Home from Spain - final update!

July 1st, 2008 - 5:28am by Rabbit
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The last two weeks of Spain were amazing! The second-to-last Wednesday me and seven other friends headed solo to the city of Valencia (a coastal city on the Mediterranean). Getting there was fun, seeing as though we didn't have an advanced Spanish speaker with us, so we had to make-do with what little Spanish we knew. We took a 2 hour and 15 minute bus to Madrid then a 3 hour train ride to Valencia.

That Wednesday night, me and a friend stayed in one Hostel while the 6 others stayed in another (ours was cheaper). The next day, we all took an hour bus trip to Gandia. Gandia is claimed to be the "Orange County, California" part of Spain. It's constantly humid, warm, and have incredible white sandy beaches. We all stayed at an oceanfront hotel. I got a room with a sea-side view and balcony.

We spent the next three days in Gandia. Nearly 100% of that time was spent on the beach. We were lucky enough to have perfect weather all three days and the water was especially warm. On Friday of that week, the eight of us went to a nice restaurant next to the ocean. Like many sea-side restaurants, they specialized in seafood. I tried swordfish and squid. I was skeptical on the squid but it was actually very good!

Late Saturday night, me and a friend headed back to Valencia by train while the other six spent one more day there. That Sunday, the friend and I visited the world renowned science center of Valencia. The buildings are all futuristic and curvy looking with water surrounding all of them. We didn't have time to visit all the buildings but we did see the IMAX and the aquarium. The aquarium was really cool. They had fish from all over the world. They even had a dolphin show using a total of 12 dolphins (all of which were much more aerobatic than me). After the aquarium and IMAX, we met up with the other six and all headed back to Valladolid.

The last week of Spain was especially nice. We only had two days of class -- both of which were tests (but very easy), which left for a nice relaxing time. On Tuesday of that week, we had a formal dinner with the entire group. They served us an eight course meal at some fancy restaurant. I don't know what half the things I ate were, but they were all delicious. Afterwards, we all went to the bar and I continued to dominate at darts (it was the last chance for our professor to beat me but he couldn't do it :-) ).

The last night there, we spent one more night around town to try and make the most of the trip. Our bus for Madrid left at 5AM that next morning and the majority of us were out until then. The next day of traveling was especially bad. The bus was too noisy from everyone saying goodbyes and final stories and for the plane ride from Madrid to Philly I was so cramped I couldn't sleep (but I did watch three movies and two documentaries). Eventually after 29 hours of traveling I made it back to the States!

All in all, this trip was amazing. I do not regret anything about it (except my pocketbook). The experience of living in a different country and learning a different culture, all-the-while trying to overcome a language barrier, gave me a new found respect and appreciation for Spaniards and Linguists (no Ryan, you are not a linguist). I can't wait until I can learn even more from other countries when I spend the next 6 months in Australia. Wish me luck, and don't feel shy to contribute to my ever-dwindling wallet!

July 9, 2008 - 1:38pm
Slye Fox says:

Here are all the pics collected from Kevin's friends:

-- click me --