Friday, March 20, 2009

Las Fallas

Back to Valencia! A trip that lasted less than 24 hours, eight of which were spent on the bus. Las Fallas, meaning "The Torches" in Latin is a crazy Spanish fiesta, The focus of which, is the creation and destruction of ninots, which are huge cardboard, wood, paper-machè and plaster statues. The statues are everywhere. There must have been hundreds of them all over the city.

Hurrah for matching bracelets!

"Mark, what do they do with all the statues?" Well friends, they set them all on fire! They begin to burn the smaller ones at about 10 o'clock, then move on to the larger ones.

This is the grandaddy of the ninots that burned in the fiesta. We staked out our spot to watch at about 10:30. It didn't start till about 1am but it was well worth the wait. It all began with some amazing fireworks then the actual ninot was set ablaze. The subsequent inferno was enough to melt your face off(almost).

Hot, hot, hot!

(Muchas Gracias to my father for letting me use several of his pictures)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Last weekend...

Last weekend we visited many places. We went to Burgos, Pamplona, Guernica, San Sebastian, Bilbao, and Roncevalles. Honestly, it was actually probably my least favorite so far on this trip. Visiting so many places in so short of a time was just tiring. We spent so much time on the bus, which, by the way, is impossible for someone of my stature to get comfortable on. I'm not saying it wasn't fun, I'm just saying it should have been spread out over more time. I did, however, begin reading Don Quixote, after reminiscing about the Wishbone version. It's pretty much one of the most ridiculous books I've ever read, but it is pretty funny. Anywho...

I did not take as many pictures as I usually do, but here are a few of and around the Guggenheim

And here are Courtney and I in our Running of the Bulls t-shirts that we bought in Pamplona.

My idol

Saturday, March 14, 2009

La Guerra de las Galaxias

So after weeks of anticipation, Me, Tim, Jessie, Lara, Tristan, and Ali were finally able to go to Madrid's Star Wars Exhibition! It took awhile to finally get to the place and it cost five euros but it was all definitely worth it. Here are some pictures of what we saw! (Thanks to Tim for letting me use his camera the whole time since I foolishly forgot mine!)

I was so excited!

Best museum EVER.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


This past weekend, the whole group got to go to Barcelona. On the way there, our bus made a stop in Zaragoza for a few hours so we could see a few of the sights there.

Here is the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar in Zaragoza.

Outside on the wall of the building, they had this giant white tympanum thing. Here are Jessie and I in front of it.

I have tried to catch a pidgeon everywhere we've gone on this peninsula and still haven't managed to grab one. They're smarter than they look. Here I am at work:
We continued our bus ride until we finally arrived in Barcelona. After checking into our rooms we were free to go do whatever we wanted. Some of us went to the grocery store, then went out to buy some kebabs. Afterward we found a pretty cool building that resembled the capitol building up on a hill and sat in front of it for awhile before heading back to the hotel.

The next day we were dropped of on a street called Las Ramblas and were able to do what we wanted for the day. One of the coolest things we did was go to the Picasso Museum, and see some awesome works by him. Here are some of the other things that we encountered.

The farmers market.


And the port at the end of the street.

This guy's good.

Just relaxing...

The next day we were able to see somethings that I have wanted to see every since i learned about them in Miss K's Spanish class my junior year of high school.

Things like the Sagrada Familia

This is the Casa Batllo. This is what I was most excited to see.

All of these were designed by an architect Antoni Gaudi. He made a whole park called the Parque Guell.

Here's Momma, me, and Daddio at a fountain show that I would say rivals that of Bellagio
This has been but a portion of the many wonders that Barcelona offered us. I'd definitely recommend a visit here to anyone who visits Spain.

Coming up next time: Pamplona, Bilbao, and San Sebastian. Be excited.