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"I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things." --Antoine de St-Exupery

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Rain Rain Go Away!

Well, I had quite the busy weekend. It's good to be busy though, and everything we did was well worth it. On Friday we went to las Ruinas Romanas de Italica. It was a roman city founded in 206 B.C. by soldiers who used it as a place to take their wounded during the Second Punic War (Spanish 223 really kicking in). It's where the Roman emperor Trajano (or Trajan in English) was born so there is a statue of him among all the ruins. We saw where residential buildings were, saw how they got their water from the Guadalquivir River (which was decently far away), and saw the amphitheater where gladiators fought. And the mosaics found throughout the ruins were beautiful.

Mosaic to honor Hercules


That afternoon, Maria (my 21 year old host sister) and I met Pili (my host mom) at the park where she goes every Friday with other moms. All the kids were running around while they talked, and I could keep up pretty well with the conversation. One thing they talked about for a while was the smoking ban in public places which began in January. Everyone here that I've met smokes, so it was interesting to see what they all thought of it (there were some who thought it was a good thing, but definitely not the majority). I also found out that it costs 800 euros to get a driver's license! That's $1,075!! Maria was shocked that it cost practically nothing in the States to get one.

On Saturday we went to Cadiz which is a city more southern and is basically a peninsula. It is right where the Atlantic meets the Mediterranean, or so we were told. It is also the oldest city in Andalucia and possibly in all of Southwestern Europe. The city is split in two sections: the new and the old. La Puerta Tierra, a huge wall, separates the two and is the reason why Cadiz was able to survive during many wars. Now you drive underneath it to enter the Old City. We spent our whole day there.

Our tour included seeing many historic sites including:
Plaza de Espana. This is the Monument to the Constitution of 1812, where Spain's constitution was originally signed.
Plaza de San Antonio where the Constitution was actually signed. This church was built in 1669.

The Cathedral. Beautiful.

We got to walk up one of the towers and see an amazing view of the city.


After the tour, we had about 2 hours of free time. So, naturally, we went to the beach. It was probably about 75 degrees. Too bad we didn't have our swimsuits.

Love love love.
Oh just a bunch of cats. There were many gangs of about 12 cats all over the rocks, just enjoying the sun.

Wishing I had my swimsuit!
There wasn't a lot of sand on the beach, but tiny tiny rocks and shells that were actually really comfortable.

All in all, it was a very good weekend. Had all of Sunday to relax and do some homework. The past two days, however, it has been raining and should continue to for a few more days, so we'll see if I end up going to Chipionas with my family where they have a beach house. It's very close to Cadiz. Oh, I also booked flights to Paris and Prague this past week and solidified my plans for Barcelona and Portugal. Almost all booked up for the whole semester!

Hope everyone had a good Valentine's Day. My mom sent me a package with sugar cookies (which my family has never had and is now obsessed with) and conversation hearts, so I was not without. Also, Grandma and Grandpa, I got your card and although you had no idea what the Spanish said, you were right in that it was very nice!


  1. "cat gangs", i wonder if those were the ones featured on "lazer cats" on snl...?

  2. sooooo gorg, and warm. misssssing nice weather, enjoy lucky lady