Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sevilla

Let's see, the last time I updated I was sitting on the bed in a
hostle in Lisbon. It was a good bed. Not too soft and not to hard. The
wind was blowing softly through the curtains. I could smell a light
sent of sardines wafting through the breeze. The sounds of children
playing in the streets danced upon my eardrums. All was well with the
world.

That was just because Emily was harping on me for writing with too
much detail. Take that, yo.

Anyway... The last time i updated was actually at my last hosts house.
Here's the deal since then:

We stayed with Nuno for two nights and left Lisbon on Thursday
morning. We had to get up early to catch a 930 train to Badajoz,
Spain. The train station was accross the city so it was a bit of a
trek (and annoying because the metro passes don't work for the other
public transportation systems which meant buying additional passes for
just one ride. Sad. Anyway we made it to the bus with time to spare
and got some food because we were starving. We checked our luggage
with the bus driver (who was less than friendly) and sat down to wait
a few mins until the bus left. Emily decided to go buy a pack of gum
and instead of trying to figure out what the flavor was before buying
it, she purchased the most discusting flavor imaginable--and I've been
chewing it since...

The bus ride was fine-- big leather seats made it easy to sleep the
whole 3 hr trip. We got to Badajoz two hours before our transfer to
Seville so we got some lunch--it's nice to be back in Spain where four
course 3 hr long meals are to be expected--Portugal had slow meals
too, but nothing like Spain.

The bus ride was fine-- i watched the countryside this time and it was
cool to see the change in terrain as we headed south into Andlucia. We
arrived in Seville by the early evening and wandered around the
historic center with our packs on for about an hour before we found
the right hostel.

We chilled out in the hostel for a bit before meeting a guy from
California who came out to dinner with us. He shared storied about his
travels in morrocco which were amazing and convinced me that waiting
until I can devote the propped amount of time to a trip there was
probably a better idea than our original plan of stopping by for just
a few days.

After dinner we went out to see the town at night and went to bed at a
decent hour. We spent yesterday walking around the city... We went to
the Torre del Oro (tower of gold) which had a nifty maratime museum
and offered a nice view of the city. We also went to the Museo de
Bellas Artes (fine art) And saw lots and lots and lots of catholic
paintings as well as a Murillo exhibit which had a few paintings that
I really enjoyed. And the building was fantastic. Actually all of
Seville is fantastic-- the archetecture is amazing. The styles are
scattered but it works and comes together as a really beautiful city.

Last night, we made friends with what seemed to be the entire hostle--
Emily and I, the Californian, four Polish girls, an Irishman, two guys
from Cambridge, and a French dude. We all ended up on the roof of the
hostel enjoying each others company and some Spanish wine (and some
Moroccan). After that we went to a few clubs and explored the scene on
the other side of the Rio Guadalquivir. Emily then went on a brief
search for late night kebab but failed in that quest and went home for
the night.

The morning the whole crew assembled in the kitched for breakfast and
to recap the nights activities (except for the Cambridge guys who went
a bit wild-- one didn't return to the hostal to sleep until about 930
in the morning. They had a rental car and we had planned on sharing
the ride to Cadiz, but needlessnto say they werent going to be going
anywhere very soon.

So, now we are on a train to Cadiz, supposedly the oldest city in
Europe, we will be arriving around 6 and will probably have to find a
hostel unless we got a response to couch surfing... I can't wait to
get some beach time tomorrow-- I'm just do dead. I think that I'm
gonna wake up early just so that I can head to the beach and go back
to sleep there.


Sent from my iPod

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Typos

Wow. There's alot of typos in that!... Small buttons on the iPod...
You guys can handle it

Sent from my iPod

We woke up on Tuesday early so that we could squeeze sla lot into the
day only to find that it was raining and our plans for wandering the
streets of Lisbon would not work out. Instead, we decided to head on
out to the Belem neighborhood of the city... It is a long walk but
only a 20min tram ride accross the city so we hopped onto the number
15 tram.

We had met some kids in our hostle the night before who were kind
enough to give us their metro passes(24 hour passes that they said
were good until mid- afternoon. Unfortunately they were wrong somehow
and they didn't work... Soooo, we just faked swiping the cards in the
readers and rode the trams and hisses for free all day anyway. The
subway and trains are different though and we had to buy passes to get
through the gates tk go to our hosts house in the burbs.

Oh, about our couch-- the guy who had said would host is in downtown
backed out at the last minute (which happens -nbd) but luckily another
guy had responded as well and though he lives 20 minutes by train from
downtown, he seemed cool. But I'm getting way ahead of myself, I'll
get back to our couch later...

We spend the day hopping between museums--we went to the national
coach museum (yes, it's a museum filled with the royal
stagecoaches...language barrier!), the museum of archeology, a
gigantic monostary, the museum of modern art(which had a nifty film as
portraits exhibit in which they showed looping videos which were
discriptive of a person or thing or emotion... I thought it was really
neat). We also talked along the river to a fort at the mouth of Lisbon
which we climbed and explored. It was pretty big and really interesting.

