Spain 1: Madrid to Cordoba
not the coolest pic to start with, but this is Madrid, and I was super impressed by all the sculptures and architectural designs.
from a different angle...
this is Allison, who I lived with last year at Pomona
ok i know this is a horrible picture, but the point of it was the leg of pork that is on the counter. they have these EVERYWHERE and every family has one in their house. except mine :(
i especially like the fat lady sculpture. and there are fountains EVERYWHERE. in like every intersection and on every round-a-bout. there are lots of round-a-bouts here.
when they're doing construction, they put up these sheets over the buildings and the workers word underneath them. cool! i thought hawaii was doin a good thing by requiring black mesh around construction sites but this is way more classy. the bulges at the bottom are workers.
train station in Madrid. Pat-this looks just like your photo!!
CORDOBA!! there are lots of parks and old ruins/castles
Plaza de Tandillas. a very central meeting point in the city
there are doves everywhere. we saw a blue one that someone had caught and dyed...poor thing!
believe it or not, this is the site where way back in the 15th century Columbus met with the catholic king and queen and received permission to set sail.
and this is inside. patios are a huge deal in cordoba.
and entry way patios are also a big deal. this is a lawyer's house. the stones on the inside are designed to clean your shoes as you walk in.
i didn't quite catch the name of this christ statue but it's super famous and important in the city.
cordoba has a strange blend of old and new. this is an old cathedral that had the side of it lopped off to build a convent which looks like a modern apartment building. weird
entryway of the church
old and new...roman ruins and apartment buildings...
cordoba also has lots of bridges
ok, so this is blood. not blood sausage. congealed blood. which we ate. we have also eaten bull's tail which was actually REALLY good. the meat was so flavorful and tender, but it's got a huge bone in the middle, so it's one of those meals that is really fussy. we've also eaten 'callo' which literally means callus which is basically like tripe. mmmm i love intestines! not. actually the callo and blood weren't that bad in terms of flavor, it's just got a sketchy texture.
bad pic i know, but this is what blood looks like when you cut into it. it's congealed chicken blood.
it's carnival here now. that's my friend maggie who i live with walking down the street.
this is carlos and cristina...our 'ayudantes' who have been SO helpful in helping us get settled in this first bit of time here. they helped us find houses and they take us everywhere and are amazing. they are grad students and speak english but never never to us. it's not allowed or we get sent home! i've been speaking nothing but spanish here and it's actually hard to speak english since i've been thinking in spanish and i then have to translate everything i say back into english. on the phone i've been saying 'si' a lot when i'm trying to speak in english.
cordoba is the city of old people. not kidding. there are cripples everywhere. lots of old men out together, even after midnight. but the best part is that there are so many old couples that are still passionately in love it's amazing. you seem them everywhere holding hands, walking arm in arm, leaning against a building staring into each other's eyes. seriously if you want your marriage to last, you should probably move to cordoba. i dunno what the deal was with this group, but we were late for a meeting and had to walk SOOOO slowly..there isn't really passing room in these streets. on some streets cars can't fit.
LOTS of orange trees all over the city, but unfortunately they are the bitter kind which are only good for making that nasty marmelade stuff.
rabbits...perhaps rolo?? ;)
virtual tour of my house!! this is the entrance.
this is looking down the street. the first window on the left is mine.
the closed white door on the right is mine and the entrance to the living room is just to the left.
sweet kitchen which came stocked with plates, paper towels, utensils etc. lots of cooking capabilities here!! i do have to cook for myself... i want my daddy... :(
this is our patio. those windows up there is where Fabio, the 21 year old son of the owners lives. he's pretty serious though, he's got a job and stuff and we have to follow all his rules. this is taken kinda with my back to my door
and we can eat these oranges!! we went to the market today to buy a bunch of fruit, but now i will just eat these!!
this is the living room
this is my bathroom. i'm the only one who lives on the ground floor so it's mostly mine, unless other ppl happen to be in the kitchen or living room. and i think fabio showers here too. also it's one of those tiny little ones where the shower head doesn't even reach above my shoulders and it's super annoying, and the thing holding on the wall always falls off. so this shower isn't that great, but in general i have found a huge difference between the showers here and in south america in that there is ALWAYS hot water, and there is AMAZING water pressure. it's sweet.
this is our rooftop terrace. maggie is reading and sunning herself. it's like 70 here, but feels warmer in the sun.
and here are some views from the roof...
those hills in the distance are the city limits. it's actually a pretty small city.
this is the mosque in the distance (la mezquita)
oh, and this is the view out my window. it's not that great, but whatever. it's loud when cars go by which isn't too often, and i can't really get that mad when i get woken up by old women walking down the street speaking spanish because it immediately reminds me where i am and i love it. and i can understand it too.
this was a concert that Maggie and I stumbled upon tonight that was for carnival. carnival is basically the end of being able to eat meat and the beginning of lent. it's the time to go crazy and it's when people express themselves and talk about a lot of political things. this years theme is smoking because recently a law has been passed that you can't smoke inside in some places, and also homosexuality because they recently legalized gay marriage.
so basically things are great, i'm really happy, and the first night i
finally got to stay here after moving out of the hostal i was struck by
how at home i felt. i didn't have that 'oh my god i'm so far from
home' feeling i had the first night in thailand which was pretty hard.
instead i was super content and felt very safe and everything so i love
it. that said i do miss everyone!! and you should all come visit!!