20091026

Weekend Flashback | Granada.

I was lucky to spend the last three days in Granada with some of the Erasmus students. We had three days of nice sunny weather, were watching various sights like the Alhambra, the Cathedral etc., eating lots of great food, going out and having some party, a flamenco show and for sure: everybody was in a good mood.

To give you a short conclusion:

  • Sights: the well known Alhambra turned out to be not that gorgeous as expected before. Of course it's an impressing building from earlier ages, but nothing to loose breath. Therefore the view over the beautiful city of Granada was just amazing and the area around Alhambra is definitely worth going there.
  • Granada is a very beautiful city, which is smaller and therefore more quiet and not that in a hurry as Madrid. There are lots of wonderful buildings, narrow streets that lead you up the hill through the arabian area, which is a really nice area.
  • Different activities like party or sightseeing were included withing the Erasmus Programme. So we went to a club on Friday where we were surprised by a Flamenco show. Unfortunately this show was aweful. A fat lady screaming all the time and another minor fat one who danced and sang as well. Please watch the following video and you will know, what I am talking about.
  • But on Saturday, a professional Flamenco show was planned and I really liked it. It's nothing I could watch and enjoy every day, but it was really great to see it once. The dancer was really pretty, the singing Lady seemed to be a man, so you see it was very "adventurous". Please also find three little clips following.
  • In the city center there is one place, where it is allow to do a Botellon (=drinking alcohol in the streets, which is usually forbidden in Spain). On Saturday we went there and it was just unbelievable. The plaza was crowded like hell with young spanish people, dressed up elegantly and drinking loads of alcohol. Accordingly the place looked like a great garbage dump afterwards.

So if you ever go to Granada, I would recommend the Pensión San Joaquin, which is a pretty nice Hostel near the city center. It's an old building, but rebuild and it spreads a lot of charme. Furthermore you should visit the Mirador, from where you have an amazing view to the Alhambra and the whole city. If you are hungry and feel like having a small selection of tapas to very cheap drinks, you should go to "La Bella y la Bestia" - a very small but very lovely place to be. Afterwards it's a great idea to go to the Ice Dealer at Plaza Nueva. Here you can see wonderful ice decoration and I've never eaten an icecream as delicious as this one. Yumyumy. What more? In Gran Vía de Colon is a very delicious Pastelleria, where you can get every kind of cakes and stuff, to increase your amount of calories. It's worth going and of course eating somehting there. So I will end up here, but not before saying: enjoy the pictures, I have taken this time in Granada.

20091019

Four great days in BCN.

As already mentioned before, I was lucky to spend the last four days in Barcelona visiting a close a friend of mine and spending a good time. The funny thing was, that I was also able to meet an ERASMUS friend and another friend from Germany, because they were also travellng to BCN for that weekend. ;-)

As this was not my first time in BCN, I already knew some places, but I didn't mind to visit all the sights a second time though. So I hit the streets to see La Sagrada Familia, el Park Güell, la Playa en BCNeta, el Montjuic , las casas de Gaudi and many places more... As you can imagine, I took hundreds of photos (to be more precise: over 900...), so you can almost discover my ways through the city on your own with the help of watching my selection of the "best-ofs".

The bad thing was, that it was raining on my arrival day (Thursday), so the temparature lowered heavily. So unfortunately I couldn't sunbath at the beach... But for visiting a city, the weather was perfect: neither too hot, nor too cold.

I do not want to bother you guys with many details, therefore just some impressions, shortly introduced:

  • If you consider to fly with RyanAir please notice, that you will be arriving on Girona Airport, which is one hour by autobus from BCN. Both ways cost you 21€ additionally to you flight tickets.
  • Furthermore RyanAir turned out to be a "Kaffeefahrt" as we call it in Germany. The staff on board is more salesman than flight attended. They sell cigarettes, phone cards, lottery cards and stuff like that.
  • Once seated in the airplane, I thought we were driving to BCN and not flying. It took quite a long time until we arrived at the right runway to take off. hehe
  • The people in BCN seem to be totally different to what I see in Madrid. I cannot really explain and express why, but I had the feeling. Madrid seems to be more punk, alternative, elegant, ... more different styles of people. But you find these kind of people in BCN as well, of course. Maybe it's just that in BCN there are ways more tourists and the inhabitants from BCN are not that obvious? I don't know. Go there and get your own impression.
  • Spanish food turned out to be great again. (I had my first Churros - but... I like "Pepito con chocolate" more)
  • It was great to be on the beach again. Even with all the surfer, it was awesome. It's a totally different atmosphere, when there is the sea at the city side. You can walk along the port, the beach, the promenade and breathe that special air. The blue sea and people of all ages being fascinated by the width, the waves, the weather and the atmosphere of the sea. I really enjoyed being there - as you can see on the loads of pictures I've have taken there.
  • Cataluña is not Spain. And catalan is not spanish.
This is it for the moment. Maybe I forgot half of the adventures. But look at the pictures, they show more than my words could ever say.

