Well I just got done with our first three day weekend of October. I decided to stay home, unlike most of the people in the program. I am so glad I stayed in Cadiz because it was a great weekend! I visited the ruins of the Roman Theatre, went to the El Mercado Central (Central Market), went to one of the old Castles, went to a teteria (tea caf), watched a parade, and went to a Cadiz futbol (soccer) game! It was quite the weekend in Cadiz.
The Roman Theatre is really cool-its still in great condition. Morganna and I visited the old castle, where people hid when they were being attacked. The same day I went to El Mercado, where my host Dad Manolo works. They have been remodeling it since I have been here and they have finally finished. It looks really great and Manolo has wanted me to come to take pictures of his new area (with him in them) since its been done I went to the market and experienced la locura (craziness) of the Spanish people on the weekends. I think I am the only one who calls it la locura of Cadiz. At first I was frustrated because there was a HUGE amount of people walking in their own worlds and in every direction possible. I have actually had to work on my patience because people do not pay attention to where they are going and it drives me crazy! After I walked through the market frustrated as ever, I stopped and realized how funny it is because it really is crazy. I laughed about it and decided to go back and take pictures of it all. I took pictures of the numerous cups of beer to have proof that people in Spain really do drink while they work! The market is full of all different types of seafood you can think of-Its amazing! It is also full of fruits, vegetables and all different types of meat. Mari (my host mom) made sure she pointed out the man who is constantly drinking at work and loves to hug Manolo at work; Manolo laughs about him but also says that he can get really annoying!
On Sunday night Jeni and I went to our first futbol game of Cadiz vs. Eibar. It was awesome! It cost 25 euros, which I thought was a lot for a futbol game, but there were so many people. The stadium is huge and it was packed. The people were all decked out in the teams colors, blue and yellow. They sang chants and yelled the entire game. I have never seen such a lively crowd. The stadium doesnt allow you to enter with plastic bottles that still have the caps on because it is not rare for a person to throw a full bottle at a player on the field. They were also throwing paper airplanes, etc on the field the entire time. We lost by one but it was a really fun experience. Definitely the thing to do in Cadiz!
Today is Monday, a day of a fiesta and I have not done much because everything is closed! Its only a fiesta in Cadiz, so I went to Puerto Real (20 min. on bus), to explore a different town. Anyway, its crazy to see a city shut down because in there are still at least grocery stores open in the U.S. even on national holidays! Here, only the restaurants are open. The candy/pop shops are also open-lucky for me because the last 3 weeks I have visited the candy shop almost every other day. I didnt discover the bulk candy until a few weeks ago, but I love it! I usually buy 1 bag of candy for 1 euro and it makes my day. The shops are on almost every corner, similar to Starbucks in Seattle I took a short walk at 10:30 this morning and there were already numerous men drinking their beer in random areas of the streets. The people in Cadiz do not take their fiestas lightly! We really could learn a thing or two in the U.S.!
I cant believe I am going home in 2 months! It actually sounds like a long time to me right now, but I know it is going to fly by even faster than it already has. I just got back from Lagos, Portugal last night! I definitely fell in love with Lagos and we were only there for 2 days! It was so fun and the people there were incredibly friendly and hospitable. We left on Thursday for the 3 day weekend and ended up getting in Lagos at 9:30-we were on the bus from 2 pm until we arrived, ahh! We met some pretty cool people on the bus. One of them was a guy from California who is 25, a part-owner of 5 restaurants in L.A., and also sponsored by Quicksilver for surfing. He is traveling throughout Europe for 2 months and we just happened to be on the same bus. Anyway, we all got to Lagos Thursday night, and Ana Maria was waiting for us in the bus station. We had found her web-site called Anas Guesthouse online and so we called her because it looked like a great deal. She told us she would be waiting for us at the bus station! She drove us to our place and got us all settled in; she was very sweet. Our place was an apartment with 2 bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room and bathroom. It was so nice! The funny thing about Ana Maria is she gave us her guest book to sign and left it in the apartment. I started reading it and almost every entry included something about meeting Ana on the train carrying her guestbook. One entry said that even though you might be nervous about going with a lady who carries her guestbook, you should go with her because she is great and will take care of you. That cracked me up! Luckily we found her on the internet or I would have felt a little apprehensive.
