26/04/2013

'Calorcito de los dioses': Valencia and The Expo

Calorcito de los dioses is a phrase that Marta, one of my students, tentatively tried to translate during one of our lessons, it means when the temperature is just right, like, perfect (for example, going inside on a cold day), her brother laughed when she said it and said 'jajaja, es una frase muy típica'. Either way, last week - and when I went to Valencia y Gandia - it was between about 25 - 30ºC, depending on when you went out, so it was just right, maybe even the perfect temperature in my opinion.

City of Arts and Sciences. Found on Google.

Valencia is on the coast, just over halfway down Spain, if you're looking at it on a map. It's famous for the City of Arts and Sciences, and being the home of paella. I was only actually in Valencia for a day, so when I realised my camera wasn't charged after I set off, I couldn't sort it out, so I don't have any of my own pictures to include, but it started to rain anyway so they wouldn't have been excellent/wouldn't have made you that jealous. Anyway, in Valencia, I walked along the park in the centre - there's a park which just cuts through the entirety of the city, it was once a river but it flooded the city once so they moved it, which it would appear is something you can do. At that point it started drizzling, so we went into the Torres de Serranos, which was one of the old entrances into the city, and it had a really good view of Valencia from the top, unfortunately I'm scared of heights and it took me about 20 minutes to get to the top, but even so. It's really cheap to go in too. Because we were in that area, we walked over to Valencia Cathedral, which is interesting too, and features the Holy Grail (quite a lot of people think it's the actual Holy Grail too - I'm not really sure where I stand on the matter), and an arm in a box. Seriously. Just go in for the arm in the box; sack off the audio tour because THERE'S AN ARM IN A BOX FROM THE 12TH CENTURY OR SOMETHING. I couldn't get over it. Then we went to the Science Museum and had a right laugh; it's in the City of Arts and Sciences, so the buildings are really impressive too. Just go to Valencia. Just go. It's good.

The Expo is an area of Zaragoza which was built for the 2008 Expo, which was about water (Zaragoza has the Ebro running through it, which is a huge river... well, huge-ish, it flows out to Barcelona). The site of the Expo has lots of massive, modern buildings and sculptures, and although it's a bit run-down -  the economic crash made original investors for the buildings pull out due to lack of funding, as they were going to move into the offices after the Expo had finished - it's still really interesting to walk around. And, as it was a sunny day, it was even better because, well, it was sunny.
The following are all pictures I took at the Expo (I took more, but these are the best ones...):





That's all for now, hasta luego. :)

08/04/2013

Marzo: lo que pasó

I hadn't realised it had been over a month since I wrote my blog. Normal service shall resume, don't worry. Anyway, I'm dedicating this post to what happened in March, just so you can all catch up. 

Sooo... During March, it was St Patrick's Day, which meant a day of drinking, or, in my case, a day of waking up late and finally going to meet everyone, then getting some food and realising that everyone else was insanely drunk, and so going home. Oops. It was still good, like, so can't complain! 

The following weekend (well, the following Thursday - Sunday), my parents came to visit! We went up the Pilar, which induced a bit of a panic attack in me and my mum (I think a fear of heights might be hereditary...), and ate absolutely loads of food. The Saturday they were here was the beginning of Semana Santa, which is the week leading up to Easter Sunday and involves parade after parade after parade. So, on the Saturday, we had lunch, went to Parque Grande, went to the Aljafería, and then got caught up in a parade. The parade was mental (for someone who isn't Spanish), they wear hats/face masks which I think are called capirotes - please correct me if I'm wrong because I honestly don't have a clue. Then!!! We went for tapas and had some very overpriced ham and eggs, so it was excellent.



This is the view from the top of the Pilar

Standard Spain...
Dad getting into the spirit of things




















After they went home, it was just three days before the Easter holidays started, so it was a case of quickly handing in an essay and attempting to start doing the work I had to do over Easter (I did none of it, obviously). The next few days I cracked open one of the books I have to read - surprisingly good, thank Salman Rushdie - whilst going 'er... should we go to Valencia?', the answer to which is always 'yes'. So Valencia was booked and that was that. Also I went to see 'Oz', and it's dead good so you all definitely need to go and watch that too.

That's it. That's March. That's literally all I did in March. #wild
Keep your eyes peeled for the next instalment of 'Becca blunders around Spain' because I need to tell you about Valencia también.

If you're interested in what went down on the Saturday, my dad's made a video of it, which definitely features at least one terrible picture of me. I would have put it at the bottom of this post, but Google is a cruel mistress.