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. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Italia! (Also, sometimes I fail at tourism).

During our week between classes, three of my girlfriends and I went to Rome and Florence for a few days. We were woefully underprepared (I knew how to say "hello," "goodbye," and someone tried to teach me "touch me again and I'm calling the police," but I forgot that one...), but we had such a wonderful, wonderful time. As someone who sometimes travels alone, I forget how enjoyable it can be to have easygoing, adventurous traveling companions. Everything is more fun with them. 

I thought I uploaded all of my photos, but I can only find my Firenze photos and a few of my Roma pictures, so I'll include the others (and hopefully, my video of the Pope's address on Sunday if I can upload it!) later. 

Sometimes I feel like I am a really bad tourist. I don't always go to the right museums, or research anything correctly, or even learn basic phrases... sometimes instead of taking pictures or going to yet another cathedral, I just sit on a bench in a plaza and watch people pass for two hours. Or I eat more pizza. 

Part of Rome's ancient city. 

 The Pantheon in Florence. 

A view of Florence from one of its many beautiful bridges. Some of them are from the 14th century. (Can you imagine!?!? No, no I cannot).

The Duomo in Florence. Rome and Florence have an overwhelming amount of churches and cathedrals, and they do sort of blend together after a while. Except this one. I have never seen anything like this- it was by far my favorite piece of architecture we saw. Especially meaningful as well, after studying its history and the formation of the baptistry adjacent to it. There is something so rewarding about seeing the things I've done research on, papers I've presented even, in person for the first time. 

I do not want to admit the amount of food I consumed in Italy, mostly because it would feed a Sri Lankan family of eight for a month, but food in Italy is on another level entirely. This dish in particular was a calzone that was larger than the size of my head. No joke. Please note the Coca Light next to it for scale. Obviously, I did my best to finish it all, but even I was unable to complete such a feat. 

As wonderful as Italy was, I was excited to come home to Granada. I love it here, I do. I am the happiest I've been in a while. But I am missing my beautiful family and especially my best friend. I wish I could just spend an afternoon sipping tea on the couch and just talking about everything the way only we can, or tooling around the thrift stores. 

I love you. And I'm going to skype you right now!