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where in the world is steph.... Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? -- Mary Oliver

Tappas, Fireworks, and the like

SPAIN | Thursday, 9 March 2006 | Views [619]


Just a quick update for anyone interested. I am currently in Southern Spain in a town called Granada close to the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Just arrived today and it is beautiful. I am staying the older part of town with twisting road ways, and tiny little stores everywhere. Today I went to Alhambra, an ancient city that contained a palace Nasrid Sulatnas, and then later a Christian emperor. It has beautiful gardens, and the palaces were amazing. The weather has started to get warmer, and everyone is running around with pink cheeks.

I came here by way of Valencia. Another beautiful city on the coast. When I walked off the train in Valencia, I was met with some very loud bangs, louder than gun shots, and thousands upon thousands of people coming towards me as I came out of the train station. It turns out that it is part of the Las Fallas festivities, the fires festival. I will miss the high point of the festival which concludes with lighting giant paper-mache statues on fire. But I was there for the daily fireworks show. I think it was the first time that I have ever watched a fireworks show during the day. I found myself just like the Valencians drawn to the square everyday somewhere between 1pm and 2pm. Towards 2 there would be music, and then the church bells would chime and the fireworks would start. The sound was deafening, you could hear the noise in your bones and feel it in your stomach. The minute it was over, out came the street sweepers to wipe away all evidence of a mass gathering. In Valencia I also went to the church that claims to be in possession of the Holy Grail. A beautiful challis but it failed to convince me that it was the true Holy Grail.

Before that I was in Barcelona. Those of you who I e-mailed from there know how much I enjoyed that city. It was full of energy, life, and color; I immediate felt it and it was such a wonderful contrast to the drab, cold, gray Torino. I enjoyed everything about Barcelona, the weather (it did rain one morning I was there), the people (they didn’t stare like people in Torino did), the food, the architecture, and of course my favorite part SIESTA. Got to love that afternoon break when the shops close. The other thing I found since I have been in Spain, that I am constantly being stopped by Spanish people who ask me the time, if the 55 bus has come yet, etc. I love it! I of course can’t really respond, and always apologize and they always look slightly embarrassed, but I was not taken for a tourist!! That always makes my day.

Well I best be off. I still have a week left, and no firm plans.

Until next time



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