Bina and me in front of the city.

20091014

Madrid at night + forecast.

As already announced, here are the pictures of yesterday's evening, meaning Madrid at night. Have fun watching them.

Furthermore, from tomorrow in the very early morning hours, I will be off to Barcelona to meet a friend of mine over there and hopefully spend a nice weekend at the beach and another very amazing city of Spain. I am sure, it will become a great weekend. On the one hand coming to back to Barcelona after 2 years (I've been there for holidays) and on the other side I'll meet a close friend, I haven't seen for a long while now. As we couldn't manage it to see each other in our hometown, we'll come together now in Spain. It couldn't be any better. I'll keep you updated afterwards.

Flashback of the last days.

What happen in the meantime? Without remember every detail, I am prety sure, that several funny hours passed. While I was out with Wiebke, we made the plan to find new friends, as all the ERASMUS guys were travelling, unwilling to go out or already had other plans, we could not adapt to. So we went to Tupperware, which is a pretty funny place in Malasaña. While we were standing there next to the bar and were enjoying our drinks and ourselves, we recognized a young spanish guy, who was standing right next to us - lonely. So this was supposed to be our victim and Wiebke started to talk to him. Iñigo turned out to be a crazy little Hispano. Originally from San Sebastian, he was also very new to Madrid. So we connected quite well and had a very funny night. Not special, but great. But as we all know: it's the small things, that make live worth living, right? ;)

Wiebke and Iñigo

Saturday really was a quiet and lazy day. Just chilling in bed, heading over to the city, doing some shopping in order to fill the refrigerador... Even the evening was nothing more that staying in bed - with the TV Series "How I met your mother!". I watched the first series from the first episode and fell totally in love. It's an awesome comedy thing and I really recommend watching it to everybody, who hasn't seen it before. It's brilliant.

Sunday I went to Rastro, a big and very popular flea market in the streets of La Latina. It's famous for being a pulling magnet for all kinds of people to spend a quiet sunday morning. We roamed around watching all that mostly ugly stuff that was put on the selling desk in the streets. When we saw everything, we had breakfast and went to the city. At that point of time, Madrid was awakening or better said: La Latina was getting crowded. I've never seen so many people on one place in Madrid before. Weird. I had to go then to pick up a friend at the airport, that was coming to visit me. But surely, we will go back and join Rastro another day a little bit later with all the spanish people. :-)

On Sunday evening I went out with a broad "mixture" of people. Some ERASMUS girls, the friend who was visiting me/ Madrid, a friend i got to know through Anna from Munich and later on, our new friend, Iñigo. So we started another tour in Malasaña and finally ended up in Chueca. It was quite fun, but we decided to go home at 3.30h, as the next day was a very or rather said the most important bank holiday for Spain: Día de la Hispanidad.

So there was a big military parade on one of the biggest streets of Madrid, a speech of the king, jets on the sky and all that stuff... but as there were sooo many very proud Hispanos, we decided to quit that parade and start our traveller's tour around Madrid. It was funny to show him around as I was shown around the last weeks. We really saw everything... Prado, Plaza Mayor, Sol, Gran Vía, Retiro, Atocha, Palacio Real, Jardínes de Sabatini, .... And today everything again at night. Pictures will follow asap.

Palacio Real at night

20091008

Stories from here, there and somewhere.

HERE
Today seemed to be a typical day in a spanish student's life and I am happy to be able to be adapted that well. First of all I made a logical mistake with setting the alarm clock. So when I already put on my shoes and grabbed all the stuff to leave for university, I recognized that I was one hour too late. So I decided not to join that course and just go to University for the spanish course. When I was in the classroom with all the other ERASMUS students, a lady came and told us, that the teacher feels sick and is at the doctor. So there was no class and I went there for nothing, again... :)

Yesterday I went to a marketing course in spanish. The teacher is quite crappy, but funny. I've never seen a person moving that slowly. And her voice is really horrible. The task for the students in this course will be to copy the slides on the wall. So... come on. Is this the way of spanish studies? I hope not. But I am afraid, it is. I'll see, how the other courses will work out.

