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9 posts from August 2011

08/31/2011

Palma de Mallorca: Day 6 - Weekend! by Mex Spadafore (Summer 2011)

Max spadaforeName: Max Spadafore

Semester: Summer Internship 2011

School: Arizona State University

I'm a little bit behind on my blogging today.  The weekend was super busy and then we had a lot of school work to catch up on as well.  We had a free day on Sunday, so we decided to hit the discotecas on Saturday night.  Things don't get going until reallllly late here.  I don't know how the Spaniards do it every weekend.  Clubs are open till around 5-6 AM and don't start getting busy until about 2 AM.  Here's some video of Tito's.

 

I could have picked video with a better song but this one has footage of some pretty cool lasers I hadn't seen before so..

The following day was supposed to be a relax day, considering the night before.  My madre and her friend, however, had other plans for Laura and I.  We woke up at 10 to go to Maria's beach house for the day.  Turns out, it wasn't the worst way we could have spent for our recovery day...

 

08/25/2011

Palma de Mallorca: Day 5 - Hotel Maricel y Valldemossa, by Max Spadafore (Summer 11)

Max spadaforeName: Max Spadafore

 Semester: Summer Internship 2011

School: Arizona State University

 

After taking an extensive tour of a 5 star hotel in central Palma with the CIEE Palma de Mallorca class Spanish for Business and Tourism, I didn't think the day could get much better.  This hotel was absolutely incredible.  In Spain, they rely on a hotels rating much more than its name (like in the states).  Instead of saying, "I stayed at a Ritz, or Grand Hyatt" they say, "I stayed at a 5 star hotel!". This is because there are far fewer chain hotels and they need some kind of system to know what kind of hotel their getting themselves into.  The hotel Maricel has about 50 rooms total and looks more like a mansion than a hotel.  Its also located right on the water and even has a swim-step so you can swim in the sea right out front.

 

Here is just a quick look at the outside and the view it has.  Sorry the video is cut short, the group was moving pretty quick and I didn't wanna get left behind.

After viewing the hotel, we interviewed some business' and tourists in the area for a school assignment.  Then we got on a bus and went to Valldemossa with the CIEE Palma de Mallorca language classes.  Eric Clapton lives in Valldemossa and it was a home to classical music artist "Chopin".  The video of this place says everything about it.

 

Try not to mind the meaningless conversation in the background... Phillip isn't really racist.  I think?

08/17/2011

Palma de Mallorca: Day 4 - La Playa de Illetes, by Max Spadafore (Summer 11)

Max spadaforeName: Max Spadafore

Semester: Summer Internship 2011

School: Arizona State University

So I didn't go out last night because we had class at 9am this morning.  Figured I'd make a responsible decision and get some good sleep.  Well turns out, putting more minutes on your go phone resets the alarm and I slept through the first hour of the CIEE Palma de Mallorca class.  Thanks to Phillip calling me during break, I made it for the last half.

After class we went to La Playa de Illetes near Palma.  This is my favorite beach at the moment.  It's small and today was rather crowded but it was still pretty awesome.

 

Also, I haven't uploaded any pictures of the group I'm here with.  Here are a few pictures from the castle, our bike ride on the beach boardwalk, and our 2 hour long walk to the disco's.

Grupo 1 


Grupo 2 

Grupo 3 

Happy Birthday to Phillip and Anna!

 

 

 

 

08/14/2011

Palma de Mallorca: Day 3 - King in dee Castle!, by Max Spadafore (Summer 2011)

Max spadafore 

Name: Max Spadafore
 

Semester: Summer Internship 2011

 

School: Arizona State University

 
So today could have started off a little bit better.  I got lost on the way to the university and ended up being 9 minutes late to the CIEE class.  Go figure.  Class was from 12-3 and afterwards the group met up to take a bus to the Castillo de Bellver.  Its the only castle in all of Europe thats circular. It also happens to be sitting on top of a giant hill which provides for another pretty spectacular view.

 

After visiting the Castle in Palma de Mallorca, I came home for dinner con mi madre.  Our conversations are getting better and there were a lot less awkward silences today than ones before. I'm starting to get used to speaking Spanish a lot more often. During dinner we watched the news. It's been raining on and off today, but on mainland Spain it's been torrential. They showed footage of some pretty crazy flooding going on in Madrid and Sevilla. Sweet. Here are a few videos of Castillo de Bellver.

 

 

 

 

 

08/11/2011

CIEE Palma de Mallorca: Day 2 - Day at the beach, by Max Spadafore (Summer 11)

Max spadaforeName: Max Spadafore
 

Semester: Summer Internship 2011

 

School: Arizona State University

 

 

So after class, the group meets up with native students who are studying English and Psychology at the same university.  They're called out "guardian angels" and they take us on daily excursions.  We took bikes out to a beach about 30 minutes away.

