Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Christmas in Santiago.

As it is my last night here before I go home for the Christmas break, I decided to take a stroll around the city in the evening to see all the lights which until now I hadn't seen. It was totally worth it, despite all the slow-walking Christmas shoppers:

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Another visit.

I was lucky enough earlier this month to have another visit, this time by my dad which was slightly more expected ^_~. We visited the cathedral, wandered round the shops, and I managed to put myself off coffee for a while when I drank an espresso and promptly felt quite sick. Unfortunately the weather was not as good as when Dan visited, but we still took a trip to A Coruña, which is on the Northern coast. It's actually really convenient to get to, about a 30 minute train ride. Spanish trains are much nicer than I expected and for some reason tell you what speed you're going at throughout the journey, which I think they do in Italy too... not quite sure why.

When we got to the coast we could see there were people surfing in the water. Surfing in the Atlantic in winter. Sigh.

We walked (for a very, very long time) around the sea front and got to the Torre de Hércules, which is the oldest working Roman lighthouse. At this point the weather was getting horrendous so we hopped on a bus back and then had some lunch whilst watching the Davis Cup final in a café. Handily Spain were in said final.

I really want to do more travelling around the area, but I am aware time is slipping away ~  I'm back home in a few days for Christmas, and then it's just weeks until I finish up here. I will however, have a week or so free in February after exams in which I will probably take advantage of the trains again. Vigo and/or Portugal are on my list.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

A week to go.

The library.

I registered for the public library soon after I got here maainly to take advantage of the DVD collection they have. And to study classic Spanish literature, of course. This is yet another opportunity for them to stick a photo of you on something. When I went to get my ID photos taken, there was an offer for 18 photos, and I thought that was a bit excessive. I now think differently.

The library is pretty large and they allow you to take out 3 DVDs for free for a week. Most of the DVDs have Spanish dub included on them. I don't like dubbing, because they always seem to pick someone who sounds absolutely nothing like the original actor, but it is kind of educational, I guess... I do tend to stick to subtitles, though.

One of my first selections for viewing pleasure study was Up in the Air with George Clooney. I've seen it before and I do enjoy and recommend it, plus it has a good soundtrack. Here is one of my favourites ^_^

An unexpected visit.

Between the 11th and the 14th of November I had a lovely visit from my boyfriend Dan. It was unexpected in that we discussed it and he booked it two days before the flight. Cue intense anxiety at the booking, as I am the kind of person who checks an email over 10 times before sending it and I take 5 minutes to post a letter in the letter box:

Did I put the stamp on? *check* Yep. Is it on properly? *prod* Yeees. Did I write the address right? Is it clear? Okay. Putting it in the slot... only let go at the last possible moment... okay. Did it go in properly? What if it got stuck!?...

Two days later, and just an hour late due to fog, he was here and it was all a bit surreal. In the next few days we walked around the city, seeing some of the sights. We went to O Elefante, a vegetarian bar and my favourite place here, to have delicious cocktails and free food (Yes, you get free snacks with your drinks here. It's quite awesome). We drank fancy Spanish hot chocolate in Valor and we walked through one of the numerous parks here. We played on the free gym equipment there and took photos next to statues. We drank Spanish cider (sweet sweet sweet) and ate tapas in the Zona Vieja.  All in all it was an amazing visit and I was not the happiest person when he had to leave, particularly as we won't see each other again until April at the earliest.

But looking on the positive side, I think showing someone around a city does help you appreciate where you are more. It's just a shame the rainy and windy weather has kicked in so strongly now which makes me want to hibernate. I ventured out this week with a skirt on, and this is just a terrible mistake. I ended up walking home looking like a dishevelled Marilyn Monroe with a carrier bag.

Dan with Valle-Inclán.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

A rather late beginning

So for a brief start, I'll talk a little about where I am living currently.

I have been meaning to write this post for a very long time. I've actually been living here for over 2 months now, but it is definitely not laziness that has stopped me from doing this -_-ahem.

Anyway, I'm living in Santiago de Compostela, which is in the region of Galicia, in NW Spain. The bit above Portugal. It's normally very rainy here, a similar climate to the UK. When I got here in October it was inexplicably about 30c and dry for several weeks. Strange. It's mostly famous for the cathedral and pilgrimage that people perform towards it.

 It has a new city and an old city.

And to my happiness, there is a cat randomly living here at the university halls.