Sunday, July 25, 2010

Noche de San Juan

Our last week in Segovia was a very fun week. It all began with the Night of San Juan. They had a big bonfire in the Plaza, right below our school. The firefighters (or bomberos, much cooler in Spanish than in English) kept the fire under control. The people would write 3 wishes or 3 bad things that happened to them last year on a piece of paper and hand them to the firefighters. The firefighters would them put the papers in the fire. It's supposed to make the bad things go away or your wishes come true. We were up in the school, so couldn't hand the firefighters a paper. It was a lot of fun though. Here's pictures of the bonfire.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Lots to do...

Sorry about the delays between posts. It's been a very busy week. We had our long weekend, from Wednesday to Sunday. I went to Granada, Nerja, and Cordoba.

Segovia has been busy with the World Cup Games and festivals. The World Cup is fun here. For each Spain game, they stick a huge screen in the Plaza Mayor, which is right outside our school, and tons of people come to watch. It's a massive sea of red.

Thursday night was the night of San Juan. They had a big bonfire in the Plaza Mayor. Surprisingly, there was more people there than for the soccer game. The people write down 3 wishes for the next year or 3 bad things that happened to them in the last year (we heard both things). They hand the paper to the firefighters who throw them in the bonfire.

Every night, there are multiple concerts going on. There's something for everybody. And the concerts go on until about 2 in the morning. There's also food contests between the restaurants. It's been a lot of fun!

Sorry this has no pictures. I don't know when I'll be able to post next here in Spain. Home in 5 days!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Last weekend, I went to Seville (or Sevilla if you speak Spanish). It's a town in southern Spain and is what most people of when they think of Spain. We stayed in a very nice hostel, the best one so far.

We went to a cathedral, which is the largest in Spain. It is ginormous! I couldn't get a decent picture of it because it was so huge. It has the tomb of Christopher Columbus in it, but we didn't see it because mass was going on and they had blocked part of it off.

Next, we went to the Alcazar. The Alcazar there is different than most Alcazar (fortresses) because it was built by Muslims and than taken over by King Fernando and Queen Isabel. It was absolutely beautiful! It was full of courtyards and gardens and intricate carvings. I could have spent hours there...
After the Alcazar, we went to the Plaza Espana. Although it was under construction, it was still pretty cool. They had cool mosaics of the different cities in Spain lining the walls. It looked like it would be full of water at some point.

That night, we went to a flamenco show. That was impressive! I can't believe how fast they move! Their feet were a blur. It was worth the trip down to Seville to go to a decent flamenco show.

Now, here's a whole bunch of pictures for your enjoyment. They're in a weird order, but I'll explain them.
This is one of the flamenco dancers. I don't know how I managed to snap such a decent picture, but I did. They were incredible!

This is the Plaza Espana. You can see bridges that go over where I think water will go.

A garden in the Alcazar. They were beautiful!

More of the Alcazar. It's warm enough for palm trees! (at least in Seville)

I like this picture. It's right inside the entrance to the Alcazar.

Seville's Plaza del Torro. (Bullfighting ring) Not as big as the one in Madrid.

A view of the city from opposite side of the river. You can see the cathedral.

More river.

Cool little tower next to the bridge.

This was decorating the street on our way to the bridge. Don't know what for, but they had the street blocked off so cars couldn't go on it.

The Cathedral. It was massive! This is just a small section of it.

Another section of it. The tower was huge! We didn't go up it because it was expensive.

This is the inside. See how big it is compared to the little people at the bottom?

Another view of the inside. Christopher Columbus' tomb was up and to the right, I think.

A picture of the outside of the cathedral. It was amazing! It was hard to take it all in, it was so big. I certainly tried though!

This weekend: Granada and Cordoba!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


I tried to do this yesterday, and it didn't work. So I'll try it today. We took an afternoon and went to Toledo. Toledo was the first capital in Spain. It's a very beautiful city and is also known for being a place where the Christians, Jews, and Muslims lived peacefully. We had a tour guide, Fernando, who was, well, interesting. He told a lot of jokes and I couldn't hear him most of the time. I wanted him to tell us more about the buildings and he didn't do that. He would also ask random questions to students and it made a lot of us feel uncomfortable. If he had waited for us to raise our hand, that would have been fine. However, in their culture, they don't do that. They expect you to be able to answer when they call on you.

We only spent the afternoon there and they have us just a half hour to wander on our own. Most of the students went to McDonald's, but I refrained. Aren't you proud of me? I did buy a pastry... (don't worry, I have had McD's out here. Interesting enough, I think it's healthier here. Not as much salt on the fries.)

Here's some pictures of my afternoon in Toledo!

This was a neat gate. They had these all over the city, but this was my best picture. It was as we were walking to the bus.

This was just a cool picture. It was a rainy day, so the sky was actually perfect for taking pictures. These are what typical houses in Spain look like. Further south, the houses are usually white.

The streets were still decorated for Corpus Cristi, which is a huge celebration that takes place 40 days after Easter. Toledo is famous for its Corpus Cristi celebration.

This is me and the skyline of Toledo. You can see the river that surrounds the city. It was very beautiful and the countryside was amazing.

This is the cathedral. It was massive! Inside, they had a crown of Queen Isabel. The cathedrals here are absolutely amazing.