We went out on Thursday night and met a lot of great people. I met a couple of Australians who were in Lagos for a surfing school. There were actually a ton of Aussies, Kiwis and people from London surfing when we were there. I guess its the place to surf and when we were there, there were a couple of professional surfers there as well. Unfortunately I didnt meet the professionals! Two of the girls bartending told us how they were traveling 8 years ago and just didnt go back home! One of them was from New Jersey and the other was from Australia. I can definitely see how that would be possible. None of them spoke Portuguese, which I thought was a little strange. Actually almost everyone we met spoke English and one of the girls I met told me that the Portuguese dont like it when tourists speak in Spanish because Spain used to own Portugal.
On Friday we started the day with an AMAZING boat ride. We went to explore the rocks and caves for a little over an hour (only 10 Euros!). The boat ride was definitely the highlight of my trip because the waves were huge and so it was actually a little scary Our tour guide was very fun and handsome; he is actually getting ready to move to New York with his girlfriend who he met in Lagos. Anyway, the beaches, caves and rocks were beautiful; I took some great pictures. After the boat ride we went to one of the many beaches and relaxed. After the beach we had an incredible dinner at a restaurant Ana had recommended; she said that this restaurant is where all of the locals go. The owner was so sweet and the food was amazing. We had fresh fish (Europeans prepare the fish with the head and everything), potatoes, soup, salad, bread and 3 different Portuguese desserts. We were extremely satisfied and didnt want to leave because we loved the owner so much. We made sure to get a picture with him before we left.
We left Lagos Saturday morning, which was pretty difficult. I really didnt want to leave after meeting such great people. It was apparent why a lot of people get stuck in Lagos. Lucky for my parents, I love home too much I cant wait to bring my family back to Lagos someday!
I miss you all and would love to hear from you! Love you!
I so happy you are experiencing all of these new things. We love you!
Deb and the boys!!
08 Oct 2007
Hey Emily,Your pictures are awesome. We are so glad you are having such a good time. We miss you. Have fun and stay safe.All of us here at biosports
04 Oct 2007
Em, thanks for the letters and telling me about your travelblog. This is an awesome way to keep up on you and your travels. Stay safe and have a great experience.
We love you. Pat and girls
27 Sep 2007
Wow, Hi Em! It’s me Kim! Your mom forwarded your stuff to me. It sounds amazing there! Your host mom and dad look so nice! And your sister is as beautiful as you are! I am so happy your experience seems to be so wonderful! I loved looking at your pictures and reading all about what you’ve been up to. Take care honey, and have fun and of course…. be safe! Love you,
20 Sep 2007
I love reading your blog. It sounds and looks so great there. I really want to visit that area even more now. This is such an amazing experience for you.
Paige left for Cheney today, I hate that but at least she can come home often.
We love you!
20 Sep 2007
Hey babe! I love your blog! I need to send it out to more people – I am glad Deb sent you a note! I love you and miss you! Keep adding pictures!! Love you tons- momma
19 Sep 2007
Wow!!! I am so happy for you. Keep us updated. It sounds amazing!! I am ready to move, do you think 40+ can study aboard.
We miss you and love you,
Deb and the boys.
17 Sep 2007
Hey Emily! It is so great to hear from your little “travel blog” online. Sounds like you are having a blast and soaking up all the cultural differences. I want to go there! Beach life seems AWESOME. Are you all tan!? Keep us updated, I miss you lots and I’m thinking about you tons! Un besito mi amor
15 Sep 2007
Hey Honey – Did you say you updated your blog today? This blog page is alot different than your friend Mallory’s blog. Let me know if you get this message. Love momma
12 Sep 2007
18 Oct 2011 – start of travelblog
posted Sunday October 2007