Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Es cierto lo que dicen...

"Si no ha visto Grana, no ha visto na."


I signed a lease yesterday and officially have a place in Granada just two "blocks" from El Centro de Lenguas Modernas (my university). However, I will blog in heavy detail about my apartment in my next blog entry as I cannot officially move in until tonight. So once I am officially in my room, I will post pictures of the room as well as the rest of the building tonight. But 7 of the CSU IP students live in this building (two girls found it the first day here and we looked at it and fell in love and signed the lease the third day. So there are 7 other CSU IP students like me (Arisa, Christina, Eliseo, or "Cheetoh," Brandon, Alex, Chelsea, Natasha and myself), 7 Spaniards, 1 Greek, 1 Brit, 1 Wales native, 2 Italians and my landlords are Spaniards. It's going to be a good year!

But more on the home later, I'll update you on my beautiful city of Granada!

This is the view from Hotel Casablanca where we stayed when we first got to Granada. Technically, we should still be there but some of us found our place so fast that we got out of there and tried to settle in as soon as possible. I am currently crashing Brandon and Natasha's apartment until I can officially move into my room tonight. Hah. Camping out. ANWYAY, our first day in Granada, we slept (too long) then got up for dinner at 8:30 and went straight out. We walked around, found the one CitiBank in Granada, a couple of Internet cafes (as our hotel did NOT have WiFi, or "Wee Fee"), saw some sights and had tapas and beer! The tapa with our first and only round (that evening) was Atun Tomate Sandwiches. They LOVE tuna here (I think it's cheap for them) so it was a tuna and tomato sauce sandwich. I loved it!

Left to right: Natasha, Brandon, Alex, Chelsea, Matt and myself. (Matt actually went back the United States, sadly!)

Then we walked around a bit more, saw the Cathedral of Granada and the Royal Chapel where Isabella and Ferdinand are buried:

The next day (Saturday), we saw the apartment and talked about it communally over ice cream in a little plaza with a fountain. (There are pictures of this monumental occasion, but on others' cameras). We explored more that day and began to price cellphones. By the time we decided which phone we wanted to buy, it was siesta time and the stores were closed. And on Saturdays, after siesta, the stores are closed until Monday. So we shrugged and had a relaxing day.

Sunday was the lovely beach day. We successfully traveled by bus down to Salobreña beach and swam in the Mediterranean Sea! The water was much warmer (to me) than the southern coast of California and of course, much saltier. The sand is like little pebbles, which was nice because they brushed right off your skin.

We all climbed up this cliff to get a view of the whole beach. It was so humid it was almost raining, but it was so worth the heat. What a beautiful experience. Afterwards, we went to Venezuelan-originated restaurant with Spanish influence and I had a Shawarma (Euro meets burrito). Amazing!

Then yesterday (Monday) was lease day/cell phone day/ID photo day. We moved our luggage across the whole freaking city into our building. I still owe Alex a drink for hauling my stuff. Gracias!

Finally, today we are all updating blogs, emailing family, shopping for soap, trashcans and coat hangers and generally getting stuff done. I will leave you with some pictures from Madrid I was unable to upload last blog entry. :)

Arch near Moncloa in Madrid.

Drinking Sangria in La Plaza Mayor where they used to have bull fights and royalty would speak to crowds up in the many balconies.

My first Spanish palace spotting! El Palacio Real in Madrid. Gorgeous. :)

I love you all so much!

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