That's a short tour of Toledo. We also went to a synagogue, which is now a convent and the church of Santo Tome, which houses a very famous by Greco, El Conde de Orgaz. Toledo was very beautiful and I wish that we had more time to spend there.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Daily Life

I guess I'll tell you about my daily life here in Segovia. It's quite a bit different than the States and it'll take some adjusting too when I get back home.

I have class every day from 9-2. Actually, the last hour and a half, I don't have class, but I stay at school to use the internet and talk to Carl. Poor Carl gets woken up at 6 am his time every morning by me.

Breakfast, or desayuno consists of juice (zumo) and a croissant and a muffin, or a chocolate filled roll and a muffin. My senora just puts it on the table and we eat right before we got to school. We're lucky in that we live about a 3 minute walk from school.

Getting up and getting ready is difficult. There's 3 of us and only one bathroom. We have to coordinate who wakes up when and who takes a shower when.
After classes, we have lunch, or almuerzo, at 2 or 2:30. It's usually a bigger meal with meat and potatoes and fruit for lunch. Sometimes we have soup.

After lunch, we have siesta. This is probably the weirdest. It's nice, but weird. The entire town shuts down from 3 until about 5:30. And I mean the entire town. Most of the stores shut down. This is a good time to do homework, but it usually turns into a nap.

After siesta I usually either read, do homework, or wander the town. Cena, or dinner, isn't until late, like 9:30 or 10. That's the hardest to get used too. I'm usually starving by then and it's hard to resist the hundreds of ice cream and pastry shops in town. Cena seems pretty big too. We've had some familiar foods. The other day we had grilled ham and cheese sandwiches and one night we had chicken nuggets and fries!

After dinner it's get ready for bed or shower. Sometimes my roommates go out to the discoteca, or club, but I haven't been out with them. They don't leave until 11:30, and I'm usually pooped by then.

That's about our life here in Segovia. Pretty laid back. And, because I can't post a blog without pictures, here's some beautiful pictures of Segovia!

Monday, June 7, 2010


We have free weekends to basically do what we want. On Friday, we went to Madrid with our whole group. They taught us about the transportation system, showed us some big things in town, like the Museo del Prado, and then let us go. I ended up staying in a hostel with a bunch of people from our group, the Way Hostel. It was nice and clean. The hostel had some computers we could use.

I mostly hung out with 3 other girls, Susan, Kasandra, and Katie. We also had other people 'float' in our group. On Friday, we went to the Museo del Prado, which is an art museum that has Valasquez, Goya, Rembrant, Raphael, etc. I really enjoyed that, but not everyone did. After, we found a place for dinner that had wraps and pizza. I then went to el Parque del Retiro, a beautiful park that had monuments, a lake, and fountains. I loved it!

That night, I went out for a little bit with some friends. Luckily, I'm not the only one that doesn't drink. I didn't stay out too late, just until 11:30. Some people stayed out way too late, like 4:00 in the morning. Not for me!

The next day we did a little bit of shopping. It's hard to shop over here because the sizes are different. I feel they're also more expensive, but it's hard to tell.

After shopping, we went to el Palacio Real, the Royal Palace. They don't use it anymore, except for parties. It's huge! And very beautiful. It was amazing.

That night, I went to a bullfight. That was different. It was cool to be in Madrid watching a bullfight, but I got sick of it pretty quickly. I couldn't watch it all. I ended up leaving early and not watching the last fight.

On Sunday, we just went to a gigantic flea market and then went home. I was kind of disappointed in that because I wanted to see more. Everybody else wanted to go though, so I left as well. Madrid is only an hour and a half bus ride away, though, so I might go back for an afternoon.

Here's some pictures!

This is the cathedral right next to the Palacio Real. It was huge and gorgeous!

El Plazo del Torros! We saw a bullfight here.

The entrance to the Palacio Real. Just a small section of it. It's incredible!

This was in the Parque del Retiro. I can't remember what it was called in Spanish, but it translated to the Crystal Palace. It was very beautiful!
This statue is the symbol of Madrid. Not sure why, but it's a bear and a tree/shrub. This was in the Puerte Del Sol. Interesting fact about the Puerte del Sol...all roads in Spain 'lead' there. The roads are measured from kilometer 0, which is in the Puerte del Sol.

This week is Toledo on Wednesday and Sevilla this weekend!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sights around Segovia

Sorry about the last post. I know that is was slightly erratic and didn't make much sense. I've gotten more sleep and am able to type more coherently.

Segovia is very beautiful. I definitely need to explore the city more. My senora is very nice, but she doesn't speak any English. Which is good, but it makes it interesting when we're are trying to ask her how to say a word.

I live with two other girls, Morgan and Emily. They came together from Georgetown University. They share a room and I have my own room, which is nice. The house is very tall and skinny, with four floors and two rooms on each floor. My room is on the top floor and the bathroom is on the bottom floor. Which means I walk up the stairs a lot.

Here's some pictures of beautiful Segovia!

This is the Cathedral by my school. It is THE cathedral in Segovia. It's very beautiful.

This is the Alcazar or fortress. I've taken far too many pictures of it, but it's very beautiful. They say that Walt Disney designed the Sleeping Beauty castle after this one.

This is the aqueduct. It was built by the Romans without any mortar. It's very spectacular to see. A very large section of it runs through the middle of town.

More pictures to come, I'm sure. This weekend is Madrid!