 

The beaches were huge and had sand bars out more than 200 yards where you can stand waist deep.  There aren't any waves on the beaches and there are a LOT of fish in the water.  I stepped on one getting in the water for the first time.

 

Day two 1 
On the ride back a lady thought she was going to run into my bike and called me a "coño".  It means asshole. sweet.  Anyways. I don't think I've seen a city with as many beautiful people in it.  The topless beaches always catch me off guard - especially because its surprisingly not the old fat ones going "desnuda".  Heres a picture of the group in the sandbar and a picture of the coast line during the bikeride:

 

Day two 2
 

08/09/2011

Weekend in Palma de Mallorca, by Andrea Morgan, Feb 22 (Spring 2011)

PHOTO ANDREA BLOGName: Andea Morgan

Semester: Spring 2011 Liberal Arts

School: Gustavus Adolfus College

This weekend wasn´t too eventful. This, however doesn´t mean much because I´m still in Spain and it was more eventful and fabulous than most weekends back home :)  Friday I had no class, so I got to sleep in, and then went with a friend to get Chocolate y churros. Unspeakably delicious! Basically, the hot chocolate here is like a gourmet chocolate bar heated up to be made liquid. Then, as if that weren´t great enough, you get churros or ensaimadas to dip in it. Seriously, Spaniards know how to live.

Choco churros

Friday night, a group of us met up to go out to Paseo and also to see for ourselves if what they call here ¨haciendo bolleton´ (basically, the very classy practice of drinking in the street...hundreds of young people go on this one sidewalk right next to the ocean where tons of gorgeous boats are kept and take bottles of alcohol to drink before going to dance in the clubs, because drinks are so expensive inside the discos) is a real thing. It is. We were celebrating one girl's 21st birthday that night, so after we were sufficiently shocked, we went intoto a club and danced to some Spanish music. That was pretty fun..I'm a fan of the music they play here, even though I generally don't know the words to the songs when everyone else in the club is shouting them. We left early (around 3:30am) though I was totally game to stay, other people were tired!

Saturday I slept a lot. Then, a friend from the UIB (from Sweden) had some friends visiting, so we went to his apartment to hang out and meet some Swedes :) There were couple of girls I´d met before who go to the weeb, as well as some people just visiting from Sweden. Everyone was really nice, and we were having a lot of fun, just listening to music and hanging out.We were having a lot of fun over there, some of which included a person who wishes to remain anonymous locking herself in the bathroom and trying to figure out what an "E" means on a Swedish playing card [it means Ace]. until the cops came to the door. Yes, cops on motorcycles came to the door and said there had been a noise complaint and that we all had to leave the apartment, and they waited for everyone to leave. Stupid neighbors. We all filed out into the street with the cops awkwardly while they rode through the middle of our group on their motorcycles and left. It was really hilarious, and I love this story, because even though it was really quite anti-climactic (we were seriously playing cards and listening to music...nothing crazy at all). I can tell the story like this "I was at a party in Spain with some Swedes, but we had to leave because the cops broke it up". Pretty sweet, although it was annoying at the time, because it was only like midnight, and therefore way too early to go out (unless you´re lame, foreign, or clueless).

So, we just took our time walking to Paseo. At one point, we were stopped in the street talking and we saw this guy on a bike. I didn´t see exactly what happened, but I just saw him crash into a wall and then take a nasty fall. People were looking around, because it looked like he had hurt himself. He got up, so clearly he was ok, but then suddenly he got up, started walking in circles around his bike, and yelling that he was going to kill someone. I was kinda freaked out, but being that I was in a large group which included a lot of guys  it was fine. We left and he did not follow us in a murderous rage. We went to a couple clubs, but one of the Swedes wasn´t feeling too well, so that pretty much broke up the group. It was another early night (again, like 330) with a somewhat humorous ending: I was walking back to my apartment, when I ran into one of our Swedish friends, sitting on the street. Apparently, he had foolishly given his apartment key to one of his friends who then proceeded to go into the apartment and fall asleep. He was locked out. Luckily, it wasn´t cold out and he was with another one of his friends, and a couple of our group stayed with them for awhile, but it is my understanding that they stayed outside until the people in the apartment woke up on Sunday morning!

Sunday was probably the laziest day I've had since I've been here. I slept in, and hung around the house most of the day. I can really get used to this laid back lifestyle :)
aaand some more pictures

Food 1  
This is tumbet, a very traditional Mallorquin dinner. Doesn't look very delicious, but it definitely is! (I'm weird, but I continue to take pictures of my food)


 

 

 

Arco iris  

 

I am not sure how well this picture shows it, but on Thursday last week, it was really rainy, and there was this beautiful rainbow over the mountains at the weeb. I took a couple photos, but the colors are definitely not as vibrant as in real life. Sad face for my camera's shortcomings. 

