Sunday, October 25, 2009


Mallorca quickly became one of the coolest places that I think I have ever visited in my life. I got lucky with the whole trip- unbelievably cheap flights, no crowds whatsoever, and beautiful weather. On the first day I chose a city on the other side of the island more or less at random and took a bus over to it. From there I walked about 15km or so across a peninsula on a walking path that I just happened to stumble upon but turned out being better than I could have even imagined. I found a really cool youth hostel that night with a gorgeous Mediterranean view- I shared the entire 100+ person facility with one other lady from Argentina- I met Sylvia the first night and ended up riding with her in her rental car all across the north side of the island the following day, stopping off at cool little towns and for outstanding views the whole way. Though it was a serious test of my Spanish, it was a great opportunity that I never would have been able to make happen on my own and without a vehicle. My second night was spent in another cheap hostel in Playa de Palma, where me and this English dude I met chatted on into the wee hours of the night. Made it to the airport via bus this morning with probably only 10 minutes to spare. Now I need to head over to Menorca.

Building outside of Alcúdia, the beginning of my walk.

Beginning of the walking path, an old country road.

The country road gave way to a proper hiking path in a park / nature reserve.

A ''La Victòria'' wild goat checking me out cliffside. Mediterranean sea, old castle, and a golf course in the background.

Walking along a ridge in the park.

Down into a valley...

And eventually to the other side of the Peninsula.

A monastery or some sort of religious building further down the peninsula, in La Victòria proper.

Walking back down to where my hostel would be.

Not exactly, but the a similar view from the hostel.

Sunset on the rocks.

Driving around the next day, one of our stops.

Another one of our stops, a freshwater lake.

I wanted to swim and/or fish, but it is prohibited.

Mountain town of Deià.

Famous Catedral in Palma.

Sunset in Palma.

Hanging out on the beach the second evening.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Patatas Bravas

As I often say, I have been living the dream. I don't work exceptionally hard and don't mind teaching, though it is hard to really know what the rest of my 7.5 months is going to be like because so far I haven't been participating much in classes. Rather, I've just been an observer, so I haven't had to come up with any lesson plans or actually lead any activities for my students. I've been limited mostly to introductions and brief conversations with only students in my English classes. Turns out that because I am part of some experimental project that integrates English across different subjects within the entire curriculum, the majority of my classes are actually not even English classes. Thus, I have anything from a computer operating systems class to graphic design. Its strange because I am honestly not sure what my purpose since they aren't actually language classes. I understand that students can learn a language better when they are exposed to it more often, but theres no guarantee that somebody in a science class actually studies English- he or she could study French or Italian as their required foreign language. Now I also understand that some classes, i.e. technology and operating systems, require an understanding of English because it is the international language and the subject matter is appropriate. But I am not sure what I can offer a class of 17-18 year olds who are learning to take care of nursery school kids (this also accounts for 2 of my classes). Nonetheless, I am keeping an open mind and hope that I can help Spanish government achieve the goals of its project.

As for the rest of my life in Spain, I can't complain one bit. Last week I took a placement test for an intensive Spanish class that will start sometime in January through the official school of languages. I am also supposed to be participating in an Spanish discussion group until that starts, but I'm still waiting to hear back. Additionally, I will be leading my own English conversation group in exchange for free registration for the class in January. Both will require an hour a week each, but thats no problem because I have a lot of free time. Speaking of free time, here is what I have managed to accomplish lately:

Very famous view of the river going through the middle of Girona.

Another angle

Looking south.

A colorful tree up in the old town.

A couple enjoying a romantic moment in a nice little courtyard area near the church. I have no idea what its called but its very nice.

Shot while wandering around the old town.

The city itself, taken from one of the lookout towers along the old defensive wall.

Said defensive wall.

A convenient little ladder for those looking for a view. This is just in a random parking lot towards the top of a hill.

Not sure what this is.

The rambla, a nice place for an often tourist infested stroll.

Looking north along the river.

The same shot with a twist.

This is actually Parque Ciutadella in Barcelona. It was the nicest picture that I took while I was there last weekend.

This is in the coastal town of Sant Feliu de Guíxols, a 45 min bus ride from home.
The monastery in Sant Feliu.

The nice beach that I shared with lazy Catalonians.