Sunday, July 5, 2009

Day 19 (

Today we wrapped up the trip, presented our On Assignment projects, and talked about travel plans. Were getting up at 2:30 tomorrow morning to drive to malaga. Hopefully we'll make our connection in Paris, because we only have an hour and have to go through immigration. I decided not to go to the beach because I have to edit photos. Tomorrow I'll by back in Houston.

Overall this trip was very interesiing, albiet tiring. I've learned so much about photography in the past few weeks and can't wait to use my skills back home and abroad.

Day 18

Today we got up early in Sevilla and drove to Cadiz. Cadiz is a beautiful city, much prettier than Sevilla, that is located on the Atlantic Coast. The beach is really hot, but the water is quite cool, making for a fairly interesting contrast. The hotel that we are staying at is the same one that LPI is using, so I saw some of my friends from Houston at the beach. Cadiz itself is the oldest city in Spain, and perhaps in Europe. I had a great dinner close to the ocean, peppered octopus, and Ben and Jerry's ice cream, which is actually pretty popular here in Spain.

Day 17

Today was our last day in Sevilla, and it was a great one. I got up early with Connor and Shelby (everyone else slept in), to go see the national archives of the New World. Because Sevilla was the only city in Spain that was legaly allowed to trade with the Americas, the documents and treasures were held here, and the city grew exponentially. At the moment, the archives featured an exposition on Spain's 300 years of influence in the present day united states; a pretty oppertunistic coincidence if you ask me. Some of the items on display were the original treaty of Tordesillas (which divided southern america between Spain and Portugal in 1494), Cortez's letters regarding the conquest of the Aztecs, many maps of the region (which was interesting because you could see the evolution of place names in the U.S.A.), a letter George Washington wrote to the chicawa tribes, and the treaty of San Ildefonso (a secret treaty in 1801 that gave the Louisiana Purchase to France from Spain). The archives were slightly biased; for instance failing to mention the atrocites committed during the Spanish conquest of what is now latin america and highlighting the "violent conquest of the American west in the name of god" (or the Manifest Destiny), but overall the exhibit was very well done.

After the visit to the archives, we went on a boat ride down the Guadalquiver river (the main river in Sevilla that links it to the coast), and saw a traditional flamenco show at night.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Day 16

Today we had a private tour of both the alcazar (palace/fortress) and the cathedral. The cathedral houses Christopher Columbus' remains and is the third largest in Europe, only smaller than the Vatican and the Milan Cathedral. The Alcazar has a pretty interesting history; its main plaza has one wall remaining from a roman fortress, one from the arab palace, and the other two are gothic. In the cathedral, I ran up 35 ramps and 17 steps to the top of the bell tower, which was probably the highest point in Sevilla. Tonight we ate at a Tex-Mex Bar and had burgers, which were actually pretty good; I got a shirt. Then we took blue light pictures of the cathedral and got ice cream.

Day 15

We left Granada early in the morning, and drove to Cordoba. Cordoba was fairly brown, but the mosque was really cool. After we visited the mosque/cathedral, we ate an awful lunch, and left the city. Now we're in Sevilla, staying in a four star hotel with a rooftop pool. Tomorrow we go to the Cathedral and the Palace.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Day 14

Today was our last day in Granada, and was definately more relaxed. I slept in until about eleven, and then went into town to go shopping. I bought some gypsy clothes and a stone chess set (which was only 20 euro). We had a long siesta and got a chance to edit photos and work on our assignments. Tonight was a meal to remember though. We walked back up to Albayzin (gypsy quarter) and ate at this place called Morayma. From our table we could watch the sun set on alhambra. Then we had a five course meal. We started with just cured meats and cheese, then salad. Next, we had a local specialty: orange with cod and onion. It sounds gross, but it really was good. Then we had a gazpacho thickened with bread. Then came the blood sausage, which I actually liked. After the sausage, we had asparagus wrapped in bacon in a white wine and cheese sauce. This was absolutely delectable. For our entre, we had braized pork, perhaps the most tender I have ever eaten, and mashed pumpkin. Dessert was an assortment of cakes and pastries along with a traditional arabian tea. After dinner, we walked through the wine cellar of the restaurant, which they kept cool using a fountain of ice cold water, and up many flights of stairs until we reached a tower. From the tower, we had a completely unubstructed view of Alhambra, as well as the surrounding city. I can't imagine how many men it took to sieze the fortress.

Tomorrow we go to cordoba, and then on to Sevilla

Au Revior

Day 13

Today we drove about two hours outside of Granada to go on a hike in the Sierra Nevadas. The road was extremely windy and it was essentially one lane, even though there was two way traffic. Every town we passed driving up to the trailhead was whitewashed, and looked quite picturesque. After a little while, we arrived and started hiking down the trail, but, within five minutes, the group unexpectedly separated. We tried to find the other half of the group, but decided to keep hiking down anyways. Good descision. The trail got a little steep and slippery because we were basically walking down a small creek. However, the trail evened out and the view was absolutely spectacular. Along the way, we saw an abandoned stables that was built into the side of the mountain (probably a little over one hundred years old). Kate and i decided to hike down to it and explored the inside. It might not have been the smartest descision, but it was pretty interesting regardless. About an hour later we made it to the town below, and had lunch. All along the hike there were cherry trees that you could just pluck cherries off of because they were all in season. Anyways, in town, I drank from a fountain (here in granada and in the mountains the fountains are all meant to be drinkable) that promised a girlfriend if you drank from the water every day. After lunch, we got back on the bus and returned to Granada.

At night, we went back to the andalucian part of town and took long exposure shots of Alhambra. Some of my pictures turned out really great. Tomorrow we kinda have the day off.