Trip to Valencia:
Over the weekend 6 of us girls went on a little trip to Valencia for two nights. It was the first trip we planned together including transportation and the hostel, and it worked out perfectly. The 4 hour bus ride was tolerable, even with my dead ipod, as the rolling hills and wind turbine farms were a great distraction. The first night we had a late dinner and ran through a downpour to the first club we saw. I was exhausted and still a little sick so I left early to rest at the hostel in preparation for the weekend. Saturday we all got up and ready by 10 for a day of sun, shopping, and ..shrimp. Since Valencia is on the Mediterranean we were all thrilled when we woke up to sun, and immediately headed to the beach. It was beautiful and relaxing, and even though we all got a pit red without sun tan lotion it was nice to soak up some rays and dunk our toes in the Mediterranean. We had lunch at a restaurant on the beach and all shared 2 different paellas, Valencia's most famous dish. No one went near the enormous shrimp but it was pretty good (not as good as Luisa's!) and headed back toward the hostel to walk around Valencia and shop.
The city was beautiful--modern and beachy with palm trees but just as historic and antiguo as Alcalá and other old and traditional Spanish cities. We saw the Plaza de los Toros when they hold bull fights and wandered through the city center's beautiful buildings and shops. We returned to the hostel, got ready for a night out, and had an amazing italian dinner at a restaurant nearby...we always tend to crave italian whenever we have the chance to eat out and pick our own foods. Saturday night we decided to go on the hostel's pub crawl (a wasted 15 euro), and we ended up in the middle of a British "stag" party (bachelor party) with a bunch of crazy and hilarious 30 year olds. After a really fun night we collapsed in bed at the hostel, reconvening bright and early once again at 10 am to check out and head to La Ciudad de Artes y Ciencias (City of Arts and Sciences). There we explored the largest aquarium in Europe, full of tiburones (sharks, our favorite), whales, seals, and so much more. Before heading to the bus statio we grabbed pizza for lunch (soo delicious) and made friends with the owner, who gave us all sombreros. We were quite the American spectacle running to the bus with our matching hats and big backpacks, but we made it to the station with time to spare. It was an awesome weekend and a very successful first independent trip.
Last full week of classes at Alcalingua, and the start of hell...
It's crazy that September is almost over! Our 2 courses at Alcalingua (grammar/conversation) and ending, and we have our finals at the beginning of next week. I'll be sad to say goodbye to these teachers, they're both super nice and fun and i've really enjoyed class with them. For the rest of our time here, along with Maria Jose's class we will have 4 new morning classes at Alcalingua (writing, culture, grammar II and conversation II) as well at a Literature course at the University..which means we will be in class from 9-5 with only a 30 minute break 3 days a week and 9-2:45 the other days..kill me now. After the first two Lit courses the group was in an uproar..the level is WAY too high for us and we can barely understand the teacher during the lesson. Our classmates include fluent european students, native spanish students and even spanish old men...aka people way out of our level. Many of the Loyola students are dropping the course, but as a major I feel like I should stick with it. Maria Jose assured us it won't be as bad as we think and the teacher will cut us slack, but I'm really not looking forward to the busy schedule ahead of me. Instead i'm looking forward to this weekend, and even more so next weekend's trip to OKTOBERFEST in Munich, Germany. It is the 200th anniversary of the festival, and it's sure to be an experience to remember.
Pictures to be added soon!