Mi Busqueda para Espana y Yo

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Day 3: Toledo

Last night was our last night in Madrid and it was CRAZY! I've been to bars in Chicago and Michigan and some pretty nice ones but this 7 floor bar was wild. It was called El Kapitol. It is the craziest bar I have ever gone to! It was 18 euros to get in for admission and one drink and when you first walk in there are huge chandeliers everywhere and an elevatory with a guido that takes you up. There's 7 floors each of them a different theme. The 5th floor is the Bacardi floor where they only serve Bacardi, there's a huge Bacardi bat mural and the wall is lit up bacardi signs. The 7th floor was a lounge area with beds and canopies everywhere and a huge fountain in the middle and there was no roof! Each floor had a different type of music playing. We went there after our dinner at La Platateria where I got black rice and squid (everyone else thought it was weird but I liked it because it reminded me of Mommy's cooking!) It was so good except they serves theres with sour cream which made it taste a little different but really good. We got to El Kapitol 2 hours before everyone else came out! We were there at 1AM and no one was out yet! Spaniards go out really late, they don't have dinner until 10PM or so then go out after that..they have a siesta around 3PM and then another one around 6PM so their schedule is sooo different. We got there and no one was there but so around 1:30 it started getting full! On the main floor there were go go dancers on these balconies then they got on stage and just stood there with their crazy outfits. It was quite interesting. We danced on each floor pretty much and all the Spaniards guys were so funny, saying hi to anything that walks by and I stuck my hand out to one guy who asked what my name was so I wanted to shake his hand and say Camila but he wanted a kiss so I had none of that!
We danced a lot then we left after a couple of hours or so. We had a wake up call today at around 8 and we ate our huge breakfast then we set out for Toledo which is an hour away from Madrid. It was Madrid's old capitol before it got moved. It is very medieval and very old. It's built on a huge hill and it looks like a fort because it has city walls built up. The river is a natural fort for it on the South, East, and West but they had to build a huge wall to protect the North and now there's the world's longest escalator to take tourists from the bottom of the hill through the gate to the town. We met our tour guide Mario who had a bright green shirt that matched his bright green shoes. He was very touchy and very European and he was great. He was a local celebrity, he knew everyone because he does these tours all the time and he was in a documentary of Toledo as the tour guide. He took us on a bus tour of the outside of Toledo just so you could see how it's shaped like a fort and the cathedrals from far away. He stopped the bus at this one area that was breathtaking. You could see the old castle (ALCAZAR), the church that the first king and queen of Spain built and the antique town. Then we went into town. All the streets are going up hill, all cobble stone roads, and all really small. Kind of like old San Juan in Puerto Rico but much older and richer in the architecture of the buildings. We went into Santo Tome which is a very very old church. It's most famous for the tomb of Senor de Orgaz just a rich guy back in the day BUT Greco drew a painting of his death called El Entierro del Senor de Orgaz and it's probably the most important painting religious wise in Spain.I learned about it in my Spanish Culture class and I fell in love. The tour guide let me talk about it a little bit because I knew some stuff about it. I got a postcard and I can't wait to show you ugys! There's 1500 men in the painting, it's like where's waldo.
Then we went to the iglesia (church) called San Juan de Los Reyes. The Reyes Catolicos (the first king and queen of spain to unite what we know as spain now and who helped Columbus sail) built it in 1477 (and it'sstill got the ORIGINAL foundation and everything!). QUeen Isabel built it as a thank you to God for the win in the Battle of El Toro. It's BEAUTIFUL! I love old churches but I've never been more amazed. It's got the tallest ceilings I've ever seen, a garden that has all the prettiest flowers and upstairs are statues of all these mythological creatures and quotes to thank God..you'll have to see the pictures to believe how gorgeous this building is and you can feel the history it holds! Then we went to see the Government building of Toledo and right next to it is the home of the archbishop of Spain which holds a flag of Spain and a flag of the Vatican.
