Daily Archives: January 15, 2018

Weekend Fun, Part 2

Each of the students have shared a bit about their weekends. As we head to Granada on Monday and Tuesday, please enjoy the posts from the weekend!

Bella A:

This weekend I visited Vejer de la Frontera and Tarifa, where you can see Morocco from the top of a castle. The town of Tarifa contains the southernmost point in Europe and is known for its wind sports.

The winds and clouds did not obstruct the beautiful views from southern Cadiz.

Despite the weather, the view of Morocco was clear and very beautiful. There were hardly any people out at the time we visited, so it was nice to see everything without crowds, including several castles. It was a great excursion and I hope to go back eventually with my family.

Sarah Z:

After a busy week full of sightseeing, this weekend was very restful. Saturday morning my host family and I slept in late. When we woke up, we shared freshly cut fruit and orange juice. We watched some TV before my host sister’s tutor came to help her study.

Sarah took in the seaside views this weekend while her host student studied!

During our walk along the beach, I was able to enjoy the beautiful view while learning about the nature surrounding us. The dogs loved playing in the water and sand, of course! I enjoyed talking with my host parents, sharing stories, and getting some fresh air.

Jess S:

On Saturday my host family took me to Arcos de la Frontera, a small town on a cliff.

Jess’s host dad shared that Arcos was the very first “pueblo blanco” – white town. Every single building in the whole town is white because black paint absorbs the hot sun in the summer, while white paint does not, keeping the town cool.

We walked to the very top of the town where the Basílica Menor de Santa María de la Asunción looks out over the region. The building dates back to the 13th century. My host dad explained to me that it used to be a Muslim place of worship until a Christian church was built on top of it. The view was breathtaking. My host dad pointed out the Roman columns at building corners. It was so humbling to be surrounding by centuries worth of history and architecture.

Weekend Fun, Part 1

Each of the students have shared a bit about their weekends. As we head to Granada on Monday and Tuesday, please enjoy the posts from the weekend!

Meg C:

On Friday night, my host student, Isa, had a math class and needed to study for her finals, so my host mom asked me if I wanted to go take pictures at a concert. I wasn’t sure what she was really talking about, but I agreed. We walked over from the house to a concert hall where we found a hoard of 14 year old girls excitedly talking. My host mom explained to me that they were all there to see the winner of La Voz Kids, a boy named Jose María Ruiz.

La Voz Kids Season 2 winner, Jose Maria Ruiz, is now signed to Pep’s Music Group.

We met up with her friend and her daughters, and immediately walked downstairs to find Jose standing there! The girls and the moms took pictures with him, and we stayed for the concert after. Although I could barely hear him singing over all the screaming girls, it was a really fun bonding experience with my host mom.

On Saturday morning, my host mom woke me up to get churros for breakfast, which I will miss so so much when we leave!

After we ate, we walked around the center and went to a few museums to learn about Chiclana de la Frontera. She told me about the history of wine and salt in Chiclana and explained ancient artifacts to me. We also went to a market and bought a bunch of fish and vegetables. After a few hours of rest, we drove to their apartment by the beach for lunch. There, we made paella, which is a delicious Spanish dish.

Paella is a dish from the Valencia region of Spain and can be made with a variety of different add-ins. The color comes from the addition of saffron.

The one we made consisted of chicken, rice, and green beans. We also had mussels and chorizo. It was so good, and I’m really excited to make it at home (or at least try)! It had been raining for a while but the sun eventually came out just as we finished lunch, and we walked along the boardwalk. It was so beautiful and sunny, and it was great to bond with my host dad, as he works a lot so I don’t see him as often. Overall, this weekend was a great opportunity to bond with my host parents and learn more about where I’m staying!

Yeda M:

Maria’s family and I drove about two hours to Marbella, a beautiful coastal city that is famous for summer vacations (like the Hamptons, for example).

During the drive to Marbella, Maria’s mom pointed out various locations that surprised me, including Gibraltar. I could not believe I could see Gibraltar from the car windows so clearly! That was the moment that once more assured me that I’m at the very south of Spain, full of bright sunshine, despite abnormally colder weather this last week.

Visitors to Marbella can often find ongoing sand castle competitions.

The Golden Mile in Marbella includes Puerto Banús, which includes a luxury marina and shopping complex. Marbella faces the Mediterranean Sea and is part of the Costa del Sol, which is named for the yearlong sunny weather. Surprisingly, when we visited there was spontaneous rain in the early morning!

Walking around the beautiful coastline and having amazing conversation with María and her parents were great ways to spend the weekend.

For lunch, we went to a traditional and typical Spanish bar. It is very common in Spain to eat in bars, the same as eating in restaurants. Since Marbella is a coastal city that is well-known for seafood (and we all love seafood!), we ate different dishes of camarón (small shrimp in Spain). It was indeed very delicious and it was great to observe and be part of the energetic atmosphere.