Christmas in Germany
The month of December went by pretty fast and then I went to Germany for two weeks to see one of my favorite people, Iris!
She took me to a crazy African party, where we weren’t brave enough to eat the fish heads, but where I met so many multilingual people that I felt inadequate…but it only made me want to try harder.
On Christmas Eve, we opened presents with the whole family, even her grandparents! I got some really good gifts, but my favorites are my farting gnome and my German cookbook.
On New Year’s Eve, we lit fireworks and played bleigiessen, a sweet German game I want to play every New Year’s for the rest of my life.
New Year’s Day we ate sauerkraut, because it’s supposed to mean you’ll have enough money for the whole year.
Pictures from Germany:
We saw Beethoven’s house and Haribo store in Bonn and the cathedral and chocolate museum in Cologne, it was awesome.
I had such a great time. I love Germany and I would love to visit again someday. But school started back January 8, and so I had to go back to Madrid…
It’s been too long….
Well, since the last time I wrote, so much has happened!
Thanksgiving came and went…just a normal workday for me. But, I did get a package in the mail from a bunch of people back home that made my day. Thanks to Corey, Morgan (who got engaged!!), Cameron, and Lucia.
At the beginning of December, I took a weekend trip to Granada, which is seriously one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. It is home to La Alhambra, the last Moorish stronghold in Spain. It is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. Of course, I didn’t take my camera….
There are a lot of gypsies there and I learned the hard way that they take your money. One of the guys I went with told me not to look in their eyes because they hypnotize you. They offer you a sprig of rosemary…DON’T TAKE IT! They start reading your palm and they won’t let go. Then they tell you that you need to pay them, but they will only accept bills because coins are ‘bad luck’ and ‘they’ll make change’. LIES! They will take the whole bill and run. I was so so mad that day but now I can laugh about it…
We checked out the cave houses in the mountains where these crazy gypsies live and the house of Frederico Garcia Lorca, who is a famous Spanish poet.
It was a 5 hour bus ride each way, but it was totally worth it.
Alcalá de Henares: birthplace of Miguel de Cervantes, home to Europe’s oldest hospital (1483), and Spain’s 5th oldest university.
Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso
This royal summer home was inspired by Versailles, has over 1,500 acres of gardens and 26 elaborate fountains powered by gravity with water flowing from the mountains.
The rain in Spain falls mainly in Cercedilla
Well, it’s been raining pretty much every day for about a month now. When it’s not raining, I can see fog and snow on the mountains and it’s really beautiful. Even as I write this, it’s pouring. Never thunder or lightning though, just rain.
There have been a couple of things I’ve wanted to do and haven’t because of the rain, but I have plenty of time. I am not bored or lonely, though. It’s actually been good having so much time to myself. I have never been alone in my life, so I appreciate the solitude.
I spend my days, when I’m not at work, giving private lessons, or hanging out with one of my three friends (haha), doing a variety of indoor activities….
I read a lot. I’ve read almost everything Jane Austen has written, Treasure Island, Sherlock Holmes, the classics. I listen to a lot of music and watch a lot of films. I can just sit down and listen to a whole album with no distraction. It’s awesome.
I’m learning how to cook. There are a couple things I feel like I’ve almost perfected and now I’m expanding my horizons. I have garbanzos soaking as I write this.
I’ve started drawing again. It’s been years. I’m not good but I missed it.
I’ve been here almost two months already. On one hand, it feels like it’s flown by, but on the other it seems like forever ago…
Segovia! The Alcázar and the Aqueduct.
The Alcázar is a castle in Segovia that is rumored to be what inspired the Disney castle, it actually has a moat!
The Aqueduct is amazing. It was built by the Romans during the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D., which means that it’s over 2000 years old. It is the tallest surviving aqueduct in Spain and uses NO mortar. It is the “perfect marriage between balance and strength”.
El Escorial-October 22
The Royal Seat of San Lorenzo of El Escorial is a giant monastery and royal palace that is the historical residence of the king of Spain. It was built by King Philip II (1527-1598) to show the Protestant Reformation that Spain was indeed the center of the Christian world. It was designed to imitate Solomon’s Temple and is the place where most Spanish kings have been buried since its creation.
So I am an idiot! I broke the outlet converter and I ordered another one (for 17 euros!) on Amazon over a week ago…there were delivery problems because I wasn’t home when they tried to bring it, I had to call them, it’s been an ordeal! But then, of course, I go to the Chinese store. They have it for 2 euros. Ugh! So I’m back!
These are pictures I took while I was timing the walk to my school, so I wouldn’t have to spend money on the bus if the weather was nice…
Lots to share
I would, if I had my computer. I have a ton of pictures to put up but a couple days ago I broke the converter I used for my computer to plug in here! I am writing this from my iPod.
I ordered another on amazon spain, so hopefully I ordered the right thing and hopefully it will get here soon!