a roof top area to connect them. This is another thing I am now adding to my list of things I want in my future home. It is just too beautiful. 
This was the other side thathad furniture replications that Gaudí designed and Diáz had in this home. Also, a way to the tower; however, it was locked because it isn't safe to actually go up into the tower. 
These are the famous designs of chairs. And yes, the second picture is of one chair. 
There was another balcony off the second part of the attic. It had a nicer view of the tower. 
As well as the courtyard. It is known for the horseshoe shape you see here. In the back, as well, Gaudí designed a cave. 
This was the entry way to the balcony. There is an iron bar right behind my head. It has padding and duct tape all around it. No, I didn't hit my head (which is highly characteristic of me, but Pablo did). 
This is just anther area in the yard beside the green house, which makes up the center of the home. 

We walked about 10 minutes and made it here. It is the church of the city. 

All together it was a long day. But it was really fun and I love the house Gaudí designed. By far my favorite building so far, even though it is kind of of gaudy. 

I hope you just laughed because I did. 

And I know I usually end my posts with my mustache, or bigote, but this picture is kind of better:

I am just chilling with Gaudí. Admiring his work.