Next to that was the BIGGEST Cathedral I've ever seen. Cathedral of TOledo Santa Maria. We couldn't go in becuase it's only open for special occasions like weddings of political figures or when the pope or a president visits but it's humongous. It's crazy to learn about all the styles of the architecture for the churches in Spain but to see the gothic and renaissance style in person is breathtaking. So much more impressive than a skyscraper I think because it stands the test of time.
We also went to a synagogue which is in the "Barrio de Judiceros" neighborhood of Jews. Muslims and Jews ussed to live in Toledo and now some Jews sitll live there but they can only live in this neighborhood. The synagogue was pretty because it was also a temple because they mixed the two styles of those two religions.
After our sightseeing we had lunch in the Plaza of Toledo. We had a typical Spanish lunch which is a 1st plate, 2nd plate, and a desert. The 1st plates and 2nd plates are full meals usually because breakfast and dinner are so small. My 1st plate was Spaghetti with Bolognese Sauce and my 2nd Plate was CARCAMUSAS. Which is pork or any meat in a spicy, very spicy, tomato sauce with potatoes. It was reallly good. After lunch I walked around. I bought some Absinthe because if ur in Europe I think you have to and who knows next time I'll ever go to Europe..I had to. I also found a keychain with my name and Spanish explanation of it. And for 1.50 euros I bought you mom "Llaves del Fortuna" keys of luck. It's like the size of the Tiffany's key necklace and it says Suerte on the top..for good luck if you wear it or keep it in your car or wallet! I got you a shirt Paul that you will hopefully actually like. It's not a normal tourist shirt I promise. It's actually funny.
After lunch and walking around, we drove to our hotel, Hotel Beatriz. Our director said there was a surprise there and it was that we were staying at the only hotel in TOledo with an outdoor pool (it's rare in Spain apparently). It was a really nice pool with an outdoor bar. We swam for only like 40 minutes because we had to take our siesta (Spain's naptime)!
We had an Orientation meeting with our Director about our housing and classes in Salamanca. I'm pretty nervous about meeting my family TOMORROW! After dinner, we had dinner at the hotel here and I had lasagna. I know it's american but it's what everyone else wanted and I'm going to eat alot of Spanish food with my home stay (some people, majority, are staying at the dorms and not going to experience the family and food of Spain but I am!!). After dinner, we drank some wine and played a card game (Kings but like our version of Circle of Death Paul) and got to know each other.
I forgot to talk about one person in my group. Jaxi. It's pronounced Jasi. She's from China! She's a foreign xchange student who goes to Ohio State and has only been in America for a year and is definitely a beginner with Spanish language. I am in awe of her that she is doing this. She has a lot of questions about the Spanish culture and the American culture and we tell her a lot and she tells us about China like why she's an only child is the One CHild Rule.She is so sweet. Tonight after dinner she was upset because she tried to call her Chinese boyfriend (who's in Ohio) on Skype twice and both times his parents picked up. She was in tears because she didn't want her boyfriend's family to think she liked him too much and to get the impression that she was trying to get a hold of him too much and she hasn't met them yet and she was embarassed that they firs tmet her on video. It was weird to me but it's bcause she's from a different culture. So I'm learning about the Spanish AND the Chinese culture!
I'm going to bed now..we are leaving Toledo at 9am tomorrow. We go to El Escorial (it's a monastery and alaso the tombs of all the kings and queens of Spain except for the Los Reyes Catolicos who are buried in Granada) then we're going to SALAMANCA! It's a 3 hr bus ride so I have to take my Dramamine becuase we know I hav emotion sickness. We are going to meet our family tomorrow!! I'm really nervous but I hope the 21 yr old and the mom like me and Emily, my room mate (who I got really close to last night because our personalities are so alike with ho wmuch we laugh and are interested in the same things of Spain). I can't wait to show her the pictures of you guys and to show them Mommy and tell them how she's a Spanish teacher and taught me.
I will try to call you guys otmorrow around 6PM or 11PM my time or Skype with you.
I miss you.


Post a Comment

<< Home