Monday, September 15, 2008

A (long) overdue post about Spain!

Hey everyone! I REALLY apologize for the long amount of time between my posts, I had shaky internet service until my arrival here in Cadiz, and plus I did so much that I didn’t take time to write a blog about everything! So, prepare yourselves, this is going to be a blitz of the most interesting things to happen to me while in Spain so far.

After sightseeing in Barcelona, which was amazing, my friends and I travelled down to Valencia (via one night in a small town called Terragona), where we were in an AMAZING hotel, which was also very cheap. Cheaper than our hostal in Barcelona, and yet so very fancy, with its own kitchen and 3 balconies, everything. Our main goal of being in Valencia: The Tomatina in Buñol! This is the famous tomato fight, which is the largest in the world – 40,000 people, 113 TONS of tomatoes and 2 hours of fighting mayhem. I can tell you all more about it later on if you wish – the photo you see here is of the aftermath of our adventure at the Tomatina. And, yes, I wore my basketball mask because I didn’t want to get my nose smashed by a tomato and yes, it paid off for I was hit several times right in the nose part. I think people liked aiming at me since I was taller than everyone AND wore a mask. But hey, that’s part of the fun! I had an absolute blast. I think I was taking tomatoes out of my ears and hair for several days following, as were all my friends.

An interesting story out of Valencia – I almost had essentially all my important possessions on this trip stolen in one swoop. I was sitting in the train station with Molly, waiting for our train to our next city, while the other 4 members of the group went off into the city for an hour. It was around midnight at this time. A man approached me and asked me to help him out with the coke machine to my left (strange), although I didn’t think much of it at the time because Molly was there and I felt like, since the place was empty, there wasn’t much risk of anything happening. As I’m helping this guy out, about 30 seconds later, I hear Molly ask behind me, "Nate, is that guy walking off with your laptop bag?" And, sure enough, after turning around and staring at where my bag used to be, someone had it in their hand. Contained in the laptop bag:

Wallet (Credit cards, cash, drivers license)
Camera with all my photos from the trip so far
Essentially, if I lose this bag I lose a heck of a lot. So, therefore, I absolutely book it towards the entryway where the man went, which is to the left about 10 meters or so. This man must have heard me running at him (my flip flops were kind of loud…), and dropped my laptop bag, because it was sitting right in the entry way. Nothing was broken or stolen (thankfully!), although the guy did try to get the computer – the zipper was about half open. Anyway, I’m a little more wary of people after that experience and more careful with my stuff.
So, I finally arrived in Cádiz, a city on the southwestern corner of Spain (the Atlantic side), and it is an absolutely beautiful, beautiful city. The beaches are gigantic (kilometers of beach), it is sunny and 85-90 every day, little to no humidity, and warm water. It is absolutely wonderful.
I live with a family of 4, mother father and 2 sons who are 21 and 17. They are all very nice people and take good care of me. I’ll let you all know in a later post a bit more (really, I’ll post in the next couple days!) about the life in general here. For now, below are a couple pictures from the city, one of the sunset on my first night here, and the other from the top of a tower from which you can see all the city. In that photo you can see the big cathedral here, along with the beaches stretching out of the photo to the left. From those beaches we watched an airshow yesterday, and in the final photo you can see the planes making a Spanish flag in the sky with smoke, the finale of the show. 230,000 (!) people attended the airshow on the beach.
I’ll finish off with this picture of some delicious octopus (pulpo) which I ate in Barcelona one day. Take my word for it: It was good. Try it sometime :)
That’s all for now, sorry again for a long post and such a delay between posts, and I'll post again soon!

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