Posted by: willelmadrileno | May 23, 2011

Eurotripping: Week 1

So right now im in the first week of my eurotrip, currently at an internet cafe in amesterdam, netherlands. so i’ve just been in holland for a few days now hanging out a lot and seeing some things around the city. today i went to the van gogh musuem and I also went to the anne franke and some other stuff. besides that i’ve just been hanging out around my hostel, met a lot of really cool people. i’m traveling solo right now, so i havent really had anybody to hang with so ive just been hanging with people in my hostel. met a lot of really cool people, americans, canadians, swedes, australians, brazilians. it been really interesting, just met this 20 year old guy from australia who is traveling around the world for seven months this girl who’s doing a world tour todays and went off the switzerland and then she’s going to like canada usa and chile. met a lot of really cool traveling people. and then of course there’s the coffeeshops too…

well before that i went to paris and that was nice and beautiful, saw the great french culture and the eiffel tower, louvre, notre dame, all that. nice place. before that i was in london seeing all the british history and culture: fish n chips, buckingham palace, tower bridge, which was cool too and I stayed with my spanish host mom maria’s friend marta and also met up with some other people i knew in london, so that was cool.

as for now, i’m eigther going to berlin tomorrow on the train or taking an overnight train to copenhagen tomorrow night. still not sure yet but im going off to central europe now. adois amsterdam

bon voyage

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Posted by: willelmadrileno | May 15, 2011

Al Campo

Hey all, so sunday night now, just got back from the country with my host family. great weekend, went to their country house in espinosa, guadalajarra, which is a province in the state of castilla la mancha. about an hour outside madrid, very rural, lots of fields, mountains, mesetas, overall very beautiful. so went out friday afternoon, came back tonight. on saturday we went on this excursion in the morning where we did a couple hours of hiking and went to these ruins from the 14th century of a monastery and saw other cool stuff.

ya im a man

 

somebody's having fun

so we did this cool hike, and the two little girls were begging us to carry them, so i caved for a little while. it was a cool hike, me, craig (my friend), julia (host sister), adriana (cousin?), maria (host mom), jaime (host dad), marias dad – former spanish embassador, lourdes (marias cousin), acoba (man from georgia- former soviet republic, was with us the weekend to help in the garden), and ya thats it, but it was fun, lot of people, and there were a lot of different people all over the house this weekend.  here we all are the ruins:

the gang- (back) jaime, me, craig, acoba (front) adriana, lourdes, julia, maria

 
and the house:

la casa, circa 1890

really cool house, all kinda of cool junk all over it like old guns and golf clubs and cool books and random stuff. had a great paella for lunch on saturday that maria’s father made, and acoba sang- he’s an opera singer so he was singing opera songs in georgian and italian, pretty cool, really loud and overall impressive.

on sunday we had a stick driving lesson with maria, and then me and craig took the car out and drove around the countryside to see some castles and cool villages and stuff. really a great weekend

el castillo de siguenza

Posted by: willelmadrileno | May 10, 2011

en abril, aguas mil

hola! so i figured i should blog a bit before i leave. sitting now at my computer drinking leftover wine from dinner. just had a delicious dinner with Maria, Jaime, and Julia of quiche, salad, bread, and Maria telling me about all of the cool things to do, taste, see in Italy and France when I go. what fun.

how time flies. already mid may, and im about to leave madrid for the semester. so sad. i really do love madrid, and i’m gonna be sad to leave. so today i had my last finals for cine espanol and espana en la union europea, and they both went well, so its good to have all the studying off my back, but its a little bitterweet. this study abroad has been such a good experience, and I will never forget it. but the good is that its not over yet…

but what have I done recentely, too much to say. today is tuesday, so last night i just got back from barcelona, went there again to hang out with chris and see more of the city. what fun! catalan, beach, chicas, food, discotecas, the life there is so crazy and cool and different from madrid it makes me wonder what it would be like to live there. loco

before that it all starts to mush together with shnenagians in and out of madrid, but here are some of the highlights of stuff i’ve done:

corrida de toros

ole!

