Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Yo Quiero Taco Bell

We've been talking about it for weeks, and finally, after one failed attempt, we were able to find it! The only Taco Bell in Spain. It opened a few weeks ago and a few of us had been really anxious to go. But yesterday, we made the trip to Madrid just so we could taste of the heaven that is Taco Bell.


It took about an hour to get there so I took advantage of the occasion with this feast:
That, my friends is 5 soft tacos, 1 chicken quesadilla, and 1 crunch wrap supreme. And yes, I ate every bite. (I've gained over ten pounds since coming to Spain, and now I see why.)



Did I mention that they have the first drinks with free refills that I've seen since arriving in Spain? Quite the treat.

After sprinting around in Metro stations, and down what seemed like 30 flights of stairs we barely made the last train home. It was a double-decker with lots of space so I got my own row of chairs. I was just sitting doing some Spanish homework, when this large man who was sitting alone, two rows behind me comes and sits next to me. Strange, because there were ample empty seats elsewhere. Strange, because he was breathing heavily and just staring straight ahead. Reesty, because he smelled like rotten beef. I never want to experience his aroma again. Tim saved me by asking me to come look at something, which was lucky, because I stood up, and the guy pretty much passes out across the seats, drops his beer he was holding, and doesn't move for the rest of the trip! We left him there in the same position when our stop came. Poor guy probably missed his stop. But oh well.

There he is!

In other news, I'm flying over to Portugal tomorrow. That should be fun!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Segovia

This week's trip to Segovia was great because it was a only about a two hour drive from home. Segovia is most famous for an amazingly well preserved Roman Aqueduct that runs through town. It also has a castle that supposedly inspired the look of the one in Disneyland!
Enjoy:


Here's Segovia's cathedral

The Alcazar (A little Disneyesque?)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Flamenco in Sevilla

Here's what I got of the Flamenco concert:

video



Saturday, February 7, 2009

Just so you know...

The group set out on Tuesday for a nice little tour of Andalucia, and nice includes rain, long bus rides, and feet that feel like Vlad the Impaler has done a number on them.

We saw some windmills atop a hill at our first stop in Consuegra. That was neat. They were well placed too! If I weren't so aerodynamic I might have been blown away.




From there we headed over to Granada. On the bus ride there, the rain came down, and continued to come down for the rest of the afternoon. Some of us went out to explore the town after settling in our rooms. We walked along a river that was at the base of the hill which has the Alhambra on top.


The next day we actually got to go in....




The Alhambra is an awesome Moorish palace/fortress built in the 1400s. It has all these intricate and amazing carvings over all of the walls. Pretty much spectacular.


Here's the view over the town:


We departed from beautiful Granada the same day and made it to Cordoba several long hours later! The second we stepped off the bus it began to rain. Hard. The rain coupled with a 5ish minute walk to the hotel left everyone soaked but we took it in stride, being the classy people we are.
The first thing we did here was to see the Mezquita. I'd learned about it in Junior High and had always wanted to see it. I'm sure you've seen pictures of it, and if not... look downward!


Here are Tim, Heather, Jessie, Lara, Kim, and I rubbing the foot of Maimonidies. Apparently, if you can find this statue and rub his foot, then Maimonidies' infinite wisdom will pass on to you.

The next morning we woke up early to head out to Seville. Imagine my surprise when the water in my bathtub looked like this:

Blood? Orange Fanta? Who knows...

Here are some pictures from Seville

This blurry picture's claim to fame is that it is of the largest cathedral in the world! It also houses Christopher Columbus' body. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure we desecrated it because me, Jessie, and Lara had 'Business Time' stuck in our heads and were on a roll with "That's what she said" jokes.

Columbus' tomb.

Here's Jessie and I atop the minaret the next day.
And the view of Sevilla!
The bullfight ring in Seville.

This is the Plaza de Espana. It may be my favorite thing I've seen so far. Also, we think that part of one of the newer Star Wars was filmed here.


Also in Sevilla we went to a Flamenco concert. Wow. I have never been more amazed by dancing in my life. It's a little hard for me to describe how freaking crazy the dancers/guitarist/singer were. You just can't understand!!! The only option is for you to travel to Sevilla and watch it in person. I actually got a contraband video clip of the performance, but it was in the last few minutes of the concert when they told us we were only allowed to take pictures so their dancing was not as cool.


Basically, it was an AMAZING week.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Toledo!

Holy Toledo!


This last weekend the whole group made a trip to Toledo. Toledo is known for its history, its marzipan, and its SWORDS. Toledo is famous for its mass productions of swords. They actually supplies many of the Lord of the Rings swords.

There are about 10 stores like this on every block. You may be saying to yourself, "Oh Mark's such an exaggerator!" But no, I am not. There are swords and other sharp things everywhere. I probably spent more time checking out the local weaponry than the local historical sights. And yes, I bought a sword. I need to get a picture of it though. I look like Russell Crowe in Gladiator with it.


Oh, Beautiful Toledo



This is the Cathedral of Toledo. Amazing.



And this is the Alcazar. Closed, but also amazing.



And last but not least, Donor Kebab. An amazing restaurant! In a trip that lasted less than two days, I ate it three times. So good.