Thursday, January 28, 2010

Welcome to Espana!

Hola a todos! I know I have been lame on starting this blog thing because I have already been here for a week, but I promise from now on to start writing on this more! Wow, so much to tell from this past week! I feel like I am in a completely different world right now, and it is hard to believe I have only been here for 7 days.
Last Thursday, after a ten hour flight, I finally arrived in Madrid, Spain. I met my director Maria at the airport and right off she sent me and this other girl in my group in a taxi to the hotel by ourselves! Somehow, we were able to carry a short conversation with the driver. Since we were one of the first people to arrive in my group, we walked around the city to explore. Right away, I knew I was in for a crazy adventure. Madrid is huge, and there were people everywhere. Our hotel was right by the Puerta del Sol, which is a big plaza surrounded by shops, restaurants, hotels, bars, etc. It is beautiful there, because the buildings are so old and the architecture is beautiful. The first day, we went to the Royal Palace and got a tour. It was awesome, and once again (I'm sure I will say this a lot) I was astounded by the history and beauty of the palace. In the afternoon we went to the Museo del Prado, which holds some of the world's most renowned paintings. I thought it would be boring, but I actually enjoyed it more than the palace! We left Madrid on Sunday to go to Salamanca, and on our way we stopped at El Escorial. El Escorial is a palace and monastery. This was my favorite tour. We saw where many famous kings and queens of Spain are buried, and the basilica was gorgeous. So much to explain, so I'll just put pictures up instead.
Upon arriving in Salamanca, we met our host mom, Basi. Her and her son took me and my roommate Tanya to her apartment. It was a little embarrassing because they had to call her daughter to come help because we had too many suitcases....oops. When we got to her house we sat around and chatted with her son, his wife, and her daughter and her husband. I say we chatted, but the conversation was a little rough because my Spanish is not quite up to par. Tanya and I listened a lot haha.
Since we moved into Basi's I have gotten more used to living in her small apartment and gotten into sort of a routine. It is so different here, because breakfast is coffee and pastries in the morning, lunch is around 2:30, and dinner is around 9. Although Basi cooks every meal for us, she never eats with us. She does, however, come out and talk to us. Classes have started. I don't really understand everything since they are in Spanish, but I don't think they will be too bad. It's awesome because I don't have classes on Fridays! wooo! One of the hardest parts of being here is not having WIFI at my house. It kills me! But I am getting used to it.
Ok this is a really long post, and there is really too much to put into writing. I will update more so I don't just jump all over the place what's been going on here in Espana. But I miss everyone!! By the way, happy belated birthday Natalie, I love you!