so overall really cool spectacle. unlike anything id ever seen, and probably unlike anything anything in the world. made me think of a combination of a rodeo and roman gladiator fight, with a hint of latino flavor. great crowd, packed seats, people, huge beers, cigars, the whole thing

las ventas

however, it was kinda inquieting how they kill the bull and all, but its part of the culture and all so im really not in a place to judge. there’s a big debate about it now it spain, but the consensus is that is cruel, but its a big industry, important to the culture, and supports a lot of rural bull raising and all, so its not really a bad thing.

pre-corrida festivities

 this was before, that side is the shade side, and it was early, but our side, the sun side, was packed

ok next, I ran the medio maraton de madrid (madrid half marathon). that was about a month ago. really cool experience, and i’m happy i did it. one of my friends started talking about running and how he wanted to do the half marathon, so then i decided to do it. only decided about a month before i was doing it, so i could’ve trained longer, but it was fun for what it was.

pre-race, all good

 so this was my first race really of any kind, so it was kinda an adventure. started running early in the morning, kinda groggy, and not really feeling it yet. so i ran the first mile or so with my friends and then they went off ahead cuz i wasn’t keeping up and trying to start slow. so i actually started really slow, ran the first 5 or so miles at 10 minute miles, and then this old guy passed me and i was like wtf, he’s 70, im 21, no way hes beating me. so then i basically sprinted weaving through the whole crowd for the next 5 miles, and then crawled the last mile b/c i was so tired. finished in 1 hour, 47 minutes. ended passing my friends though, around the 18th kilometer. after the race i was wicked tired, but we then we got these sick massages. then i went home and slept and ate for a week

ok thats a lot for now, more to come later

Posted by: willelmadrileno | April 11, 2011

Asturias

Just got back last night from a fun weekend going around northern spain. It was pretty awesome actually, a lot of traveling, and we got to see a lot. So I rented a car with three other guys and we drove up north saw some beach, mountains, castles, the whole deal.

awesome mtn view

Day 1

leave car rental place 1230, get lost in madrid for about an hour before we get on the highway north, drive 5 hours to Gijon. a beautiful city on the coast of northern spain, province Asturias

Day 2

wake up, drive into the mountains to picos de europa national park. absolutley stunning. proably the mostbeautiful place i’ve even been in my life. we hiked up there, went up to the mountain village Bulnes in a huge granite valley surround by 8,000 ft snow capped peaks. amazing

mountain goats

Day 3

woke up in the mountains in a town called arena de cabrales, drove to the beach town llanes, checked that out, then drove to Santander, then south to the better weather. stopped at a castle and then went on to Burgos and back to Madrid. pretty solid day but lots of driving

morning view from the hotel. amazing

we're so tough

 

 

taking in the view


Posted by: willelmadrileno | March 25, 2011

Fútbol

hola! so life is good is espana. weather is getting warmer and there’s only two more weeks until spring break. so last week went to a futbol game and that was pretty cool. it was a Champions League game, which is the European league where the  best teams from the best leagues in Europe, (Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, England) all compete over the course of their other seasons to see who is the champion of Europe. pretty cool. so the game I went to was Real Madrid vs. Lyon from France. It was a great game, seats were really high up but definitely worth it. Stadium was out of control, really loud and crazy. Madrid won 3-0 and after every goal the stands just went wild. Unlike anyother soccer game I’ve ever been to. And maybe the craziest stands I’ve been in either besides maybe the ND student section.

Champions League

so this is the view. pretty nice view of the whole field. this is the champions league symbol where they did all the pregame champions league tournament ceramony.

Free Kick

here’s the game going on. white is real madrid and blue is lyon. lyon won the last match-up so this was a big game for madrid, and they won the series too so they move on to the next round. here ronaldo, basically the most celebrity soccer player in spain is about to take a free kick. I don’t think he scored here, but there were some pretty cool goals, shots from way off, corner kicks…

so here we are. right to left, craig, andrew, me, adrian. kinda funny b/c only one guy here goes to BU(Andrew). the other guys go to Brandeis and Brown. the program is run through BU, but there probably ten or so non-BU students out of about 70.

Estadio Santiago Bernabéu

 

heres is the bernabeu

awesome place overall. huge, holds like 80,000 seats, and really wild during the games. one of the chants was “romper el bernabeu” whichs means break the bernabeu, and during that chant everyone just yelled and stomped and went crazy. ahhhh!

