Las Rebajas

July 17th, 2013. Comments Off on Las Rebajas.

Anyone who is the least bit concerned with saving money likes sales. I certainly know that I do! After getting an item that I like for a good deal I feel that it has been a good day and a job well done. When I was told at the orientation session (when I first got here) that there was a huge sale going on I thought great! There will be some good deals here and maybe I can find a few nice clothing items. A few days after when we were told the sales would begin, Laila and Nicole and I went out to go looking around at the main mall here in Bilbao, Spain called Zubiarte. I was honestly very disappointed with what I found. First of all, if these people think these are good sales… Wow, because they are not!

Things are still extremely expensive even though the signs in the front windows of the stores boast of 50% off all items. Once store we went into, Disigual, had some of the weirdest clothing I’ve seen, it is a store designed for hippies! While we were in the store I tried to keep an open mind and thought that surely I would find something I liked, as we were about to leave this one dress caught my eye. So I went over for a more thorough examination and found that the dress cost 80 Euros! Now if it had been a ball gown or very nice dress made for a special occasion then maybe I could see that, but this dress looked like an ordinary sundress. As we scouted out the selection of items in the rest of stores at the mall I began to notice a pattern. Everything was too expensive and most of it appeared to be the quality of the clothes at H&M! Most everyone else I talked to was so excited and bubbling about the great sales but I just don’t think that 80 euros for a dress I could find at Ross for 20 dollars is a good deal. Everyone in this program from the U.S. continues to say things like “it was only 40 dollars,” when in reality they bought something for 40 euros. People! There is a conversion rate, and it makes a big difference! Euros and dollars are NOT the same! Thus my shopping expedition was not what I hoped it might be and I walked away empty-handed, but at least I went to check it out and now I know that I am not missing out on any true rebajas.

(7/2/13)

El Primer Día de Clases

July 17th, 2013. Comments Off on El Primer Día de Clases.

Es interesante que todo mi vida de aprender palabras de vocabulario, nunca aprendí la palabra Aula. Cuando hablamos de cosas del escuela, aprende palabras como lápices, bolígrafos, mochila, la silla, el escritorio, los cuadernos y la sala de clase. Ahora yo se que otra manera de decir la sala de clase o la clase, el cuarto donde los estudiantes aprenden, es Aula. Sí quiere que uso la palabra en una frase, diría… Estaba caminando a la aula cuando me caí. Es interesante palabras son. Hay muchos diferentes maneras de decir casi la misma cosa y si sabes una, eso no significa que puede saber todo.

Pues, para mi, casi siempre el primer día de clases es asustadizo. Siempre tengo miedo de algo, ¿Con quien sentará?  ¿Voy a perderme y no poder encontrar mis clases? ¿Voy a tener clase con mis amigos y con quien voy a sentarme? Mi primer día de clases era un poco así. Estoy tomando tres cursos y espero que puedo hacer todo lo que necesito para cada clase. Necesito el crédito para tres cursos. Parece que el lunes y miércoles por lo menos, estaría en clase casi todo el día.  ¡Vamos a ver!

En nuestras vidas, cosas pasan. Algo cambia siempre y tienes que adaptarse a los cambios a veces si te gusta o no. Al fin del día, todo estaría bien.

(7/1/13)

Los Brazos & Space Octopus.. and more important things!

July 17th, 2013. Comments Off on Los Brazos & Space Octopus.. and more important things!.

So tonight last minute plans were made for basically everyone in the Study abroad CIDE program to go to this concert quite a ways away from Bilbao at a bar managed by a professor who teaches here at The University of Deusto. So pretty much everyone in the program (105 students) showed up at the meeting place in the main part of town and we were told to go to different restaurants because there wasn’t a place that was big enough to serve all of us.  We were told to be back at the same location an hour later and then we would be met and all go together to the concert together. So everyone split up into smaller groups and went to eat. By the time my group finally found a place, we only had 30 minutes before we had to be back at that same place so we decided that it would simply be best to order pinchos or pintxos as they are spelled in Euskara, (the language of the people of the Bask Country). Pinchos, also called tapas in many other Spanish speaking countries, are kind of like small appetizers for one person that typically cost between 1 and 5 Euros. It is a very common thing here in Spain to go out during the afternoon with friends and to get pinchos together. I got a famous dish called tortilla de patata, it was not bad but not super awesome either. So all 6 of us rushed to finish our tapas so that we could make it back to meet everyone on time. We got there and we waited, and waited and waited some more and the girl who was supposed to take us to the concert location never came!

