Week 3 in Granada, Spain! :)
As I said in my previous blog, time is flying past quickly, and I am clutching at every opportunity and moment to experience all that Granada has to offer. I am so very settled into life in Granada and feel completely at home with my host family. I love coming home after class to have lunch with everyone and see what Carmen (my host mum) has cooked for lunch. Carmen is an amazing cook and everything she makes is delicious. What I like as well is that when we have lunch, the television is always switched to the news. I am learning so much about Spanish politics and current issues and am improving my Spanish so much because of this. I think when you start to actively involve yourself in the country where you are staying, learning about what is going on in their news, taking part in day to day life, getting to know locals, it is only then that you truly find yourself feeling completely at home.
The second week of classes have once again been jam-packed and I can undoubtedly say I am learning so much each and every day. What is really great as well is that I am now a lot more comfortable to speak at home, in class, on the street or in a restaurant. It really does show you how when you are in a country where their mother language is the language you are learning there is no way you cannot improve.
This week once again has been very busy, yet as a consequence equally rewarding. Three other friends and I went to an Irish pub on Monday night called Hannigans & Sons. Every Monday night the pub hosts a pub quiz with 4 rounds that comprise of 2 questions in each, varying in topic from history, general knowledge, music to sport. Most people who come to the pub are other students studying in Granada, so iit was a great way to have the opportunity to have some fun and meet new people. Unfortunately we did not win... but there is always next week!
Our culture class activities this week were once again a great insight into Spanish culture and history and were really enjoyable. On Tuesday, we strolled around Granada city on a tour called the Federico Garcia Lorca Trail. Whilst walking to each site, we read poems written by Frederico Garcia Lorca, and learned the story behind each poem or story he had written. The whole class was entirely in Spanish, so it was definitely a test to see how much my Spanish has improved. Whilst I didn’t understand everything, I did understand a lot which made me feel pretty happy.
Thursday saw us going to Pilongo Winery for some wine tasting. After a short bus ride and a walk about a rather steep hill we were finally there! We were informed how the wine is made and what their processes are. We were also shown the vineyards. Because it was off-season they were all cut short. After learning about the wine, we all had the opportunity to taste the wine. Unfortunately I am allergic to wine, but I watched on as everyone else tasted wines and listened on as we learnt the differences between the wines and the right ways to try new flavours. In true Spanish style, we also received some tasty tapas with the wine. Tapas is great, and something I will definitely miss when I go back to Australia.
On Friday, myself and two friends went to Malaga for the day. After a short one and a half hours in the bus we were there! Malaga has a far warmer climate than Granada. I felt like I was somewhere tropical. By the time we arrived it was almost lunchtime, and luckily so we stumbled across an enormous food market. It was incredible, fruits, vegetables, olives, cheeses, fish, meat- basically everything you could think of was there. We bought some bread, cheese, fresh strawberries and fresh juices and made our way to the beachfront to have a picnic. It was so nice eating, watching the water and talking away. After this we walked along the promenade and bought some obligatory gelato. When it is hot, you obviously need to be eating ice-cream. It’s a rule. There is such a nice summery vibe in Malaga, which I was instantly drawn to. We found our way to the beach where we sat for a couple of hours just enjoying the sounds of the water and the nice weather. I think I love Malaga. We were a bit sad to leave after our lovely day, but something tells me we will definitely be back!
As each week ends, I eagerly await for what new experiences will follow. Whilst we do have planned activities twice a week in our cultural classes, it is always so nice to see what else unfolds during the week. I think that is what I love about being in a new country and travel in general – you never know what to expect.