Living like a local, by Naomi Pohl - Summer with CIEE Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Today was the first day I really felt like a local. I woke up, ate my light breakfast of yogurt, granola, fruit and toast with almond butter, and walked through the winding streets to my 9:30 class with my friend Sam. Sam and I really lucked out with our home stay locations; we’re in the old part of the city closest to the beaches. The streets are quaint and confusing but are so beautiful and unique that I don’t even mind getting lost.
Class today covered the basics of marine biology. Our professor is Dr. Guillem Mateu of the University of the Balearic Islands. He’s soft-spoken but passionate about ocean life. We started with a review of the properties of water and cells (I’m now convinced that every biology class, no matter which type or how advanced, will begin with these two topics…) We quickly got into more interesting topics, like the Ekman spiral, Coriolis effect, and global conveyor belt currents. I found the Ekman spiral particularly interesting; it’s the idea that water flows in a different direction than the prevailing wind because the water column spirals downwards as wind blows over it. I have never learned about the Ekman spiral before, but have definitely seen its effects as I have swum in the ocean. Today in class we also received an exciting packet called “Recommended Activities in Palma de Mallorca” that I am eager to start exploring (hint: hidden beaches, caves, and hikes).
Alongside the beach
After class I went with a few friends to the Corte Ingles, the Spanish mall, to do some grocery shopping and buy more sunscreen (aaaand I’ll probably need more next week). I went home, took a serious siesta, then went exploring the beaches near my house with Sam. The beaches are–surprise surprise–gorgeous. These beaches are not as clean or secluded as the Illetas or Cala Figuera but were the perfect place to sit and relax for a few hours before dinner.
Route to the beach
Marisa wasn’t home when I returned, but she left me dinner in the fridge. Tonight’s dinner was roasted red peppers stuffed with a creamy vegetable filling of carrots, onions, corn, mushrooms and squash all on a bed of sliced cooked potatoes.
Every night Marisa also makes me the most simple, delicious side salad of fresh greens and cherry tomatoes dressed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, coarse sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. Every meal is so healthy and delicious; I truly look forward to her cooking.
Palmy view of Palma de Mallorca’s cathedral
I’m currently sitting on my bed with the windows open listening to Spanish television, guitar strums, and Jason Mraz echo through the courtyard. I can definitely get used to this.
View from the kitchen