oh goodness gracious, I can hardly believe it. It is practically March! Where does this semester seem to be going??
We just got back from an amazing excursion to Andalucia - the south of Spain. While we were there, we went to Toledo, Ubeda, Baeza, Granada, Cordoba, Salamanca, and Leon. Definitely a busy, but relaxing trip at the same time. I'll get to those pictures at the end... they take so long to upload on here!
School has been good - we started our direct enrollment class at the beginning of February. I am in a class with 7 other Calvin girls, The History of Education in Spain. Why am I in this? Because unfortunately, it's the only that worked with my schedule. It's Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9-11. However, it has been getting better! Slowly but surely the students in the class have begun to talk to us and realized that yes, we can actually speak Spanish! They even asked us to hang out sometime so that's great :) It's been fun getting to talk to people our own age in Spanish and hearing about their lives. It's a different kind of Spanish than we use with each other, our professors, and with our host families. It's much more casual, and you can hear the slang and abbreviations that they use. Not this week, but next week, we will be taking our final for 308 already! That marks the halfway point for us. And then we begin 309. It's kind of hectic towards the end of the semester, but I'm feeling pretty good about where I'm at right now.
In other news, I booked my flight for the Netherlands the 3rd weekend in April. I cannot wait. After picking the weekend, I emailed my gramma to tell her and she informed me that she will be there too!! I am so excited. What are the chances? So that will be exciting. And she can help me out with the dutch barrier :) I am hoping to see as much as I can while I'm there - which is unfortunately only approximately 48 hours. But, better than nothing.
Spring break planning is going splendidly. We will be spending the week in Italy - Pisa, Florence, and Rome. It actually works out that we'll be in Rome for Good Friday and Easter. So that will be cool! We have our hostels booked for all the cities and are now just trying to figure out fun things to do in all the cities. There is a group of 6 girls and 2 guys coming. Should be super fun :)
Also - my mom finally got approval to come visit so we're trying to figure that all out too. I can't wait to show them how beautiful Spain is and finally be like the parents to them. HA - they'll never know what I'm actually saying in Spanish ;-) It's going to be weird having them dependent on me, but I am so excited to show them all that I have learned this semester.
Speaking of the Spanish, it's actually going well! I have days where I don't want to speak it all the time but other days, I love it. When I speak, I am amazed at what I am saying and the confidence that I have gained in only 2 short months. It makes me eager to see the progress that I can have in the next 3 months. Obviously there are still lots of things I need to work on (boooooo preterit and imperfect) but I know I have time to improve and continue bettering my Spanish.
OKAY - picture time! For those on facebook, there's a lot more that you should check out!
Friday: left Oviedo at 7am and headed to Toledo. We walked around Toledo and saw the cathedral and a few others and then had free time to walk around. We ended up grabbing a coffee and then just wandering. On our way to our hotel, we stopped on the side of the road and got to see Toledo from a distance - gorgeous. Total picturesque Spanish town. For dinner, we did our own thing and then Audrey Lindsey and I had girls night with some Greys Anatomy and junk food :)
Saturday: left Toledo in the morning and made our way towards Granada. On the way we stopped at two small pueblos, Ubeda and Baeza. Both were absolutely gorgeous - small and quaint. We got to Granada around 7 and then met for dinner at 8 and then headed to a Flamenco! So fun :) Those pictures are on my other camera so they're not uploaded yet - but it was a great time. The dancing and atmosphere were very cool.
Sunday: woke up and went to church. After church, we ate lunch in a plaza and then headed to the Alhambra. It was absolutely breathtaking. There are so many cool buildings and palaces that you can wander in and the architecture is unbelievable. We were probably there for around 4 hours, but you could easily be there for much more than that! We had free time after that and just kind of wandered the city. For dinner, we went to an Italian restaurant and had some pasta. YUM!
Monday: We took a tour of the oldest part of the city on Monday morning. We had a tour guide who took us around and explained the significance of the buildings. It lead us to some beautiful views. After that, we saw where los reyes catolicos are buried and then we went to the Cathedral. This cathedral was one of my favorites (it has the cool ceiling!!) and it was a lot brighter than others. It took around 300 years to build so it's a mixture of styles and very cool. We had free time again afterwards and went to an Indian restaurant for dinner - I ate a yummy schwarma!
Tuesday: we woke up early and left for Cordoba! We went to the mezquita there and also a set of gardens. Both were very cool. After Cordoba, we headed to Salamanca for the night. We got there super late and headed straight to bed. Not a very eventful day. Lots of bus time
Wednesday: left around 10 and walked around Salamanca... we saw a couple more churches and the first university in Spain. Very cool! AFterwards, we got back on the bus and stopped in Leon for that cathedral. WOW - it was gorgeous. Definitely on my list of favorites. It has all stain glass windows and is so beautiful. Definitely somewhere I want to take my family!
Well - that's a very brief summary of our trip! Hope it makes sense haha