Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Finally Fun!

So now that all the settling in craziness is over we've been having fun in Granada. It's so nice to finally see the city in all it's glory. It's truly beautiful here.

Lauren and Gloria's cousin, Will, joined us Sunday night until him and Gloria leave tomorrow. We ate at this cute pizza place called Made in Italy, which Lauren and I have to remember because we could split a pizza for 3 euros each. Plus the waiter is cute so we could make friends with him ;-)

Lauren and I unfortunately had to go to school Monday morning to take our placement test. It was like re-living the AP Spanish test all over again, but I felt a lot more confident about how I did once I finished. There were a whole bunch of students for New Hampshire who were freaking out, so I think I did better than them.

Embarrassing moment of the morning:

Scenario: Lauren and I were leaving school to go meet her mom at our place. She opened the door and didn't hold it. I tried to catch it with my elbow as I was also blowing my nose. It didn't happen and I bumped into the door and two hot guys laughed at me...

The rest of the day we went on our first real sightseeing trip. We walked down the street to the Cathedral in Granada, which is absolutely gorgeous. I liked it a lot better than the Cathedral in Cologne, because it was brighter and you could take pictures inside. It's almost pretty enough for me to want to go to mass.

That night we went to the Albaicin neighborhood to watch a flamenco performance in some random cave house, which wasn't really a cave. Let me just say, I thought my neighborhood, Realejo, was exquisite, but this one takes the cake! All the houses are white-washed with beautiful terraces and balconies with flowers overlooking the Alhambra. Our tour guide called these houses "Carmen." So I've decided when I'm living off the royalties of my novels, I'm going to move to Granada and buy a Carmen ;-)

Embarrassing moment of the evening:
So we were doing some night sightseeing before the show and we had a gorgeous view of the Alhambra. It was dark and I started taking pictures. I looked at the first one and realized there was a girl straddling and making out with her boyfriend on the wall. I told them "lo siento" and they just laughed at me. You can view the picture up at the top.

The flamenco show was amazing! Maybe it was because of the intimacy of the place or the passion of the dancers, but I was truly moved. They were doing things that, as a dancer, I could only dream of doing. I was inspired and intimidated at the same time.

This morning we went to the Alhambra. For those of you who don't know, the Alhambra is the old fortress that the Muslims built when they occupied Andalucia. I can't even begin to describe how exquisite and detailed this place is. The details in the palaces were so intricate I kept thinking to myself, "imagine how many slaves died building this."The picture above is of the sultan's palace. This building specifically is where Isabella commissioned Columbus' Voyage to America.

This afternoon we went to go see the tombs of Isabel and Fernando, next to the Cathedral. Unfortunately, we weren't allowed to take pictures of the tomb.

On a side note, I was really happy that I did some light reading on Granada. Before I came here I read that the Gypsies like to give out "free" twigs of rosemary, then grab your hand to read your palm. They "ask" you for money and according to superstition, it's bad luck to give coins, so the least you can give is 5 euro. So on our way to the tomb, they tried to force it on us, but we were smart enough to yell "no gracias" and walk away quickly. We saw some other people who weren't smart enough to read up on Spanish gypsies who got caught in the trap. So I just laughed and hoped that they didn't put a gypsy curse on them.

I know this is a long one, hopefully my internet situation is more regular so I can post more often!

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