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More Trekking

22 Nov

Yes, I went hiking again this weekend. Who knew I was so outdoors-y?! This time some friends and I went to Manzanares El Real, the pueblo where I work, and hiked for 16 km! (That’s almost 10 miles!) I got to see more of Manzanares than usual this weekend, though. I actually only had a regular 2-day weekend. I worked Friday because I’ve already planned on missing work to travel (yay!), but I immediately regretted offering to come in this Friday when my alarm went off that morning. (I think from now on I will just let them remind me I need to make up days, ha!). But I digress…

Friday was the usual-but-always-a-good-time drinks and tapas. (I think this is one of the best ways to kick off the weekend!) Then Saturday ended up being another beautiful day with perfect weather for hiking!  Here are some pictures…

My trekking buddy, Laura.

The trail on the way to our trail.

Bottom of the trail. Laura, Kyla and Jaylene, who is already 50 steps ahead

View from the top!

On the way back down the mountain.



En Las Nubes

13 Nov

Today I went hiking at Parque de Natural Penalara and it was absolutely BEAUTIFUL! It was a hike with the church I attend in Madrid, but our car got lost on the way (of course) so it ended up just being me, my two friends, one of my house mates and a friend he invited. We had a blast! And sung classic American songs such as “Baby got back” and “She’ll be coming ’round the mountain” while we hiked.  Here are some pictures, enjoy!


Our group, minus one, getting ready to head up the mountain. Me, Amy, Laura and Jose.



Laura and I standing in the prairie at the foot of the mountain. (It's super cute and would be perfect for picnics or laying out when it's warm!)



Definitely not the N.C. mountains! Even at the beginning of the trail we are above the clouds.



At the top of the mountain...and it's snowing!




Bird's eye view.



We Trust in What?!

24 Oct

I love Saturdays! They are always so much fun.

Yesterday some friends and I went to a Madrid Lions rugby match. We met a couple of guys on the team the first week we were here and have now made friends with most of them. The weather has been awesome here (so far it’s always sunny and warm in the afternoon and cool in the evening) so it was the perfect weekend thing to do. Plus rugby is slightly similar to football, which is one of the things from home I am definitely missing! The Lions won (yay!) and we met up with the team later to go out…which worked out much better than when we were supposed to go out with the basketball players after their game!


This picture sums up what mostly goes on during a rugby match. I'm still not sure of all of the rules.


Score Clip

After the match, one of my friends and I wanted to go to a free concert we had heard about and grab some dinner before meeting back up with the team to go out. We got to the venue and the band was singing in English, to my surprise, and was kind of bluegrass/rock, also to my surprise. The Europeans were really into the music, and I’m not going to lie, it was pretty good. The band included bongo drums and regular drums, guitar, someone shaking something, a tambourine and a harmonica. The harmonica player was killing it! We were starting to get into it, too, UNTIL…


We trust is WHAT?!


I know it’s a blurry picture and my flash clearly wasn’t on but yes, that sign says “In Hell We Trust”. If I thought the audience was into it before then I don’t know what to call what happened during this song. It started normal, people were dancing and it sounded similar to the other songs. Everyone knew the chorus to this one but I still couldn’t quite catch the words, until they pulled out this sign. I turned to my friend amazed, but she thought they were saying “In God we Trust”. Clearly she had yet to see the sign. The crowd and band went on to fervently chant the chorus for about 4 minutes.

I really wanted to believe that all of these Spanish people just didn’t know what they were saying and maybe the band just did cover songs in English, but they didn’t really get it either. Clearly I knew better, but I wanted to give these people the benefit of the doubt. Then I started to wonder what kind of free concert this was and what was really going on here. After it had officially got weird we left IMMEDIATELY. My friend and I looked at each other and both pointed in the direction of the exit at the same time.

Of course, I whipped out my camera to record some of the concert at one point, I think I managed to not record the song mentioned above, ha. (P.S. these videos open, right?)


WTF Concert Clip


16 Oct

However many weeks ago that I went to Kapital (la discoteca) was when two of my friends met a few basketball players. They’ve kept up with them, so the players gave us tickets to their game last night. Before anyone gets too excited about hanging out with famous basketball players, let me clarify that this was not the main international league here, it was the “B” team. But that’s not to say that it wasn’t fun!

The game was Guadalajara vs. Barcelona. (Guadalajara is about an hour away from Madrid by train. It isn’t a very pretty city, unlike the rest of what I’ve seen and heard about Spain so far. I did see one very pretty church, though.) Guadalajara, the team we came for, lost. It was funny to see the old Spanish men get so into the game. Before half time there was a discrepancy with the shot clock and literally our entire side was up arguing and making hand jesters like you see Italians do in the movies. An old man behind us made awesome comments in Spanish about the team being slow and sleepy. Talking smack in Spanish is so much cooler and prettier than in English.

After the game, we were supposed to get pizza and beer with the team, but we ended up not really being in the mood. (Or some of them weren’t, I guess they did lose…) We hung out with a couple of the players for a little bit, which caused us to miss the last train to Madrid. Luckily, one of our new basketball-player friends, who was SO nice, offered to drive us back to Madrid after already having been extremely hospitable the entire night…and he wasn’t even they player who invited us. (I guess there are still some gentlemen left in the world! Ha.)



Aguas Vivas stadium in Guadalajara



Guadalajara (royal blue) vs. Barcelona (highlighter orange)