 

 

 

Me and a couple of friends at the Swedes' apartment before the cops came :)

Amigas

08/07/2011

¿Dónde está el bus? by Andrea Morgan, Feb 19 (Spring 2011)

Andrea 3 Name: Andea Morgan

Semester: Spring 2011 Liberal Arts

School: Gustavus Adolfus College

 

This week has been pretty fabulous (like everything in Spain). Classes at the weeb are really difficult for me to understand right now, but I´m working on it. My CIEE classes are pretty fun too; they´re a lot more work, but I definitely know what´s going on in them, so that´s a definite plus.
Thursday night, I went out to dinner with some Vanderbilt and Holy Cross kids (Vanderbilt paid! woot!). I had a traditional Mallorquin food called tumbet, which is basically vegetables in a tomato sauce. Simple but delicious. (I have a picture, but since I have no computer to put them on, they´ll have to wait). Ok story time: We ate dinner and then stayed and chatted until about 11. This is when the professor had to leave, so he took a few people in his car, and the rest of us went out to the bus stop to wait. It was cold and rainy, and the time schedule for the next bus said 45 minutes. We weren´t too happy about it, but what could we do? We played ¨Never have I ever´´ and waited patiently. When there were about 20 minutes left on the timer, suddenly the time decreased to 2 minutes, then one minute, then the arrows started blinking, indicating that the bus would be there momentarily. Yay! no more waiting! All of us (about six) stood up and were collecting our bus cards/ money when we saw the bus coming. The driver looked right at us and kept on driving! Didn´t slow down or anything! We had been standing in the cold rain for twenty minutes and the guy just kept going. Luckily, the restaurant was still open and we were able to have them call us some cabs, so it all worked out, but still. How rude.

Yesterday we didn´t have classes (yay for only 4 days a week!) and had a salsa dancing class! Anyone who´s ever seen me dance knows it´s not a pretty sight, but it was still very fun :)
The only not amazing thing right now is that I have to buy a new computer :( Mine has been not working very well for a while, and then yesterday it got viruses and was destroyed. I´m not to pleased; this was not how I I wanted to spend money while in Spain, but I definitely need a computer. Thankfully, my madre is letting me use hers for now until my new one comes.

All in all, I´ve been having such a great time! Weekends are so much fun here and there is just so much to do all the time and I´ve met some really fun people too.

08/04/2011

CIEE Palma de Mallorca: Day 1 - First Impression, by Max Spadafore (Summer 11)

Max spadafore  
Name: Max Spadafore

Semester: Summer Internship 2011

School: Arizona State University

So it turns out my Spanish family is actually a single lady in her early 50's.  Her name is Candy, she's my "madre"   and she's effin' awesome.  Our first night for dinner, she invited over her best friend who happens to live 4 floors below us and is also housing a student in the same program.  Her names Laura. Our most recent meal was her Paella which had chicken, pork and rabbit in it. awesome. I lucked out with the living situation and landed myself a room on the 9th floor of a building with an incredible view.  She has a giant terrace overlooking the city with a dining table on it where we eat every night.  Here's a sneak peak of my view for the next two months:

 

08/01/2011

Yoga en España, by Andrea Morgan, Feb 15 (Spring 2011)

Andrea 3

Name: Andea Morgan

Semester: Spring 2011

Program: Liberal Arts

School: Gustavus Adolfus College

 

Today was looong. I had a class from 10-12; 12-2; then 2-4! No breaks in between either!

 In any event, I finally found a place to do yoga. There's a place about a two minute walk from my casa (!) called Temple Natura. It's a fabulous organic grocery store, cafe, and yoga studio, and they even did my style of yoga. The studio is absolutely beautiful. You walk through a garden with palm trees, orange trees, and other bushes and plants with fruits and flowers to get to a studio made of all glass looking out at it. I had such a great time in class, and I could understand everything! Even better, I stayed for a while after talking to the guy who owned the shop, and got to practice my Spanish for a while. I was challenged on my distaste for tea, because apparently the tea that they make at Temple Natura is the best in Spain. I'm going to class again on Thursday and gonna try some of Alejandro's "famous" chai :).

I feel so much better after a yoga class, especially since it's been so long since I've been able to practice. However, I also feel so great about being able to practice Spanish so much too! I spend most of my time here speaking English, because the people I know are all Americans, so that was really nice. Also, the person who owns the place told me that he's been organizing an intercambio with his other American friends to help his Spanish friends learn English. Basically, this is where I would speak to someone in Spanish so I could practice, and they would respond in English to practice with me. We'd do this in the cafe before yoga, so I'm totally in! (PS: everyone I talked to tonight was very impressed with me. nbd. I feel like a bamf Spanish speaker right now)

Yoga
PPS: this is the view from the studio. Just in case things needed to be more beautiful.