Monday July 6, 2015
Okay, so in my last blog I know I expressed how much I love this city, but I LOVE.THIS.CITY. Each morning I wake up thinking that I’m going to be at a loss of things to do here because of how small Cadiz is, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in richness of culture.
Saturday just happened to be the day of birth for our wonderful nation (4th of July), but of course, there was a lack of fireworks seeing as the 4th of July has a much meaning and significance to the Spanish people as the English that I speak. (which is very little to none) However, that does not mean that the 4th could not be with us. Star Wars reference. Thus, we started our wonderful day of independence with a trip to New Cadiz, which is only a hop, skip and a bus ride from our little city. We spent our morning and a good part of the afternoon enjoying the white sand and the cool water of Playa Victoria and for lunch enjoying our tasty “bocadillos” (sandwiches) that our host families had packed for us. Around 4ish we returned home for a much-needed break from the sun and enjoyed a siesta for a few hours before dinner was served. For those who aren’t familiar with the tradition of a siesta, it is a time from 12-4 each day where all shops close (except for restaurants) and people relax and enjoy time off from a busy day. Typically, the beach is a popular spot for people during a siesta, including many of us Americans. Of course, you can’t end 4th of July without some sort of celebration, so the majority of the group purchased passes for 25 euros to a music festival that had been going on for the past 4 days and we joined the locals in the festivities. What an amazing way to spend the 4th.
Sunday consisted of a day trip to Tarifa, which is an hour and a half bus ride away and the windsurfing capital of the world! Unfortunately, we did not get to do the activity that Tarifa is most famous for, we did something I would say is equally as cool: Whale Watching. Going out into the Mediterranean, we sailed around keeping our eye out and fingers crossed for a quick glance of a whale. The boy was we in for a surprise! About 45 minutes in, we spotted a blackfin bobbing just out of the water. Then two more fins popped up and we were greeted by a group of “Calderone’s Comunes” or pilot whales. Don’t be deceived by the name, however, they are actually a type of dolphin with the appearance of a whale. We proceeded to have tremendous luck with spotting many more of these amazing creatures and most of our days were made. After we returned to land, we had the opportunity to walk around the town of Tarifa, which resembles Cadiz remarkably. When we arrived home at 6:30, we spent the night in our houses, giving us time to relax after a long day in the sun.
FIRST DAY OF CLASSES! Today (Monday), we all woke up a little bit earlier to meet at the school for our first day of classes. Separated into three different groups based on skill level, we all proceeded to spend the next 2 hours working in our groups. The first hour we spent in the classroom, the second was spent walking around doing an activity of some variety that forced us to utilize our Spanish speaking skills. After lunch and a siesta, we met up again for our elective class, which for every person was either Culture and Conversation or Photography. We spent the next two hours getting an overview of what the next few weeks would look like for our groups. *side note: we all have classes in the morning Monday through Friday and electives are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
To put at ease the minds of all parents who are reading this, we all are doing great and having a blast! More stories and adventures still to come!