There we were abandoned by our guide. No one knew how to get to where we needed to be, I didn’t know and if there’s one thing that I don’t like, it’s not knowing where I’m going. I absolutely hate not knowing where to go and getting lost is never a good thing, especially not in a foreign country. When someone says that they will meet you at a specific location at a specific time, they should stick to their word! So a friend and I decided that we were not going to go and started walking back to the dorms. On the way back, as we were approaching the Guggenheim Museum, we heard music and eventually saw that a bunch of people were gathered around this one area, so we walked over to see what was going on. When we got through the crowd (somewhat anyways) we saw that everyone was watching a group of guys break dancing in the street! I couldn’t see all that well at first but after moving around and standing on my toes, straining my neck, I finally good. Unfortunately, we got there near the end of their performance but I thought it was so cool! These were some talented dancers and pretty good looking guys. Seeing them perform brought me back to my show choir days, so it was a great experience. After their performance I decided that I wanted to get a picture with them but was so nervous about asking them and afraid that it would be weird if I asked. I must have stood there for at least 5 minutes debating about what I should do. I eventually worked up the courage and marched over to one guy and spoke to him in Spanish and asked him if I could get a picture with all of them! One of the guys asked me where I was from and before I had time to respond he said “from Germany?” Haha! So my German roots must have been showing, I thought that was interesting! They were very friendly and it was a great experience that I would have missed had I gone to that concert…. Or attempted to get to where it was taking place! That just goes to show you folks that you can have a good time on your own even if you don’t go out late at night and get completely wasted like everyone else!

Visita al Museo Guggenheim – The Guggenheim Museum

July 10th, 2013. Comments Off on Visita al Museo Guggenheim – The Guggenheim Museum.

Today I got to sleep in until 9am because we had another excursion! So I went downstairs about 15 minutes later to get breakfast (because breakfast is actually in the same building as the dorm rooms) and one of the girls in the Study Abroad program here saw me and said there was no one in the cafeteria and that it did not open until 9:30! So that was a whoops! Since it was the first weekend day we had been at the dorm, I wasn’t sure of the opening and closing times of the cafeteria. NOTE FOR LIFE: Knowing the h.o.o. (hours of operation) of eating places is a very important thing! So anyways I came back downstairs around 9:45 and was able to eat my cocoa pebbles Spain-style then. I then walked to the Guggenheim Museum, which is only about a 15-20 minute walk from my dorm, for the 11:00am tour.

If you know nothing about this museum, let me enlighten you! The Guggenheim Museum is one of the most important contemporary art museums in the world and has played a huge role in the regeneration of Bilbao (the city in which I am currently studying). Even from the exterior of the building, you know right away that it is something very unique because of the architecture composed of glass, titanium and tan colored stone. It is made up of paintings and sculptures that you simply don’t see everyday. In one room you will find life size sculptures of a pig and a dog, in another a huge, huge picture of a girl or woman whose face and middle of her body is covered by a large carrot and yet in other rooms you will find videos on various different themes. Honestly, I am not a big fan of contemporary art however there were a number of pieces that I found quite aesthetically pleasing and I would recommend it to anyone visiting Spain, it is a must see attraction of northern Spain.

Bilbao, Day 2

July 8th, 2013. Comments Off on Bilbao, Day 2.

The first day in Bilbao I had my alarm set for 8:10am so that I could eat breakfast and be at my group meeting by 9:00am however I wear ear plugs at night, and didn’t hear my iPod touch going off at the correct time. So I woke up about 10 minutes late and was in a panic! I am so thankful that I didn’t wake up any later than I did, if I had I would have been very late! So as if that wasn’t enough excitement, my lights weren’t working! So here I was, frantically trying to get dressed, put my contacts in and get ready in the dark!

