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Friday, May 4, 2012

The Rain in Spain Falls Mainly on Exchange Students


Spain crew Rotary Exchange Belgium !
      So , It's the day after my parents and brother left for the states. I'm feeling miserable. Curled up on my bed sobbing because I missed them so much. Then it occurred to me that . I'M GOING ON AN ELEVEN DAY TOUR OF SPAIN. So I should cheer the hell up .
                     This post is going to be me doing a half ass job of trying to recall everything we did in Spain , more or less , day by day.
       Day 1 : Meet in Bruxelles to catch the charter bus and a good 3/4ths of all the exchangers . The bus then stops in Liege to collect the others. AND THEN DRIVES ALLL THE WAY BACK TO WHERE I LIVE . Literally the first rest stop we went to on the 24 hr drive was at the rest station like 5 minutes from my house. 0_o ... yeah . wasn't thrilled. We drove all night and day leaving Belgium via Lille-Paris and working our way down the eastern side of France . I'll probably mention this several times in this post but the group of kids we had on the Spain trip was THE BEST. So many kids I had never met. Newies and Oldies alike.
   Day2: STILL DRIVING . Make it to Salamanque around 4 or 5 in the afternoon. Tour the city a bit .
    Day 3: Tour of the city with guide , LOTS OF FREAKING RAIN.... Salamanque is known for its university  and also the fact that on their Roman age cathedral there is a detailed carving of a astronaut in appropriate garb .
Day4: Up early to Drive all the way to Avila - HOLD UP

OKAY so i started writing this post a while ago and now i'm failing at remembering every day and each significant detail , and plus i have another post to do anyway. SO i'll give you a vague-ish overview.now

   I don't think Americans think that much about Spain, Especially for a vacation in Europe. With the exception of the mega rich party island of Ibiza . My reasoning in saying this is that we never had any kind of intervention with spain, in recent history. Spain wasn't apart of WWII  and I don't really think WWI either. Plus this trip was at the same time as one with rotary to Italy and you can guess which was more popular initially . I think its worth it to take the "road less traveled" in this case. Italy will allllways be there as a travel option , everyone wants to go to Venice , Rome ect, and , yes i've already been to Italy once and it was alright . But SPAIN <3
     Sure they're going through a bit of a rough patch . LIKE THE REST OF THE WORLD, but it really was amazing. The landscape was probably one of the greatest parts of the trip , I've never been to the Southwest in my own country but I imagine it looks a hell of a lot like spain which would explain why the Spanish settled there . The history is diverse , at one point there were Muslims , Jews and Christians all living together. Although for the most part , now and then Catholicism was dominant . This was the Rotary in Belgium's first time doing a trip to Spain so, we were the test group. I'm just going to come out and say it though . WE did wayyyy tooo much church related stuff. The schedule for the day sometimes ended up being : Church followed by Cathedral , basilica and several monasteries. I understand that Spain is right up there with Italy on beein' keen on jesus but there are plenty of other things to see . So much art , music, nature. Just giving us time to wander around cities and find things for ourselves. But it didn't work out that way.... the motto for the trip became : Churches by day , Clubbing by night. Although. the one house of worship I was completely and utterly amazed by was the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. I've been in Europe for a while now so I've seen my fair share of Churches. But this. This is the most beautiful building I have ever seen . And it's not even half way finished. I will go back to Barcelona if/when they finish it .
Sagrada Familia
       On another note, this trip was also a chance for me to meet new exchangers. Most of the newies (kids from austrailia and new zealand that got here in jan) were on the trip and it was so cool to hang out with them .There were even kids that have been here all year that i had never met before and had an amazing time with . As expected most of the latino kids went to Italy but the ones that came to spain were all so nice and it was so great to talk to them. We taught them how to be "gringas" ( white girls) and we were taught how to be latinas .

Barcelona!

PHOTO TIME.
Malgrat Del Mar 

Salamanque


Avila (?)
Toledo
Segovie

 
                                                                           
It snowed. NOoooONE was prepared
El Escorial (where the whole spanish royal family crypt is )

Madrid
                                                                             


sidenote* the reason for the title -the weather kindaaaaaa sucked. Rain, cold , snow. ya know .