Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Alcazaba at Night

The Alcazaba was a fortress that the Arabs built when they ruled this part of Spain. It still remains as one of the greatest examples of Arab military architecture today.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Granada

Howdy folks... I went back to Granada with my girlfriend to do some recon for when my mother and aunt come to visit. Although we didn't get a chance to visit the Alhambra we wondered through the neighborhood that overlooks it called the Albaicin. Here are a select few photos of the city from the point of view of the Albaicin... Enjoy!





Thanksgiving in Spain

So... since it was almost next to impossible to get a turkey and all the trimmings of a traditional thanksgiving meal, we spent the holiday at an Italian restaurant where pizza sometimes looks a little different... bon appetit!

Casa Puga

Hello, and warm greetings from Almeria, Spain!
Here in Andalusia tapas are not just a way to eat, but rather a way of life. For those of you who don't know how it works... here's the lowdown:
When you go into a tapas bar you order an alcoholic beverage (this is important because if you order a coke or something you have to pay full price for the tapa, however non-alcoholic beer counts). So let's say the beer you order costs 2 euros, but then for an extra .30 euro cents you get your choice of a delicious aperitif which is well worth it... So after a couple of beers, your mood is right and your belly is full.
Below is a picture of Casa Puga. This is by far one of the most traditional tapas bars in Almeria. It's famous all over the world and throughout Spain. If you're ever in the area, it's definitely worth the effort of the visit.

Castilla y Leon and the Ancient City of Valladolid

Greetings and salutations from Spain. I know it's been a while since my last entry... so here's what I've been up to:
A couple of weeks ago I visited the the ancient Spanish city of Valladolid. Valladolid was the capital of Spain before the inception of modern Spain. The flag below may be familiar to some of you Texans. It's the flag normally associated with the Spanish occupation of our great state.
So... being that Valladolid was the capital of Spain throughout it's golden age. It's where Ferdinand and Isabella ruled from, and it's also where the great explorers like Christopher Columbus and Ponce de Leon, along with the great conquistadors like Cortez, had their homes. Below is a picture of Columbus' home which has been turned into a museum.


Below is a picture of the one of the greatest city plazas throughout all of Spain. It's called the "plaza mayor."

And last, but certainly not least, is this ancient restaurant called La Parrilla de San Lorenzo, this restaurant and monastery has been in existence since the 16th century. That's the 15oo's people! Although extremely pricey, when is the next time you'll be able to eat in a restaurant that's been around longer than the United States?



Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Olé - La plaza de toros de Huércal-Overa

Hey folks: Well, I went to a small town about and hour northeast of Almería called Huércal-Overa. Every municipality has their own time during the year when they have their town celebration. This normally includes a fair with rides and food vendors, however this one also included a bull fight. Now, personal feelings aside, the bull fight is a great place to witness true Spanish culture. Here are a few photos and videos. Viewer discretion is advised...

The opening act.

Those are the ears of the dead bull he's holding.

Steeped in tradition...


Below are some videos I took, The first one
was at the feria, this vendor is showing us
how churros are made. This classic Spanish
pastry is normally eaten with thick hot chocolate.
They're kind-of like funnel cakes but tubular,
and without the powdered sugar. Yum!

video


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Friday, October 19, 2007

Lunch Time

Hey folks. I've been busy with my duties as Assistant English Teacher. Monday through Wednesday we eat lunch, the most important mean of the day, with the elementary school students of La Mojonera. The food is homemade Spanish fare, not the D.I.S.D. burritos and pizza that I remember. The photo shows lunch in full swing, and the video shows them coming into the cafeteria. FYI: the gentleman in the white shirt at the end of video is my boss, Don Antonio Sanchez. I hope everyone back home is doing well. The 26th of this month marks my one month anniversary in Spain, and the longest amount of time I've been off Texan soil.

video

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Angel Frígola

My fellow Americans... What's up?
Here's a few pics of my new home in the sleepy agricultural town of La Mojonera. It's a small school by American standards. Only a hand-full of teachers for about 100 kids... The kids are great. I think they enjoy having someone around with a funny Texan accent. There was a recent article in the local newspaper describing how all of us American English teachers are going to give the kids a Yankee accent. I had to remind them that calling someone from the south a Yankee... well... "them's fightin' words." God bless...



Saturday, October 6, 2007

El Botellón














Hello friends... Here are a few photos of the
phenomena known as el botellón. It's where a lot of people, young and old, get together to basically consume alcoholic beverages and loiter in the street... I did a head count... and there were about 500 people there. They make cocktails with liquor and soda, but the traditional way is to mix red wine with coca cola. This would warrant some type of reaction from the riot police in the U.S., but not here... ¡Viva España!... stay tuned.



























UPDATE: The botellón has now been prohibited throughout Spain, and it appears they're enforcing it vigorously. Since Almería was the last vestige of the botellón, it's quite possible that I was able to witness the very last one that will ever exist, what luck!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

City by the Sea

Hello everybody... I went to Granada for orientation, but unfortunately I forgot my camera. These are more pics of Almeria it's a city surrounded by mountains that come right to the sea. It's quite different for me to live so close to the sea. It's really cool though... sometimes there are wind surfers and there's always a nice breeze coming off the Mediterranean. It's not as humid as I thought it would be either. It's quite a juxtaposition, the land is so arid... yet there's water everywhere. More pics to come... like of La Mojonera and the elementary school I've been assigned to... until then...


Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Apartment

Images of our Apartment:


Here is the hallway...


The bathroom...


The kitchen...


The living room...

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Compared to American apartments it's small, but it's home... I suppose I'll have to make the best of it. More to come... stay tuned.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Perfect Strangers

So... Here are my roommates while I live in Almería. The young man on the left, normally not so disinterested, is Hans. He's from Belgium and is teaching at the high school in La Mojonera. The girl on the right is Haley and she's also teaching at the high school. I'll be teaching at the elementary school in the same town. Who would've thought that a guy from Texas, a girl from Maryland and a guy from Belgium would be living together in southern Spain teaching English? I sure as hell didn't.

This is Almería

Hello everybody. This is the main paseo in the heart of Almería city. It's the best picture I have so far but there will soon be more to follow. It's a different world on this side of the Atlantic. In this photo are the very first steps I took in Spain. I promise more to come, until then... nos vemos.