THERE.
Today I just got a small package from Sebastian from Munich. How lovely. A heart made out of Lebkuchen and a little mouse in memory of Sebastian's "Roomie". :-) And again, a CD with his favourites of 2009. Great. I was so happy and I still am. Of course, I already found a place on the wall where I put Rizzo Junior and the heart.

Rizzo Junior riding the heart of Lebkuchen.


SOMEWHERE.
Moreover I really have to figure out the free weekends and plan some more trips with the other ones, so that everybody is free for travelling. After Toledo, Segovia, Barcelona and Granada, I think there are about various cities left, that should be visited. San Sebastian, Sevilla, Valencia, Salamanca or even head over to Marrokko... Just to mention some possible destination. But besides time, it's all a question of money for sure. We'll see.

20091007

Another week passed.

Again a week passed by very quickly. Although there wasn't anything special - at least I can not remember right now - it was another great week. The weekend I spent with some friends and I enjoyed the full range from really relaxing hours in the Retiro to party at night and lots of great food.

In addition I finally fixed my schedule for university. At least I hope I did. I have to see, if the university in Germany is fine with it, but I guess they are. I hope, I don't feel like re-structuring everything over and over again. The good thing right now is, that I don't have any lessons on Friday. YAY. The bad thing is, that I just have one spanish spoken course. I would have like two, but... well. It didn't fit into the schedule, as every course seems to be at the same time...

Furthermore I can show you guys some more pictures, as Carlos showed me the big park area of Madrid "Casa de Campo" yesterday. It was quite exhausting to walk on the dusty and unsecured paths, but as we were on top, the view was just amazing. You could see the city of Madrid with all its big and beautiful buildings...The Royal Palace, all the churches and other big buildings, that already fascinated me while standing in front of them. At night, I walked again through the streets and enjoyed the atmosphere on the Plaza Mayor and other cool streets.

Today Carlos told me to come to the four towers. Apparently it's the week of architecture in Madrid and today you could have entered one of the towers. But unfortunately I was too late and not the only one waiting in front. So I just could take some pictures from the ground and unfortunately I wasn't able to get it and up. But well... Definitely I was worth a journey.

Moreover on Sunday the first visit of friend takes place and then October will be over very fast, as every weekend is already planned... A journey to Barcelona, another trip to Granada and another friend coming aroung. So November will be there very fast and already another friend booked his flight. I am really happy to welcome them all here in my new temporarily hood. :-)

Las cuatro torres de Madrid.

20091001

Trip to Segovia with a little extra.

As already mentioned, yesterday I was in Segovia with Ana and Wiebke. At first, it was a little bit confusing to get the right train, but as we sit on our seats, a great day was about to start.

The whole system to enter the trains seems to be totally different to the german one. Here it's more similiar to the procedure when you take the airplane. You have your tickets with you and the ladies on the counter just next to the train scann it. Afterwards, your bags get scanned automatically, before you are allowed to get into the train. Strange. But...safe. At least more or less. :-)

Arrived in Segovia, we found a beautiful old city underneath a cloudy sky. First of all, we walked down to the Acueducto, which is a very impressing building of more or less about 2.000 years age. Incredible, how they build this big something in order to provide water from the mountains to the inhabitants of Segovia in earlier times. Just following the Acueducto, you find amazing little houses, nice places and for sure a lot of (german) tourists. Passing the Iglesia San Martín and other cool buildings, we finally arrived at Alcazár. At first we were a little bit surprised about all the security and police men, but as we heard, that Prince Felipe is within this beautiful fairy-tale castle, we weren't wondering anymore. We decided to wait, as we were told, that everything will go its usual course at about 16:00 h. So we waited and finally he came: Prince Felipe. I felt like a little Paparazzi, taking loads of pictures of this member of the royal family. At that time, I didn't really appreciate the whole setting, but afterwards, it was quite great to have seen him. Cool thing.

So, after he was gone in his (old) limousine, we kept to walking in order to finish our route and to find a place to eat something. I already got adjudged several times, but... I do not want to lie. hehe. We ate in an american restaurant, although Segovia is known for gorgeous spanish food. But nevertheless we had fun in that old theatre and the plates were really big, great and cheap. Awesome. Maybe I will return one day to Segovia (the whole trip just costed 15 €) and have a typical spanish something. :-)
Wiebke, me and Ana in front of the Segovian skyline