Well, the following day I did wake up with my alarm, turns out I did not have the alarm volume all the way up which is something that has to be done manually and is separate from the main iPod volume. Take note people, and save yourself some trouble! For breakfast I had what I thought was French toast with some kind of chocolate sauce… it was actually just toast with chocolate milk, which was an interesting breakfast. Then I went on a tour of the University of Deusto where I will be studying in Bilbao, Spain this summer. One very interesting thing I was told was that the motto of the University is a phrase in latin which when translated to Spanish says “La sabaduria es major que el oro,” which in English means “knowledge is better than gold.”

After taking a tour of the University, we went on an excursion to Plentzia, a city about 40 minutes away from Bilbao. Here we toured a part of the city, had lunch and then went to the beach. This is apparently one of the big beaches that students come to after school so now I know where it is. It was such a cold day, the wind was blowing and the water was freezing! People from our group went all the way in the water and were swimming and all I could think about was how crazy they were and how I hoped they didn’t catch a cold! I stuck my feet in and stood along the sand and that was about it, I didn’t want to catch a cold!

Llegando a Bilbao

July 2nd, 2013. Comments Off on Llegando a Bilbao.

Finalmente el día de viajar a Bilbao ha llegado! Tengo ganas de salir y estar en Bilbao, estoy lista a salir Madrid. Hay demasiado personas como en Chicago, Washington D.C. o algo así. Pienso que prefiero estar en el campo, adonde hay mas tierra abierta con vacas y muchos arboles y flores en vez de muchas personas. Es decir que hace mucho calor en Madrid pero diría que es mas caliente donde vivo en Virginia que en Madrid. En Bilbao, dicen que la clima es mas fresco… es ciertamente verdad. Debe traer un suéter o chaqueta cada vez que sale la casa. Nunca sabes que tal con el tiempo. Cada día es una buena idea llevar pantalones y un suéter en mi opinión.

Me encantan las montañas, son tan tranquilas y muestran las obras hermosas de Dios. Viajando en autobús a Bilbao, miré muchas cosas bonitas. Por todas partes, la tierra, el césped, las casas, los edificios, los arboles, las flores y claro las montañas, era una experiencia ver el país por la ventana del autobús. Mis fotos no podían capturar la belleza de lo que realmente he visto. El viaje fue de 5 horas pero después de todo llegamos en Bilbao.

El día siguiente, fuimos a la Universidad de Deusto y tomamos un examen de nivel de la lengua española. Después, visitamos el CRAI para comer y luego caminamos por el centro de la cuidad para conocerla mejor.

Museo del Prado

July 2nd, 2013. Comments Off on Museo del Prado.

El 26 era el día final en Madrid. Hacemos las maletas para salir y fuimos al Museo del Prado. El nombre completo es el Museo Nacional del Prado. El museo es una galería de arte , allí hay muchos retratos y algunos esculturas. Es decir que es el segundo mejor museo en el mundo. No me interesa museos muchísima pero me gusta el arte a veces.. depende del artista. Hay mas que 10 mil pinturas en este museo y muchas aristas bien conocidas como Velázquez, Rubens, Goya, El Greco y mas. Es interesante que allí en el museo, tienen la pintura de Mona Lisa.

De los pocos pinturas que yo visto, un favorito es de Francisco de Goya y se llama “El 3 de Mayo de 1808 de Madrid.”  Esta pintura muestra una lucha entre dos grupos. El primer es una línea de hombres con armas preparadas a disparar los hombres del otro grupo. No puede ver las caras de los hombres con armas pero las expresiones de los quienes can a morir hablan volúmenes. Describen el tipo de persona que realmente son. Muchas muestran miedo, se esconden y cubren sus caras. Pero hay un hombre llevando una camisa blanca y pantalones de color café que parece fuerte y valiente con los brazos levantadas al cielo oscuro. No tiene miedo, sabe lo pasará y el ha aceptado su destino. Es una pintura triste pero de coraje también.

Muchas pinturas son de Cristo y la luz que traiga. Pero otras muestran oscuridad, la oscuro de guerras y de muerte o de demonios. Una caja tiene pinturas de Goya, se llaman Pinturas Negras y como el hombre, hay pinturas con colores oscuros como negro y marrón. Después de caminar por el museo y de mirar mucho arte, regresamos al hotel para la hora de comer.

