I cannot believe that we have almost been in Spain for an entire week. The days fly by here and I wish there was a way to freeze time so our days in Cádiz never have to end. Thursday was an interesting day! It started off great; we left for Bolonia and drove through a scenic route of the Spanish countryside. When we arrived we first visited Baelo Claudia, which is the location of the beautiful Roman ruins of a Roman settlement, thermal baths, and a theater. We learned about its interesting history and then wandered around the ruins, taking lots of pictures. We then hopped back on the bus and drove down to the beach. We spread out our towels and enjoyed the delicious picnics that our homestay mothers had prepared for us. But after being there for barely 30 minutes, we started to feel raindrops. And then those raindrops turned into an immense downpour and thunder storm. Soaking wet, we ran for cover and then headed for the bus after realizing it probably wasn’t going to clear up anytime soon.
To make the best of the day, we drove to Vejer de la Frontera, a “pueblo blanco” (white village). Let me just say that I am extremely glad that things worked out the way they did. Vejer is an absolutely gorgeous city that sits on top of a mountain, with stunning views of the countryside and of the white houses stacked upon the mountaintop. By the time we got there the sun was back out again and the sky had cleared up. Everywhere we walked we saw glorious white buildings, and often people had bright flowers hanging outside their windows and on the walls. We wandered around the little village and saw the beautiful fountain and plaza before heading back to the bus and to Cádiz.
After a refreshing nap on the bus ride home, we had dinner with our homestay families (our mother cooked us tortellini with a creamy, cheesy sauce and fresh cherries for dessert). Then we all went to see Finding Dory – or should I say Buscando a Dory – at a nearby movie theater! Seeing the film in Spanish (and with no subtitles) was extremely cool, and it was a little tricky but fun to try and keep up with what the characters were saying and to follow the storyline. Then we all returned to our homes for a much needed sleep after a long, adventurous day.
This morning we started off with classes in the school from 10-11:30, and then we all took a trip to el mercado (the market). It was a very unique and different experience for me. Some of the stands had fresh, colorful fruits and vegetables which looked and smelled amazing. But the majority of the market place was filled with lots and lots of fish and seafood. There were enormous squid, full sharks, massive fish heads, eels, shrimp, lobsters, snails, clams (still squirting out water), and numerous other varieties of fish, some sliced and some with their full heads, eyes, and bodies. It was a little shocking when I walked past stands and stands of all of these massive piles of fish, but definitely an unforgettable visit.
After our market excursion we had some free time before our siesta, so my friends and I headed into a cafe and I tried churros for my first time! I dipped them in a thick, hot chocolate sauce and they were very delicious. I learned that Spanish churros are actually quite different from the kinds we have in America – they don’t put cinnamon or sugar on them here, so it’s more like a plain fried dough stick. This afternoon we have our second day of electives, where we can do either photography (where we get to take photographs in interesting locations around the city) or culture and conversation (where we discuss – in Español – many aspects of Spanish culture, particularly life and history in Cádiz). Tomorrow we are off to a trip to Gibraltar which we are all extremely excited for.