Monday, November 7, 2011


A few weeks ago, our program went to Madrid, Segovia, and Toledo over Halloween weekend. We saw everything. And for the first time in a long time, we could just hang out on each other's beds and watch "Tu Cara Me Suena," (only the best Spanish television show in the world!) a program in which contestants dress up as their favorite performers and imitate them. 

Kicking it in front of the Prado. 

The Escorial. Felipe II made this monster monastery-cathedral-library-castle-mausoleum outside of Madrid. He wasn't much fun, and this building isn't really either. Fun fact about Felipe II: He had his bed placed adjacent to the cathedral's altar, so he could hear mass in bed. I'm not really sure if he should be congratulated or rebuked for that. 

The aqueduct in Segovia- almost two thousand years old, and still functioning until the nineteenth century!

Segovia's cathedral. Rick* says it's the most Gothic cathedral in the world, taking the architecture to such an extreme that a new term, "Flamboyant Gothic," was developed to refer to it. Did I laugh for thirty seconds straight after I found out there was such a thing as "flamboyant gothic?" Absolutely. 

Segovia's Alcazar. Walt Disney came to Segovia and modeled his "Magic Kingdom" after this. 

The Fantastic Four (Don't worry, we didn't name ourselves that. Someone else did).

One of the many churches in Toledo.

*In reference to the legendary Rick Steves. We use his book with such frequency and loyalty while traveling we all feel we're on a first name basis. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A little of everything...

I know, I am the worst fake blogger ever. I'm sorry I haven't updated in forty-nine years. I have finally, finally uploaded all of my photos from the Alhambra and Italy.  

The Alhambra is stunning.

This girl. 

The fountains are incredible, and the sound of all the different water structures overlapping on the grounds is so lovely.

On the way home, we passed by a little mercadillo with the most beautiful candies and nuts for sale. 

Another procession (they seem to be endless here) where the Virgen is removed from her space at the altar in the church and paraded through the streets. 

This is just one of the flower stands in Rome; they are so many and so beautiful.

My three biffles drinking coffee in the Vatican. This was (and I am not given to hyperbole) literally the best coffee I have ever, ever had. 

There was this hilarious sandwich shop in Rome that named their sandwiches after famous people. I was surprised to see an Oscar Wilde one...

but I died when I saw this one!!! I'm not sure how he would feel about the inclusion of Parma Ham given his stance on animal treatment, but I was way, way, way too excited to find this.

Ruins from Ancient Rome. 

The Pantheon. 

Firenze! As much as I loved Rome, I enjoyed Firenze's laid-back nature and small scale more. 

We saw so many churches, but the Duomo was by far my favorite. It's unlike anything I've ever seen before. 

The famous Baptistry doors. 

Trevi Fountain in Rome (sorry, these pictures are definitely not in order).


View from St. Peter's Basilica. That obelisk supposedly marks the exact spot where St. Peter was crucified. I was unexpectedly moved by the Vatican in a way I did not expect. I was so thankful to have my sunglasses on the whole time.

You have to cover your shoulders when entering many of Rome's churches. Although I understand the reasons for requiring this, I take issue with the policy measures and their enforcement. Obviously. I wore a leopard print scarf as quiet rebellion.

The Pieta. 

Some tiny delicacies in a very busy, very beautiful, very intimidating Roman bakery.

The Spanish Steps. I'm not really sure why they're important, just that they are.

It was a wonderful trip. These past few weeks in Granada have been comfortable and fun- I have my rhythm and friends and family here. It feels good to belong.