Segovia

July 2nd, 2013. Comments Off on Segovia.

Hoy es martes, nos levantamos a las ocho de la mañana al sonido del teléfono. Después de levantar y poner la ropa, fuimos a desayunar en el comedor del hotel.   Nos reunimos, las personas quien están en la programa de lengua y cultura españolas, en el vestíbulo del hotel para salir a Segovia. Las otras el la programa de empresas fueron a Toledo. En Segovia, visitamos el Acueducto que fue construido en el siglo 1. Es una impresiónate cosa que cuenta la arquitectura civil romana y cuya función fue transportar agua a la cuidad hasta que el siglo XIX.  Continuamos caminando al Alcázar para una visita guiada.  Existió una fortificación romana en el lugar donde actualmente se levanta el Alcázar. Durante la Edad Media fue residencia habitual de los reyes de Castilla. Después del visita guiada, subimos a la torre. Sentí que las escaleras nunca podría terminar, todas las personas eran respirando como perros en necesidad de agua.

Comimos en el Restaurante Convento de Mínimos en la Plaza Mayor allí. Comí el pollo y papas, supuestamente un tipo de comida típica aquí en España.  Antes, comí una ensalada, era una de las ensaladas peores que he comido. Cosas pasan… También, la comida que sirvieron cada día en el hotel no era muy rica. La paella, el carne, los cereales, todo la comida que nos sirvieron era asqueroso.    Es una buena cosa es que tuvieron Activia el yogur y fruta cada día! Una cosa que de que estoy seguro, cuando hablo con mi padre, el me preguntaría que tipos de coches hay aquí en España. Pues, mi padre,  veo coches mucho mas pequeñas de que los miramos en los Estados Unidos, y no hay tantas camionetas. Tomé muchos fotos hoy de los excursiones.

Madrid

July 2nd, 2013. Comments Off on Madrid.

El primer día de mis aventuras en España era en Madrid, la capital de España. Es decir que Madrid es la tercera cuidad mas poblado en todo del Europa, después de Berlín, Alemania y una otra. Después de siete horas sentado en avión, estaba muy cansada porque no dormí por un minuto.  Nosotras estudiantes de Mary Washington salimos el aeropuerto en un autobús y fuimos para el hotel llamada Tryp Madrid Chamartín. Pongamos nuestra equipaje en los cuartos y salimos otra vez para ver algunos lugares importantes en la cuidad. La Plaza Mayor, el Palacio Real y el Puerto del Sol son algunas grandes monumentos y edificios emblemáticos que visitamos.

Puerta del Sol es el primer centro comercial en Madrid. Hay muchas tiendas, gente, barres coches y mas por todas partes. Antes de llegar a Madrid tenia miedo de alguien robando mi dinero y pasaporte. Aparece como una turista y estaba en un lugar desconocido, pero sobreviví y no tuve muchos problemas.  Un estatua muy conocida en el Puerta del Sol es del Oso y el Madroño, símbolos importantes de Madrid. Después de nuestro guía nos mostró los principales lugares y tiendas en La Plaza Mayor y nos contó sobre de la historia, fuimos al Palacio Real. Palacio Real ha sido la residencia de muchos monarcas españoles desde su construcción en 1738. Adentro del Palacio Real, no puede sacar fotos o tocar nada pero hay muchos cuartos, cada una tiene un tema y grupo de colores diferente. En cada cuarto hay pinturas elaboradas en los techos y las paredes. Las arañas de luces de oro y cristal aparecieron como fuentes increíbles. También puede ver el Comedor de Gala, el Museo de Pintura, la Biblioteca, el Museo de Música y el de la Real Armería. Era algo muy cómica que me hizo pensar en mi hermanito cuando una chica de 10 años dijo a su padre “¿Papa, te gusta este guitarra?” Era cómico porque el instrumento no era una guitarra pero un violoncelo. Fue un día largo y cuando regresamos y cenamos en el restaurante del hotel, estaba lista para dormir.

Hello World!

June 28th, 2013. Comments Off on Hello World!.

Welcome to Julia’s blog page! I hope you enjoy my posts. Happy reading!

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