After that we made our way back to the hostle and grabbed our bags...
I cheched couch surfing and varified our host and we hopped onto a
train to the extremities of the city. We arrived at Nuno's house
around 7 and chilled out for a bit... Conversation eventually turned
to Lost as it inevitably does, and because we hadn't seen the finale
yet, Nuno downloaded toe episode and played it for us while he went
shopping for dinner. When he came back he made dimmer for us, broiled
salmon with almonds, onions and leaks, asparagus, and rice with
rasins. He also brought back a few nice bottles of wine with the ten
euros I gave him for that purpose (wine is crazy cheap here- you can
get a fantastic bottle for just a few bucks). A few of his friends
came over to eat with us, and when we finished the three hour long
meal (which began at 10), we all hopped back on the train to center
city and went out to a blues bar followed by a reggae club. We didn't
make it back to his place until around 630!

Needless to say, we slept I. This morning and only left the house
around 3 ( which still gave us a long day to explore the city because
the sun doesn't set until arount 10:00 and all the meals are really
late--people were still enjoying lunch when we got to center city.

Today we explored the Castille do sao Jorge which was the royal castle
and fortress for a large portion of portugals history. We then
strolled around the center city area (a place we really had only as of
yet seen in passing) and hopped on an 830 train back to Nuno's place.
We are on the train now ( I'll send this post off to blogspot when we
arrive. Nuno is at class until 10 so we will use the hour to search
for couches for Seville and Cadiz. And to do a little bit of planning
for the rest of the trip-- and hopefully nap for a bit in case we go
out tonight-- there is no way I'm stayig out till sunrise again
tonight though... I was just too dead today.

Ok the train is stopping so that's it for now. Tomorrow we head to
Seville!

Sent from my iPod

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fwd: Portugal



Sent from my iPod

Begin forwarded message:

From: Jake Nacheman <jakenach@gmail.com>
Date: May 25, 2010 2:19:13 AM GMT+02:00
To: go@blogger.com
Subject: Portugal

It's been a while since my last post...or at least it feels like a long time. We are filling each day packed so full it seems at if each day is the length or consistancy of two. They wake up here early, then power through to 2-3:00 when they gorge on a 3 hour long meal, then siesta, then go back to work, they don't begin diner until 9 or 10:00 and only around midnigt do they go out for evening entertainments... No wonder they need their siesta!

We are in Portugal now, in Lisbon, we decided to forgoe morocco for the sake of time ( if we went it would have meant shaving too much time off of the rest of the trip and essentially killing the time we have set aside for Barcelona ( which everyone says would be horrible because Barcelona is an amazing magical land of awesomeness) . Se we are in Lisbon now ( I never thought I'd be in Portugal-- I don't know why, I just never saw myself coming here) but it is amazing ( grandma was right). We are staying in a nice and clean little hostly in barrio Alta ( the neighborhood of heigest elevation). It is a beautiful city- really big-- filled with winding cobblestone streets.

Portugese throws me off so much-- I realized today that it has been a long time since I traveled in a country in which I have little to know understanding or capBility in the language-- I feel like such a tourist speaking English and groping through the streets guessing at street names. It adds another level of adventure to the trip and I am enjoying my time here.
Last night we surfed with an owner of a pig factory. He was interesting. He was a really nice guy with good intentions and really really eager to please...I think I ate more that night than during the entire rest of he trip combined. The town was tiny And barely even shows up on the most detailed map (almendral) we never would have gone there were it not for couchsurfing. The same goes for the town we stayed in the night before (2 nights, actually). Another town by the confusingly similar name of Almendralejo-- this town was really close to the roman city of Merida which was the capitol of this province of the roman empire... It was really awesome and had some excelent ruins and great structures, including the longest roman bridge in europe ( the world?), An ampitheatre ( like the colleseum ?sp), a fantastic theatre with classical figures along the wings still intact, a circus (for chariot races-- like a running track), and a Cazba from the moorish rule. It was an awesome place.

We spent a bit more than we would have liked on dinner tonight (sneaky portugese and their hidden cover charges ;) so we will definitely be surfing tomorrow and probably the next night as well ( in lisbsoa)...then it's off to Seville where we are hoping to see a bullfight-- hopefully we'll find a couch (it's been more tricky finding hosts then I would have liked but our hosts have been great so far, so maybe the good ones are finding us)...

Till next time, cheers!


Sent from my iPod


Sent from my iPod

Monday, May 24, 2010

Portugal

It's been a while since my last post...or at least it feels like a long time. We are filling each day packed so full it seems at if each day is the length or consistancy of two. They wake up here early, then power through to 2-3:00 when they gorge on a 3 hour long meal, then siesta, then go back to work, they don't begin diner until 9 or 10:00 and only around midnigt do they go out for evening entertainments... No wonder they need their siesta!

