Monday, September 20, 2010

Fiestas/Vuelta de España

Its been quite chaotic these last couple of days in Spain, but very fun! 
The city festivals began, and I was right, they don't sleep.  I went out the first night with my older host brother, Héctor, and his friends.  We first watched the fireworks, signaling the beginning of the festivals, as if they need fireworks to know its started, there is a freaking carnival right next to my house. (which I get the listen to all night long, but that is a different story)  After the fireworks everyone walks up the main street in Villa and parties.  There is music and dancing, and of course lots of drinking.  Its illegal to drink on the streets in Spain, but apparently the cops don't care during the festivals...weird.  Anyways, his friends were really nice and it was fun because we spoke Spanish the whole night, in a social setting and I understood about 80% of what was said and was able to participate!  Good confidence boost in my speaking abilities, which was desperately needed. 

The next morning, Marzia and I went into Madrid to watch the final stage of the Vuelta de España bike race.  I had emailed my future boss (I have an internship set up for this summer) at the Trek Madrid office asking him where the best place to go and watch was.  He offered to get me VIP passes, so obviously I took him up on the offer.  After some slight confusion at the race, we figured out where to go and had an amazing time watching from the finish line.  The best part was that Marzia and I got a car ride!  We rode in the medic car and got to watch, from the car, two laps.  We first followed the pelaton and then pulled off to the side to wait for them to come around again.  We began following the lead group, passed them going about 90 km/hr in downtown Madrid and finished off the loop by flying by all the police and other lead cars.  It was crazy.  After the race the Saxo Bank and Garmin Slipstream teams came into the VIP tent.  Frank Schleck was there and I really wanted to meet him.  I finally worked up enough courage to talk to him, and he was super nice.  Dad - he told me that I look like you. :) haha
I met Frank! (sooooo skinny) haha

Marzia and I in the VIP area :)

After the Vuelta, Marzia and I walked around Madrid and found a little bar to watch the Barcelona vs. Athlético game.  Its great fun watching fútbol matches in bars, although the fans are not as crazy here as they are in England. 

During the city festivals in Spain most cities have a 'running with the bulls' event followed by a bull fight.  In Villa there are three of them.  This morning my host dad and one of the other American girls and I went to watch.  The bulls run down the streets which are surrounded by tall fences that the spectators climb on to watch.  In the streets the 'village idiots' run with the bulls.  I watched from the fence and was terrified when the bulls ran past, thinking how much it would hurt for the horn to smash into my feet....They run the bulls through the city and to the bull ring.  (which is also right behind my house)  Once in the bull ring they simply irritate the bull and it charges them, but they don't kill it until the actual bull fight which is in the evening.  (I did not going because its really bloody and cruel)  I am glad that I was able to see the running, but its not something I care to go to again.

'Running of the Bulls' in Villaviciosa de Odón

Classes are going well, everyday it gets a little easier to understand, although I still miss some of the important things, like what the homework is, now its time to finish the homework that I didn't know I had. ;)  Until Next time...


1 comment:

Carol said...

Hey Chica Loca :) I hope you are having a blast..! We miss you here and again - we did not go riding this summer.. hmpf

PS: The picture of Mr Schleck reminds me of our TOC adventures haha