Thursday, June 30, 2011

A pleasant place para parar!

We are back in Madrid and are in houses of families.  I am so excited because de verdad estoy muy cansada! I'm way tired and we have traveled a ton, so now we get to be in one place for a week and here it is! I'm so excited! Off to bed we go!

Granada continued with the Alhambra

So I didn't get to write about Granada when we left because the internet wouldn't work, plus there really wasn't much time. We have used all the time we had to pack and pasear, go out and do stuff, more than not to buy, buy, buy.  I had no idea that it would be so easy to spend so much money in a week.  And we still have 3 weeks left!  Oh, well it's all fitting in my suitcase for right now! Yay!


Granada:  I love Granada!  We went to the Alhambra and it was the coolest thing I think I’ve ever seen architecturally.   The work done by the people is so amazing that it is awe striking.  The detail on the walls and in every single inch is amazing.  There are structures and water and gardens for miles and miles and miles. My feet hurt so bad. I was in so much pain. I am so glad I wore actual shoes and not my sandals/flip flops I have been wearing. I have been doing just fine wearing my flip flops, but man my feet were throbbing after we walked and walked.

As we went through the garden Carolina and I got separated from the group. I told her we should ask someone for their cell phone and call the professors, because I had their number written in my little book I write everything in.

I was imagining the people who had walked through those streets and build this amazing city.  It was like they have in the movie “The Testaments” with the gardens and details and baths. I loved it.  I couldn’t help but think what a different life the people who lived here had.  There were actual real people walking those same roads, in sandals like I was, but in the 1400s ish. The Alhambra or al-kal- al-hamrรก (the castIe made of red dirt) I just wonder what they were thinking about in those days while we think about getting tons of work done all the time and going from here to there.  Their lives must have been so relaxed, yet there were wars all the time so I’m sure they were constantly on guard and figuring out plans to conquer etc.  Sometimes I wish I could go for one day (minus the culture shock, because that takes too long to cure if I only get one day) to be there and dress in those cool dresses and experience life then.  Anyway, I really think it is extraordinary.  I loved the Alhambra.  It is so amazing that they have to limit how many people can enter.  Only 6300 people can enter daily during the months of November to April, and 7,700 from March to October.  I couldn’t believe that they have to limit it because that many people come daily!  It is pretty amazing to me, but for all the people we saw there I guess they reach those numbers daily.  We had to buy our tickets 3 months in advance.  They only let a certain amount of people go in every hour.  We had to get tickets for 9 because we tried for 10 and 9:30 and they were already sold out. Frankly, I’m really glad that we got it for 9 because it got really hot really early. We were there until about 12:30 and it seemed like 5 hours!

After going to the Alhambra we went and rested in the hotel for a couple of hours after Susy and I went shopping for a bit.  I bought some purses for some people (Jenn, Erin and Shaunda) and some earings for my roommate Jodee and of course for myself.  I got some Real Madrid stuff for my nephews and a coaster that is like the azulejo (tile) from the Alhambra.  We found out where church for Sunday was and went to La Capilla Real.  That is where Queen Ysabel and King Fernando, Juana La loca (that is my nickname they call me, because sometimes I’m locas) and her husband Felipe el hermoso a(Phillip the handsome)  They say she went loca because she was so crazy in love with him and when he died she couldn’t handle it, but others say that it was because she went crazy because he was so handsome and was jealous of other women with him…we’ll never know I guess.  Their son Miguel is also there. He died at 2 years old. 

We couldn’t take pictures in there, but it was okay, because after I took so many pictures at the Alhambra my battery was dead and frankly taking pictures inside where you can’t use a flash is really hard, plus there are sooooo many things to take pictures of that it is overwhelming and takes like 3 hours, I kind of appreciated the fact that I wasn’t allowed so I could just enjoy it and capture the memory in my memory and not in photos.   Our professors know so much.  La Gran Profe Knapp taught us so much! I love it when she talks.  Sometimes I get lost in her words though because I am trying to think about the way she is saying things instead of what she is saying, so I miss important details.  She speaks Spanish like a Spaniard because she is Spanish!!!  I learned all the cool symbolism of the Spanish crest.  It is really cool!  She is like a walking encyclopedia.  She knows everything about everything.  Both professors have photographic memories!  It is good because they help me understand so many things, not just Spanish. I am on one heck of a journey! I love it. I have enjoyed learning so much and actually have a desire to learn history now. I want to sit and read history books for days, but no nos da tiempo (there’s no time!!!).

This is pretty much on top of the world!  From the gardens of the Alhambra, which is on the top of the city!

The forteleza, or watch tower. We went to the top!

Pretty much a theatre in the round inside the garden court I think.

The signs to go to the Alhambra. On this street a ton of Gypsies would come up to us holding some sort of branch and offer it to us as a gift and then grab the hand and say, "Let me read you your fortune."  They are all over. Part of me wants to let them read it and tell me the name of my marido!  My professors advize me not to!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

La Mezquita Cordoba

I love the Mezquita. While we were sitting, being taught by Dendi I wanted to cry for the beauty that was there. I have wanted to go to the Mezquita ever since I knew what it was 9 years ago. I can't believe that I was inside it today. You can't really take bad photos there, because everywhere you look is so beautiful! I love how the arches are constant like eternity and the past...interesting to me. If you want me to expound I will later. As for right now estoy media muerta asi que necesito dormir. I am going to sleep right now!2:18am 10 min before normal, but tomorrow we get to sleep in! And I am! It is the first time we get to sleep in the whole trip. I can't believe it has only been a week today that we arrived! crazy huh! We are so lucky because we have done so many cool things! I am very blessed and my Spanish is coming back! I have lost so many words! I guess Jr. High students just don't challenge me like I need!

This is what is outside my window right now! I am falling asleep as I write and the Mezquita is right right right outisde my window. It is amazing. I pretty much cried today when we were there. Dream complete! I have always wanted to go to the Mezquita and here we are. Of all the places in the world I am amazed still that we are here! What a huge thing for me. I am soooooooooooooooo blessed!