A fantastic first night in Spain..

Trip Start Jun 17, 2009
Trip End Aug 04, 2009

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Where I stayed
in ''la villa universitaria''

Flag of Spain and Canary Islands  , Valencian Country,
Saturday, June 20, 2009


It wasn't much of a fun flight... I had the only non-reclining seat on the plane (and it was totally booked) all the way to Madrid.  I brought too much luggage (and I really didn't do bad for 7 weeks here).  At the airport in Madrid, I had to get my luggage and then take a bus to another terminal.. the airport is gigantic... and it's not like the driver gets out and helps you with all your bags.  Two ''madrileñas'' (that would be ''women from Madrid''), were making fun of me because they assumed I didn't know any Spanish... laughing while smoking some cigarettes, watching me going back and forth from the bus dragging on luggage and saying in Spanish "wait for me, wait for me."  I spoke back to them en español about how I was staying for 7 weeks, and they could give me a hand instead of laughing if they wished, and they looked surprised to hear Spanish. 

Anyhow... I'm finally settled in at ''la Villa Universitaria"'  which is not so much dorm-like, but not quite big enough for apartment-type either... it's somewhere in the middle.  I decided not to stay with a family for a few different reasons.... and I'm glad I'm here.

I started to discover the city today and made lots of mistakes.. took the wrong bus number... ate at the wrong times... gave incorrect money... but that's all part of the experience!  I feel like I'm already starting to understand how it all works now that I've been here a day.   By dinner time, a friend of mine from Central arrived.. his name is Dirk (from Petosky), and we had a great evening with a few other students.  It is 4:00 am here in Spain, and I just got home (as is custom here).  Nobody goes out until 10:00 or 11:00 at night..and the streets are packed.  We sat outside at a corner bar, drank some Sangria, and then headed to "Casa Inés'' for some salsa dancing.. and I had a GREAT time... it's been a long time since I've danced some salsa.. and it was a blast.  We all signed up for ''bachata'' lessons, which start next week.

This week there is a HUGE festival in Alicante, called ''Las Hogueras.''  Basically, it's a festival to celebrate the start of summer and is the biggest festival of the year here.  There are all kinds of gigantic floats and foam statues built all around the city that make either political, social, or historical statements (or just for fun).  There are concerts, dancing, music, etc in the streets all hours of the night for three days, and the last night of las hogueras, all the foam floats and statues are burned in huge fires in the middle of the city.  I will be sure to take lots of photos and videos tomorrow as these are all beginning to be displayed around the city.

Tomorrow night is more salsa.. watch for pics and videos to come :)
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janetkasic on

Your first day in Spain
WOW! Your email sounds like you are having so much fun! Wish I was there with you :) I would like to try Salsa dancing so when you get home, you can teach me how. I think I would be good at it :) And now when Danny gets there you can both go Salsa dancing together - Glad you have a friend there too as I worry about you traveling alone. Study hard and I will be so proud of you when I see you graduate and they hand you your Masters Degree.
You go girl.......Love, Mom

antjulie on

Sonds like FUN!!!
Hi Amber:
Sounds like a GREAT time so far....hope each day is better than the last! Just Be Careful in everything you do.

All is well here (and it REALLY is), Jon is home and feels good.

So, I am AntJulie...Aunt, Aunite etc were already taken by other users :(

Bet Danny and Bailey miss you bunches!! But you go ahead and have a great time!!! Will be checking in here from time to time to see how you're doing.

See ya in August. Love, Julie

fkasic on

Your first day
Hi Honey....sounds much better than you were able to describe in our brief phone conversation.Skypes is great so i will be calling lots! You will have to teach me the dance too.I think i would be good at it as well...hahahahaha...last dance i learned was the 'chicken' circa 1957 !Alicante looks very beautiful and it sounds as though your accommodations are quite nice so i feel much relieved even though you are so far away. MISS YOU.....LOVE YOU....Dad

a.joyce on

Hi Amber

Sounds like you are already having fun....salsa and Sangria! The picture of the university looks beautiful...so tropical!

Keep us informed, you know, I travel vicariously through my kids and nieces and nephews!
A. Joyce

auntie9 on

No habla espanol
Hi Amber Grandpa liked the story about the two ladies talking smack about you. ( smack was his term) Sounds like you're having a great time so far. Wish I was brave like you. Keep us posted.


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