Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Class trip to Granada, Spain 2/2

The other post was getting too long so I decided to split it in two. Here is the second and last post about our senior class trip to Spain.

Tuesday we had four things to see (after the obligatory morning run) and the first being the tombs of the catholic king and queen, La Capilla Real. We weren't allowed to take pictures here so... I didn't.

Next was La Catedral. Outside we were disturbed by 2-3 overly rude gypsies. One tried to tell Maiken about her future love life when Rikke told Maiken that she would have to ignore it or else the woman would ask for money. The woman apparently understood and HIT Rikke(!?!) while yelling something that meant "no! bad, bad!" in Spanish. Later the two gypsies started yelling loud at each other because one of them succeeded in getting money while the other one didn't.

Anyways, we went in and the catedral was HUUUUGE!

Imagine getting married in this church ._.
There were 4 of these huge organs!
While walking around in there, I looked down at my feet and saw a skull was carved into the coffin-sized area I was standing on. I STOOD ON A GRAVE!!! Ohmygosh! Sorry dead person!!
As I jumped away in shock/fear and made a sound much like what you hear in this clip at 1:58, the girls saw me and laughed.. (/(エ)\)
Such a pretty ceiling~
That day we also saw an old Arab bath and walked El paseo de los tristes. I didn't get any pictures of these places though.. 
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*Le once again skipping to next day*
~
Next day we went on a hike to Museo Cuevas del Sacremonte.
The buildings here had been carved into the mountains and clay painted.
The distinctive blue colour was to find everywhere~ 
Going up~

More to the right there were caves with real people living there! We actually saw a true "caveman"!
To the left in this picture is the Alhambra and further away is the city
The man working at the museum told us to sit down so he could tell the story about why Granada was so heavily influenced by Moor culture and about all the gypsies and people living in caves there. All the Spanish people we met spoke so fast but he managed to tell slowly in very clear Spanish and he used his body language a lot for us to better understand. Our teacher stood beside him and translated into Danish so she could make sure we had understood everything. But really, this guy was so good that I understood most of what he said. We were all very impressed with him and hoping that the next class going to Granada would have him tell them that story too.
He drew in the sand with his fingers to better show us how the history had happened.
When he was done talking we went into the "museum" which was actually just a group of cave houses/rooms. My friend Monika was very excited when she saw a picture of an owl and proudly stood by it when I told her I was going to take a picture.
We had lunch at a restaurant on our way down. Well.. it was more like tapas but I didn't like mine.
 There was the sweetest little white cat running out looking at us and meowing for food. Some of us fed it and at the moment we had put our food on the ground, it ran over to grab it and run to the corner to eat in peace. I was heart-broken when I asked my teacher if people were nice to these stray cats and she simply said: "No! If Spaniards see them, they kick them". Poor kitty 
After we had fed the first one, which had seemed really desperate for food, a second one showed up. It was around the same size and had the same colour so my guess is that they were from the same litter.
There wasn't much food left when it showed up and the first one growled at it when it came to have some of the already thrown food.
Again, I swear if I lived in Spain I would have taken these with me ㅠㅠ
At least most of my classmates acted like normal rational human beings and were nice to the cats.
Once again we continued walking down to visit a traditional Arabic tea house.
The place felt a bit packed when we had all sat down and there was only one waiter to our large group. They had so so many different kinds of tea! While some of the girls I was sitting with ordered tea with stuff like pomegranate and rose petals, I ordered a more simple Japanese tea. 
Each one of us had our tea served in a metal teapot and they were burning hot to touch ;-; We also each picked a dessert~
That evening I went out with Monika and Mette for dinner and a drink. I think I accidentally ordered breakfast for dinner but it was good nonetheless (except for the shrimps, bwadr).
We had also planned for dessert but we were all so full and ended up not having drinks either.

Last day there started out with some "street workout" in a park with "machines" specifically for that. We got quite the attention from people there. But okay... imagine yourself doing your thing and suddenly a large group of, clearly foreigners, begin training out of nowhere right in front of you.