We are in Portugal now, in Lisbon, we decided to forgoe morocco for the sake of time ( if we went it would have meant shaving too much time off of the rest of the trip and essentially killing the time we have set aside for Barcelona ( which everyone says would be horrible because Barcelona is an amazing magical land of awesomeness) . Se we are in Lisbon now ( I never thought I'd be in Portugal-- I don't know why, I just never saw myself coming here) but it is amazing ( grandma was right). We are staying in a nice and clean little hostly in barrio Alta ( the neighborhood of heigest elevation). It is a beautiful city- really big-- filled with winding cobblestone streets.

Portugese throws me off so much-- I realized today that it has been a long time since I traveled in a country in which I have little to know understanding or capBility in the language-- I feel like such a tourist speaking English and groping through the streets guessing at street names. It adds another level of adventure to the trip and I am enjoying my time here.
Last night we surfed with an owner of a pig factory. He was interesting. He was a really nice guy with good intentions and really really eager to please...I think I ate more that night than during the entire rest of he trip combined. The town was tiny And barely even shows up on the most detailed map (almendral) we never would have gone there were it not for couchsurfing. The same goes for the town we stayed in the night before (2 nights, actually). Another town by the confusingly similar name of Almendralejo-- this town was really close to the roman city of Merida which was the capitol of this province of the roman empire... It was really awesome and had some excelent ruins and great structures, including the longest roman bridge in europe ( the world?), An ampitheatre ( like the colleseum ?sp), a fantastic theatre with classical figures along the wings still intact, a circus (for chariot races-- like a running track), and a Cazba from the moorish rule. It was an awesome place.

We spent a bit more than we would have liked on dinner tonight (sneaky portugese and their hidden cover charges ;) so we will definitely be surfing tomorrow and probably the next night as well ( in lisbsoa)...then it's off to Seville where we are hoping to see a bullfight-- hopefully we'll find a couch (it's been more tricky finding hosts then I would have liked but our hosts have been great so far, so maybe the good ones are finding us)...

Till next time, cheers!


Sent from my iPod


Sent from my iPod

Lion pit

Oh, and also, I fell into the lion pit in the roman ampitheatre...
That's right, I shed blood on the ground that gladiators shed blood...
That basically makes me Russell Crowe...

I scratched my elbow and knees but otherwise I an no worse for the
wear...nbd

Sent from my iPod

Friday, May 21, 2010

Alemandralejo

So we just arrived in alemandralejo which it a smaller city (30,000
people) outside of merida. We took a 4.5 hr bus from madrid-- Spain is
much bigger than i realized. We are going to have to cut morocco out
of our itinerary because we just don't have enough time. However, This
does mean that we probably have for Lisbon so that's good... I'm with
my host so I'll update more later...

Sent from my iPod

Still alive-

Sent from my iPod

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Madrid

So we just spent the entire day walking around Madrid, i think that we saw pretty much the entire city. We just got back to the Hostle and are resting up a bit before we head out for the night, I think that tomorrow we are going to do some tapas and then head out to a city called Almendralejo because thats where we have been offered a couch. It is close to Marida, and right in our path on the way to Seville, so it works. Anyway, Madrid is amazing, very much like Italy, but also somehow reminiscent of Krakow. I like it very much, it is too bad that we dont have the means to spend some more time here, but thats cool, its just another reason to come back...
So were sitting on the plane getting ready to land... Obviously I
won't send this update until we land and I find a wireless hotspot but
I figured I'd just write a quick update for all you fans out there. I
an hoping that by the time we land I will have an inbox full of CS
invitations... Otherwise, a nice portugese girl who is sitting next to
us on the plane ( she live in Madrid) gave us some sugestions for
where we will be able to find a whole bunch of hosltes. As long as
there are a bunch in the same area, capitolism would suggest that
prices will be kept reasonable. Anyway, my thumbs are getting tired so
I'll update more later...peace

Sent from my iPod

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Waiting at gate c74

Attention in the concourse

So Emily and I are sitting in the airport now waiting for our flight
to take off at 755. We arrived with plenty of time and getting through
security was a breeze. We are still not quite sure where we will be
staying tonight as there is a hung soccer festival/championship gioing
on in Madrid now and it's impossible to find a couch... On top of that
all the hostles are supposedly either full-up or priced to the max. Oh
well, that's all part of the adventure and we'll figure somehing
out... There's always park benches! The good news is that I have
secured couches in two tiny towns in extremado and they look awesome.
One is a roman town outside of Merida that is supposedly the
internationL city of wine and the other is a family sausage farm on
the portugese border! This is looking to be a fun trip.


Sent from my iPod

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

George

Sent from my iPod

Monday, May 17, 2010

Test post

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Just a Few Days

So I'm just a few days away from my summer in Spain and Italy. For those who don't know the specifics, I will be traveling to Spain on Wednesday for two weeks with Emily. We will be traveling around Spain, heading south to the strait of Gibraltar and then back up north to Barcelona. There, Emily will depart and fly back home to NYC and I will hop aboard a ferry to Rome. Once in Rome, I will receive my first teaching assignment from ACLE (Associazione Culturale Linguistica Educational) and begin my summer of teaching.

It's looking to be an awesome trip...right now I have a mountain of stuff to unpack and jigsaw into my old room before I leave...wish me luck!