by Ariel P-B.
My Summer Program in Spain :Our first week spent in Cadiz has been amazing. We have consumed delicious tapas and gone to both beaches, as well as visited New Cadiz and discovered the old section through its castillos and iglesias. I am beginning to feel at home walking around in the city and discovering the little alleyways that connect the plazas to one another. We have a buddy system, so we never are alone, but it’s really great to walk quietly through Cadiz and take in all of the smells and sights of the markets and stores that can be found on every street.
I do most of my traveling to and from class or to activities with my roommate, who knows a bit more Spanish than I do. However, we both have improved quite a lot since we arrived here. Each of us have discovered the overwhelming Spanish dialect to be less intimidating as we continue to ask for directions and buy food in cafés. Spanish in Spain is very different from Spanish in Latin America, and as I only learned a dialect similar to people who live in those countries, I found it more difficult to adjust to Andalucían’s rapid speech and dropped vowels.
It’s very interesting to see how welcoming everyone in Cadiz is to foreigners. We frequently ask for directions from baristas and people on the street, and only once has someone turned us down, being tourists themselves.
My favorite activity in Cadiz so far has been surfing in the Playa Victoria. I live in California, fairly near the coast, so it would be expected of me to know how to surf, right? Yesterday was my first time surfing, and although it was incredibly difficult for me, it is something I would like to take up at home. We traveled by bus from the old part of Cadiz where we are staying, to the new city, which is much more like cities in the United States. From the bus stop we walked to Playa Victoria where we met the instructors who first taught us on the beach, and then in the water. The waves themselves were very small, making the entire experience very safe and relatively calming. Getting on the board was the hard part and once you do get up on the board, you stay up for 5 seconds before falling into the ocean. However, those 5 seconds feel incredibly exhilarating. I don’t have any pictures yet, but they should be posted in the next couple of weeks.
I wish this trip didn’t have to end in a week and a half.