Posted by: willelmadrileno | March 16, 2011

Barcelona

hey all,

so i haven’t posted in a while, but i’m still alive and well here in espana! its tuesday night and just settling back into another week of laid back school. last week was midterms week so i actually had some essays and tests to work on, but now im back to doing more long term work. and i just got back sunday night from an amazing weekend in barcelona. coolest city ever. i was only there for four days, and i definetly want to go back. so i got there thursday night (after missing my flight outta madrid… ugh) and met up with tong, nate, and chris, all hs buddies. tong and nate were over here in europe visiting for spring break, and chris is studying abroad in barcelona. so we stayed at his appartment with him and his roomate, and the three of us rotated sleeping on the couch and the floor… fun stuff lol. but to the real stuff, on friday, we walked around park guell, which is the famous and ornate park in barcelona that was designed by gaudi, and then we continued up through the park and hiked up this mountain where you can see the whole city. it was beautiful. barcelona reminds me of pictures i’ve seen of rio de janeiro- its a big city surrounded by beaches on once side and mountains on the other, really stunning. so the next day it rained, so we just hung out in chris’s appartment for a while and then went to get his really good paella for lunch. it was on this restaurant on the beach, which was cool, and they gave us a serving for 5 by accident instead of 4, so we just had a ton of food.  and sunday it was beautiful, probably 60 degrees and sunny, so we just walked around the beach area and saw how cool the city was. i am definitley going back when its warmer. and also, we went out later to all the bars and discotecas really late every night too, fun fun fun

Posted by: willelmadrileno | February 15, 2011

Sevilla y Cordoba

Hola todos,

So this last weekend we took our first (and last) group overnight trip, and we went to andalucia. took the AVE (means bird in espanol, but stands for high speed train), which was pretty comfy and fast and scenic as well. when we got there we walked around for a while and went on a tour of la catedral. its a big old gothic cathedral, and there are also some arab influence b/c at one time it was a mosque. and then we climbed the tower too and saw all of sevilla, so that was pretty cool to. and the weather was great too, it was sunny and probably in the mid 60s by the afternoon. so then we went and saw the alcazar, which is an old moorish arabic palace. after i got tapas with some kids, and then we saw a private flamenco show for the BU group (all 70 of us), then went out in sevilla at night. the next day we went to the musuem of fine art of sevilla, which was pretty boring but some people liked it. and then we had the afternoon off, so we went off to check out the plaza de espana and had a cheap picnic- bread cheese turkey beer in this big parque place. then we took the group train back home outta sevilla, but me and two other girls got off at cordoba and stayed the night there while the grupo went back to madrid. so we got to cordoba off the ave, and then kinda wandered around cordoba lost for a long time until we found our hostel, but then they sent us to another hostel for some reason, and then it turned out that our reservation was for monday instead of saturday (oops). so then we wandered around the small confusing maze of streets of cordoba again and finally found a open hostel. the next day, we saw the alcazar de los reyes catolicos, the mesquita, the juderia, and the roman bridge over the rio guadalquivir. and then finally chilled a little bit more around the city and then got back on the train home to madrid sunday night to make it back for 930 dinner and internship monday morning. phew! what a crazy weekend

Posted by: willelmadrileno | February 5, 2011

los primeros semanas

hola!

so its saturday afternoon, just hanging around waiting to have lunch. just went into el centro de la cuidad, (downtown madrid) and went to a starbucks to go on the internet and get coffee. basically living the madrileno lifestyle. and ill probably take a siesta after lunch and do some hw or something. well here are all the pictures i’ve taken so far, they’re pics from toledo, some random madrid, and some of the neighborhood around my appartment.

hasta luego!

Posted by: willelmadrileno | February 3, 2011

saludos desde Madrid

hey! so first post, just getting the whole blog thing figured out. right now just hanging out watching t.v. with my host brother. spains been awesome so far. everything, the culture, homestay, school, city, bars, clubs, people, language, internship, family has been just awesome and different and exciting. it seems like we just got here but its already february! its almost 10pm and we still haven’t had dinner yet, but thats pretty standard. more to come

Posted by: willelmadrileno | January 27, 2011

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