Monday, February 2, 2009

Spanish Adventures!

Hola!  At this very moment the ship (with me on it) is floating off the coast of Gibralter (which is British land at the southern tip of Spain).  We left Cadiz, Spain yesterday and were supposed to get to Casablanca, Morocco tomorrow after fueling up in Gibralter today.  But there was bad weather and the seas were too rough to connect the fuel pipe, so we didn't get any gas and now have to wait here until we are able to fill up.  This means that getting into Casablanca at least a day late.  Everyone is disappointed, but at least lucky for me, I was planning on just taking a train to Marrakesh, so my plans are at least flexible.

Disclosure:  There aren't going to be any pictures in this post because I found out that posting pictures eats up my Internet allowances.  I'm going to wait until we get into Marrakesh and post an entry with a bunch of pictures.

So anyway, Spain was awesome.  The cities were picturesque, the food and sangria delicious, and the Spanish people generally friendly.  I traveled with three other friends and then a fourth joined us later.  The original group was my friend Jill from BU and then two boys, Conor and Ben, who are friends at Syracuse University.  We got into Cadiz (pronounced CAD-ith, is the Spain version of Spanish) in the morning and spent the day there because the train to Madrid didn't leave until later.  The city is very cute with narrow stone roads and pretty squares.  We went to the top of the tower of the huge cathedral there and could see the whole city.  Then we walked to the beach and had lunch and waded in the cold water. 

Then we got on a train for a five hour ride to Madrid.  The Spanish country side is pretty.  We got a cab from the train to go to the center of the city and find a hostel.  We found a hostel where we basically had a two bedroom apartment that had a sitting area and small kitchenette which was awesome.  We went out to dinner that night (the Spanish don't eat until 10) and just went to bed since we were all exhausted.

The next morning we got up and walked to the Prado, which is arguably the best art museum in Spain.  We saw a lot of art, though probably less than half of the whole museum, including Goya, El Greco, and Velasquez paintings we had learned about in Global Studies.  Then we went and wandered around the "central park" of Madrid, El Retiro.  It was beautiful and I got some good pictures, including ones of this awesome art installation of mirror and glass balls we found in a building in the park.  Then we went to the more modern art museum called the Reina Sofia, which was also amazing with lots of Picasso and Dali paintings.  The museum has La Guernica, which is this huge famous PIcasso depicting the Spanish Civil War which we gaped at for at least 15 minutes.  Then we walked to the Palacio Real, which is the huge palace for Spanish royalty.  There another friend, Alex, met up with us that had really wanted to come to Madrid but had to come late. 

That night after going to dinner, around 1 am we went to this huge 7 floor club called Club Kapital.  It was really touristy, but still really fun.  On the main dance floor they periodically sprayed out this cold fog which was really fun.  The next morning we took an early train to Sevilla, which is back in the direction of Cadiz.  We saw the Cathedral of Sevilla and wandered around for a while.  After having lunch and walking around the river, we sort of stumbled upon the Plaza Espana at night which is one of the most beautiful structures I have ever seen  (I will definitely post a picture of it from Morocco).  It is this huge palace looking building that is a half circle that was originally built for the 1929 World Fair.  We wandered back to our hostel through the small streets and went out to a couple of bars that rainy night. 

The next morning we took a train back to Cadiz, which held a ton of other SAS kids.  We wandered around Cadiz for a while, went to an internet cafe and supermarket and then got back on the ship.  It was really nice to take off my backpack and not be living out of my backpack.  I took a bunch of great pictures and we all had a great time. 

Right this second we are actually watching the Super Bolw streamed.  It is sort of weird and awesome to be watching it, though sligtly blurry, from the Strait of Gibralter.  It will be about 2am here before it really starts, so it is nice to be able to sleep in tomorrow.  That's all for now, but look for a post of pictures in the next few days.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Spain looked beautiful, Colleen. I am glad you are getting the chance to see so much! Have fun on the safari!