Hi everyone, it has been a while since I entered a new blog. I have been quite sick in the last two weeks, and now I have a cold. Here what has happened in the last month. My friend Elisa came to visit me from 8-16 February. I met her in Madrid and we spent two days there, and then went to Toledo which is an hour south for a day. Then we proceeded to Barcelona until the Friday. I visited and did things that I had not have the chance to do before in Madrid on top of the usual things that a first time visitor would do. I finally had the chance to go to the Palacio Real de Madrid. I loved it. It was the biggest palace I had seen in Spain. I have visited a lot of them, but this one was a good size. Elisa was telling me that the ones in Versailles are bigger, but I never got the time to go and see them when I was in Paris.
Another fun thing we did was to eat at the oldest restaurant on the world and is in the Guinness Book. It is named le Botin and it was opened in 1725. It was a thrill to be there and read about the extend of the people that have eaten there, but the food was just ok. Wine was good though.
In Toledo, which I already have an entry on it in October, I got to observe first hand the art cf damascene ware. It is a black steel object etched with 24-karat gold, silver or copper thread. There are 24 workshops in Toledo and we visited one of them. What you mostly see in the stores are not the real thing as they are made in a factory and not pieces by pieces like we saw it done in the workshop. They also are using tin instead of steel and not the gold, silver or copper as threads. the ware consists of plates, boxes, pendants, broches, earrings, bracelets, and swords. We did some shopping!!! Toledo is also where the name the Toledo kitchen knife, sword, and replicas of old guns are made.
in Barcelona I had the chance to discover more of Gaudi which I have talked about in November when Randy came to visit. I added the Casa Batilo and La Sagrada familia, his cathedral which is still not finished. It is breathtaking and mad at the same time. Also we took the time to visit all the different quarters: Barri Gotic, the Vieja Ciudad, and the El Born. And we got to have dinner with Picasso at the 4Cats, a restaurant where he used to hang around and have meetings with his friends included Gaudi. We also went to the museum of Picasso which they have two in Spain, one in Barcelonaa and one in Malaga.
in both cities I had rented apartments which I have loved throughout my stay in Europe. Hotels have been used very scarcely just for a one night type of thing. But for a stay it is so much more impressive to stay on one of those typical buildings of Spain or France with high ceilings, huge doors, old stairways and lifts, creaking floors and lots of space. All my stays were just amazing. In Barcelona I had the chance to stay at the same place that in November. Was very central and lovely. Overall, it was a great week. Elisa burned me out. When I came back my class had gone though a lot of material and I was announced that the final test for the entire level was on Friday. I went to class that week and studied 8 hours a day. I started feeling really bad on the Wednesday. My room had no heat and no one was coming to fix it. I was freezing, and I ended sick, sleeping like a log for an entire week after the exam. However I had bought my ticket to go to Lyon, France the following Thursday, and I decided that it was going to be my last trip and I was going. I needed a change of scenery and air. Tell you more about it in another blog entry. Another thing is before I left for my week on vacation with Elisa, I had canceled my last week of classes as I wanted so much to travel the North of Spain, the only area that I had not seen. But when I came back, I was so exhausted that I realized that I was done. There is no more energy on this girl! This girl needs to go back home. Oh yeah!! The doctor said I was doing a bad gastro. Ah!!! May have got the bug in Barcelona because usually it takes about three days to incubate. So I will be home in mid March. Goodbye to Barcelona! I will be back to Madrid two more times. On my way to Lyon and on my last day before flying out. And thank you to Elisa for our many adventures, the good food and wine, for taking the time to spend a great week in Spain and for all the laughs that we had. We were together for Valentine’s day!!!!!! We both missed our lover ones at home. I can’t wait to see everyone.