I’m lucky that I still have my tías from the beginning of my time here in Spain. My friends Allison, Christine, and Michaela are all still kicking it in Spain with me! Although we live in different parts of Spain, we were able to all meet up in Barcelona for a weekend.
The first time we went to Barcelona, it was crazy fun. I do have to say this time around we were much more relaxed. Our main priority, of course, was food. And oh boy did we sure eat our weight, plus more in different foods. When I arrived and met up with Christine, we went straight for food. We stopped for an all you can eat sushi buffet that was only 10 euros. 10 EUROS-we literally made like bandits there.
We then took some time to explore, and stumbled upon many cute little shops. Including one that sold wine. Literally wine by the growler (our growler cost 8 euros!). Could we have found any better place to start our amazing weekend?
Once Michaela arrived, we all set out to get a real Catalan experience, which meant more food and drinks. The next day we got to complete our group with the arrival of Allison! We did some sight-seeing, including well planned snack stops and delicious Peruvian food. We took a stroll around the Arc of Triumph (inside joke), attempted to get some cava, and a lot of laughs.
Just as quick as we arrived, it was time for me to head back to the daily grind. I have been very busy with my private classes. Literally, during the week all I do is teach and plan. Which I love, my students are amazing and so passionate about learning. So that leaves the weekends for me to explore.
I’m lucky enough to have awesome parents of my younger students, who are always open to fun activities and crafts for various holidays. I, of course, planned Valentine’s day heart-shaped pizzas and leprechaun masks for St. Patrick’s Day. Easter projects were the typical egg hunt and dying easter eggs! Future projects include Mother’s Day vases, and many birthday celebrations in May! I’ve also been working hard to create more fun “games” to use in my classes. Some new additions have been “verb twister” and Parcheesi with sentence making. I love that the kids don’t see how they are actually doing all the work-and I’m just relaxing!
I have also had time for weekend adventures of exploring in Almería and Malaga. We have learned about the old grape farms, which Cris’ family use to own one of the bigger ones. We went to a basketball game in Malaga…where 4 of the starters are Americans. We have also taken advantage of the free museums on Sunday afternoons as well as Sunday fundays with friends.
Then, before I knew it, it was Semana Santa! If you haven’t already read my other posts about previous semana santa, click here. This was the first year I had stayed in Malaga for semana santa, and I have to say I totally understand why everyone leaves the city for the week. It is literally impossible to do anything when there are processions all day and all night! My friend Christine came to visit, so once again we were pampering ourselves and stuffing our faces.
Of course we saw many processions, even Antonio’s (but sadly he was wearing a hood, so we didn’t know which one was him). There are many “important” processions, but one of the more special ones is called el rico. Many, many, many years ago, an epidemic hit Spain, especially Malaga. The King of Spain decided to cancel semana santa because there weren’t enough people to carry out all the tronos. Well, the prisoners at the local jail said that they would carry the tronos, but they were told no. So, the prisoners escaped and took out all the tronos and put on semana santa. Once they were finished, on their own, they returned themselves to the jail. The King was so moved by their actions that he pardoned a prisoner and freed him/her. So now every year the Kind of Spain pardons a prisoner, and he/she walks with the trono and then is “freed” at the end of the procession.
I saw many other processions, the exiting of the Christ, as well “dancing” Virgins. Yes, that is correct. DANCING Virgins. I wish it was actually dancing. On the main street, alameda principal, is where all the processions pass through-very much like a fashion show. While we were watching the virgin of el rico, the Virgin of paloma of a different procession and the virgin of el rico just happened to cross paths, and the men carrying them walked forward and then backwards “dancing.”
Cris and I then headed to his pueblo to finish the week. While there I’m pretty sure I ate double my body weight in special Spanish desserts, leche frita, roscos, and arroz con leche. We also watched the processions there, which were much smaller, and of course shorter.
In two weeks my cousin Dani will arrive and we will continue our tour of Europe! Get ready for more Culver Family adventures in Ibiza, Barcelona, and Italy!! Until then, hasta luego!