The Last Night

The last night I was in Granada was during the feria of Granada, associated with the holiday of Corpus Christi, which is and Andalucian holiday. In Granada, however, the feria lasts at least a week I believe. It is a huge festival with food and rides and dancing, and I mean HUGE. After some gift giving, my family brought me to Feria where we had dinner, danced, and rode some rides. It was one of the funnest nights I can remember. I loved being with them and celebrating a great semester. I could not have asked for a better family to host me during my stay in Granada and I already miss them very much. I am so thankful to them for welcoming me with open arms, even though they had never hosted a foreign student in their home before. I truly feel like I have another family in Spain now. This isn’t “adiós,” it’s just “hasta luego.”

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Coming to a close

Here are just some pictures from the last few weeks. The group visited a beach and was able to go out on the kayaks and catamarans. And let me tell you, those things go fast! And it was a very windy day on top of that! Very fun. Besides that, last visits to the Mirador San Nicolás and other gorgeous view points. Sad that I only went to the Carmen de los Martires on one of the last days, but thankful to my friends for showing it to me (garden pictures). What a beautiful place; full of gardens with flowers, views of the city, and a few peacocks! And in the end we all watched a final sunset together from a place shown to us on one of our first nights there.

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Visits from Friends and Family

I was lucky enough to be visited in Granada by a good friend, Jena, who was studying abroad in England for the semester and by my mom the last two weekends of April. I absolutely loved showing them around Granada and having them meet my host family. Having them there made me realize just how much I had learned about the city and how confident I had become by walking the city and bringing them to my favorite places. It was a great feeling being able to share that with them. The weekend Jena came happened to fall on a weekend when my group had a scheduled trip to visit the town of Castril, not too far away, and she was able to tag along. That trips makes up most of these pictures, with the waterfalls, river and cliff-side walkways. Lots of walking, but very cool.

Flamenco in Granada

The pictures are a bit blurry because they were dancing so fast, but here are a few pictures from the night we went and saw a Flamenco performance. There were two dancers that danced alone and together, a singer, guitarist, and percussion player who was just using a wooden box to drum on with his hands. Definitely a must see if you are ever in Spain. It is such an important part of the culture, even if not practiced quite as much as it used to be. These Flamenco dresses are not only worn by the dancers, but by many Spaniards on holidays and celebrations such as Dia de la Cruz, a local holiday of Granada.

Florence, Italy

Long overdue, but here are some pics from my weekend trip April 15-18. It was my first time traveling alone. I had flown alone before, but never to a country where I did not know anyone and stayed alone. It was a bit nerve-wracking at first, but as I started to walk around th city, I became more comfortable. I was trying to save money, so I didn’t end up going into the big museums and all that. Instead, I visited the Boboli Gardens which was by far my favorite part of the trip. It is HUGE. I highly suggest a visit if you are ever in Florence. It was a beautiful day and I spent hours exploring the park, taking pictures of the trees and statues and just enjoying being surrounded by green. I also just explored the streets of Florence, often walking at random just to see what I saw. On the last day, I rented a bike and biked around a little, but mostly along the river on a bike trail that led me way outside the city. It was pretty enough, but after realizing I was in the middle of nowhere, I turned around and headed back. My hotel was a bit shabby, but right in the middle of the center and just one street over from the Cathedral and the Duomo. There was a terrace on the roof from which there was a great view of it. And yes, what they say is true, the food is absolutely delicious. Best gelato and pizza I have ever tasted and some great other dishes as well.

 

 

Aunt Peggie’s Mac & Cheese

This isn’t a Spanish cultural thing, but I do feel the need to post about it. Last week I cooked for my Spanish host family. I made my Aunt Peggie’s famous homemade mac & cheese in memory of her. I definitely teared up more than once in the process, but luckily I had a good friend by my side (who is a much better cook than I am) to help me make it. It was a hit! Everyone was home and they all seemed to really like it! It was only my second time making the dish, but I must admit it came out really well. I look forward to making it again in the future and was really glad to have been able to share a New England classic.Aunt Peggie Mac and cheese 1Aunt Peggie Mac and cheese