We then went to a real bull fighting arena and had a guide there bringing us around. I'm very much against killing animals for entertainment so I wasn't very fond of the place.
This was where they kept the bull before the fight. In a 9m2 room.
Later that afternoon a bunch of my classmates and I went to Hammam Al Ándaluz Granada, an Arabic bathhouse to enjoy ourselves and have massage. It was a great experience and I would strongly recommend going there if you ever get the chance. 
It was dark and quiet in there. We were not allowed to talk at all (barely whisper) and the only light was from candle lights or the sunlight coming through star-shaped holes in the roof. There were different basins with both hot, ice cold, lukewarm, slightly warm, etc. water. There was also tea placed around the place and although you could only have peppermint tea, it was one of the best teas I have ever had. There were also a room with four different candles with oil in. The oils came in pomegranate, hibiscus, rose, and lavender. Here you could decide which oil you wanted to be massaged with later on~
The girl massaging me was so sweet and I swear I could have fallen asleep if she had kept going. 

My last two pictures were from a stoplight somewhere in the city.
They looked quite different from the ones we have in Denmark. In Danish we have a saying "rød mand stå, grøn mand gå" (red man stay, green man go) and the more I looked at it, the more I thought the red man looked like a gingerbread man which then would break into an epic dance whenever it would turn green
Hombre rojo: quedar
¡Hombre verde: bailar! 

Okay lame joke over... 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Class trip to Granada, Spain 1/2

As I wrote in a recent post somewhere I went to Granada, Spain with my class last month for our senior trip. 
I hadn't planned to write about it in the first place and I certainly am not going to after all the drama that happened within my friend group while we were there. Buuuuuuut since this is a beauty AND travel blog, I'm still going to show you some of the pictures I took there (and comment on them)! 
If you're on my blog for the sole purpose of beauty then you are welcome to skip ahead but you'll be missing out, just saying~ (〜^▽^)〜

Our horrible journey took us 16 hours and during that time we had to take two buses, a train, and a plane. The reason I'm calling it horrible is because we got free tickets from the Danish train service but oooohmygosh I would much rather have paid those 382 kr. (≈65$) to avoid leaving at night and driving/waiting so long for our plane. I'm seriously not trying to sound spoiled but with correct planing, we could have spent less than half the time traveling... Spain is not that far away!
The bus was fine but the trains were cold and in the next cabin there was another class, also going on their senior trip, which would not be quiet even once although it was in the middle of the night ~.~ 
We then finally arrived in CPH airport where we had to wait some 3-4 hours and collapsed on the benches (I blurred my friend's face out here because she doesn't like having pictures taken of herself).
We landed in Malaga from where we had to take a bus. The mountains/hills looked so dried out and the sky was such a beautiful blue colour~ 
At least the buses were really comfortable!
Some of my classmates were getting hungry and the busdriver proposed we made a stop somewhere to get food. After so many hours of traveling, a bunch of us really just wanted to continue the ride and then find food when we arrived but in the end we made the stop. 
This place was in the middle of nowhere... I didn't get anything from there. The signs were all in Spanish and .. I'm really not that good at it. But I wasn't the only one. My friends who bought food there said it was really pricey for a very plain sandwich anyways.
When we came to the hostal, Hostal Atenas, we parted into rooms. Our teachers let us roam free for the rest of the night so I went with Lærke, Maiken, and Rikke for dinner. 

We came to an open area with a bunch of restaurants surrounding it. It seemed sort of like a food court. There we ate at Bistró Granada. We didn't know what to do so we just sat down outside and soon a waiter came over. Our Spanish apps with useful phrases for eating out was grammatically wrong but the waiter was really nice and helped correcting us.
This was my view from our table and into the "food court"
Ad here I was with Lærke~
I had a completely makeup free week (except for one night) so there probably won't be many pictures of me.
While the others had pizza, I ordered a Caesar salad. It was pretty good but the brown stuff was a kind of bitter soy sauce or something which I really didn't like. 
After dinner, we walked around to see the city and suddenly found a large group of people sitting on the stairs in front of the the catedral - they were watching some people perform flamenco! We sat down and enjoyed the view. Sadly my phone is not good at taking pictures in the dark so I had to rely on Lærke snapping some good shots. 

The woman in blue was the one dancing while the guy behind her played guitar and the other two were clapping.
This was the only picture of mine that turned out okay: a view of the "scene".
I did get this video though! It was a really fun experience to just randomly walk into!

