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Cádiz: holidays, optical devices and tapas

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by Hayden M. Hola from Cadiz! This weekend was more of a relaxed one. Friday, We went into new Cadiz and hung out at the beach where we had a take out from a local restaurant and ate on the beach with our teacher. The food was great and we got to walk around New Cadiz for the first time. On Saturday, most of us decided to go over to the same beach, Playa Victoria, to relax and hang out before movie night back in old Cadiz. Three other girls and I decided to go see the only actual Spanish movie in theaters, Perdon Si Te Llamo Amor, and it was one of the cheesiest movies I had ever seen. (It was a good thing we had the theater to ourselves because we were those obnoxious Americans singing along to the background music in the movie and commenting on the movie.) On Sunday, we all went as a group to get churros con chocolate then walked around a flea market in the plaza. It was also a Spanish holiday called Corpus Christi and we saw a giant parade where they marched the Eucharist around the town. Monday was another holiday: Noche de San Juan. It is a holiday where spaniards build bonfires and burn what stresses them. Statues called “Juanillos” are built and burned as part of the fiesta. We watched several of the statues being burned before heading to the beach where we burned our own. At midnight, there was a fireworks show at the beach.

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  On Tuesday afternoon we climbed a tower from which you can see all of old Cadiz. In the tower there is a dark room where images of the city outside are be projected onto a concave, white screen. This “camera obscura” allows you to see people walking, cars passing by, and even clothes billowing on clothes lines. I understand y’all are probably very confused right now, but it is difficult to explain and we were not allowed to take pictures.

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At night we had a tapas contest. Each pair of roommates was instructed to buy groceries and make tapas to share with the group for dinner. My roommate Gaby and I made boiled potato chunks wrapped in bacon and mini grilled cheeses. Everyone’s dishes were amazing. We set up and ate our tapas on the beach.

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  I feel like we have been here for so long, yet so short at the same time. Today, I was reading something in Spanish and it wasn’t until I reached the middle of the article that I realized it was in Spanish — I am so used to it now. It’s exciting how quickly you can improve  your foreign language  proficiency by immersing yourself in the country, culture, and language. Well, that’s all from Cadiz. Adios.

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