HELLO FROM SPAIN!
Editors Note: Alyssa Fleming is going to college in Madrid Spain. Her grandparents live in Wayndale & they are sharing some of her E-mails with us.
Holla! This semester has flown by. It really seems like just yesterday that I was saying, “Man, it feels good to be back in Madrid.” And now I’m saying, “Where did the time go?” I cannot believe that in two weeks from Sunday I will be on a plane home from my first year of college. Everyone told me that after high school life starts to fly by. But I never quite believed them until this semester! I mean last semester I at least knew life was passing me by but ever since spring break here I honestly don’t know where it went.
Well onto more exciting things. I went to Valencia for Semana Santa (we got the Thursday and Friday before Easter off) and I fell in love with Valencia. It is a beautiful city. Honestly, the more I am in Spain, the more I love Spain as a whole. After talking to my friend Monica who went with me, we decided that Madrid is the big city that is fun and great, but Valencia is the city to settle down and live. When we went, we had not planned much out since it had a beach, and as two college students, we were all about the free attractions, but we were saddened when the weather was freezing and foggy the entire time we were there. So we ended up shopping, going to the beach and collecting a few seashells, sitting at a beach cafe, visiting the great oceanography museum, and discovering great little restaurants. Valencia is known for their paella, a typical Spanish dish, literally meaning “leftovers” that is made with yellow seasoned rice, mixed in a huge pot with seafood, or chicken, or vegetables, so we really wanted to try the special Vallencian paella. However, I usually do not like paella in Madrid, but that is seafood paella (that you have to work to eat because they leave the heads and feet on shrimp and shellfish in their shells and such) but Vallencian paella had chicken and vegetables so I thought I would give it a try. Apparently it’s world famous…I have to say…I did like it but it wasn’t the best food I have ever tried.
Overall, I have been unimpressed with the Spanish food. The “typical” dishes are mostly paella, gazpacho-a cold tomato soup that you drink, Spanish tortilla-kinda like an omelet but thicker and usually with potatoes and onion. I do love this! And tapas, which are like finger food usually involving ham since the Spanish have an obsession with ham, I’m not joking, they have ham flavored potato chips!
Anyways, continuing with Valencia, the only other main highlights were the oceanography museum that apparently has the largest aquarium in Europe and it was wonderful and because we got lost one night on our way home, we stumbled across a great smoothie place that for just 3 euros you got a huge smoothie, and this became our favorite place.
This brings me to a different topic entirely about Spain. I am going to the Canary Islands this weekend, then there is the weekend before finals, and then I am on my way home. The weather has been so great the last couple of days that I am REALLY looking forward to the Canaries as a good last trip before finals, which leads me to school. You will all be happy to know that I am not failing school, actually doing pretty well so far. Right now it is stressful with end of semester projects, papers, and finals coming up but I am so excited to be home soon! I will finally be able to rest for a little bit before summer school.
It is getting a little late (3 am) and I have completely adapted to Spanish schedule now, of staying up late. I hope to hear from you! And see you all soon!! I miss everyone! And will be sad to leave Madrid for the summer but so happy to relax and be with friends again.
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