After this... we got lost and walked around the city for more than an hour trying to find our way back to the hostel. I walked up to a bunch of people and, with my bad Spanish, asking which way we had to go. In the end we met an elder man who was really nice and helped us. He even called out to us after we went away to make sure we found the right way ¡Muchas gracias!
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*Le skip to next day*
Every day, our teachers had made plans for us and thus we had to get up "early" to eat breakfast together before starting the day. With the money we paid for the hostel included free breakfast in a restaurant down the road, Gran Vía de Colón. Our option was bread with either butter, marmalade, or tomato sauce and a glass of juice or water. The first day the bread was as hard as croutons but it got better the next days. 
First stop was the traditional Spanish market, Marcado de San Agustín, where we had to buy lunch.
I was surprised of how ... different it was there. There was no way the people there spoke English (not that I expected it) so our Spanish was being challenged indeed! 
Several of my classmates also found it strange how the meat was just hanging instead of being cooled down in a freezer. Some wouldn't buy the meat for this reason - They found it "dirty". Cultural clash~ 
From here I bought two pears for 0.70€! Much cheap, so fruit, wow!
Next we took a bus to Alhambra. The bus was filled to the brim with people and it was soooo hot! It reminded be of the metro in London. 
Alhambra was built by the Moors and has since 1984 been on UNESCO's World Heritage Site. Today it is the most visited attraction in Spain.
We went up!
And back down. After that we had our lunch. There were a bunch of stray cats running around and I felt so bad for not being able to adopt them all and live the rest of my life as a happy catlady.
But at least we gave them some food~ 
I swear I would have taken it with me if I had been living in Spain!
After that we went to Generalife, the summer residence for the old sultans.
Especially this place was liked by .... an important person whose name I forgot... because he was very interested in light and felt like the ways these windows were made, shaped the outside world in a very special way. 
Also, look how the walls were carved. This place was built under muslim rule and according to the quran, it is forbidden to depict humans and animals etc. so instead patterns of all sorts were used. 
With the sun behind right above us and all the light stones reflecting the light I was literally blinded for a minute. Not before walking to the shadows I was able to get this picture of the beautiful place that I couldn't even see.
Just look at this ceiling *-* I couldn't, and still can't, help but wonder how in the world they created something so beautiful so many many hundred of years ago. 
Lærke and I snapped a quick picture while wandering around in the impressive gardens~
I don't know why my hair looks so greasy in this picture... it really wasn't! ㅠㅠ
That's the Alhambra you see over there~
Along with the beautiful flowers and well-trimmed hedges there was running water everywhere.
Rikke and I. I was pretty sure that was the time to make strange faces... apparently not.
We were free until 7pm when we gathered at the hostel and walked to a flamenco-restaurant in El Albaicín. The view was beautiful! Especially when it got darker and we could see all the glistening lights from the city below us.
At the restaurant, Los jardines de Zoraya, we all had a drink and free tapas. Soon 4 people came on stage, which apparently I had placed myself right in front of. One of the men were playing guitar while the two others and the woman were the ones dancing. The first 10 minutes, the guy sitting right in front of me kept looking at me and I felt so awkward (⊙﹏⊙✿). When there was a pause I turned to my friends and they proceeded to tell how he was starring at me. I wasn't just awkward for no reason .__.
Their performance was really really really impressive and I have never seen something alike. They were dancing so fast and everything they did, they did in exact unison!
You could see on them how much energy they put into it and the woman even ended up cutting herself with her nail so they had to leave the stage for a bit. While we were waiting, the guitar guy stayed and did a solo. He did a great job keeping us entertained!
Below I mixed the videos together I got from Lærke. In the end, the people there pointed out people to bring on stage. First they took a boy from my class and afterwards they turned to us girls. We were so worried they were going to pick us and luckily they grabbed another girl from my class and not me or one of my friends. It was so much fun and flamenco was much more step and less salsa like than I had thought!
After enjoying the night view from Mirador de San Nicolás, we parted. I went with Lærke, Maiken, and Rikke and once again we saw large groups of people - this time carrying around flowers. Curious, I went over to a woman and asked what was happening and she told us something about how they were waiting in line to give flowers to the virgin mary. We walked closer and were met by an impressive view. People were stacking flowers and paying their respect to a golden statue of the virgin. The side in the picture is made out of thousands of flowers and even the pomegranate/heart and the blue seals were made of roses. 
An impressive sight indeed and we were the only ones form our class to see it. Even our teachers missed it!

Read part 2 HERE
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