Friday, November 28, 2008

Lonely Planet Andalucia

I found a link to Lonely Planet's Andalucia guidebook online. Plan your next trip to visit me using this Google book.,M1

Friday, November 21, 2008

Move over Lonely Planet, Wikipedia

While dreaming about potential Christmas break plans I stumbled upon LookLex. This website offers in-depth travel information on destinations from Persia to Arabia to the Middle East and the Maghreb. Click the link below to scroll through the site's fairly well written and very informative descriptions and see the large, quality photos. When in comes to online travel resources for the Arabic speaking world, LookLex is your source for a wealth of information.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A day in Cordoba

This weekend I went with my roommates on a day trip to Cordoba, just an hour away by train. The once capital of Al-Andalus, the Moorish kingdom of southern Spain, is rich in history and architecture. We visited the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos, a military styled building constructed in 1328. By far the most well-known and impressive architecture of Cordoba can be found in what is now called La Mesquita. Originally built as a mosque (mezquita) in the eight century its was, like many others converted into a cathedral. It's quite a sight.

As we walked through Cordoba's central plaza we came across a group of people protesting "la crisis financiera". I am not sure what the public reaction or perception of the financial crisis in the States, but it is interesting to see the response to it here. I made my way through the gathering crowd and tried to get a copy of the pamphlets they were passing out, but they didn't have any more. Sigh. It was my first Spanish protest that I have been part of!

Check out my photos of my weekend at:

Monday, November 10, 2008

Dam west of town

Olives, anyone?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Finally, Some Updates

After creating my blog about a month ago now I am finally getting around to posting more stuff. We just got internet in our apartment this past Thursday. I am no longer dependent on the slow computers at school or the local library. Yea!

I have been getting my money’s worth out of my bicycle (my Sekai 2400) that I brought over. We had no class the Monday following All Saints’ Day, and I spent some of that time on by bike exploring the network of roads that zig zag through the nearby hills. The riding is great if you enjoy climbing steep twisty grades and later rewarding yourself by flying down the narrow winding blacktop. Watch out for cars!

The last week of October was a fun one at school since we did Halloween related activities during most of the English classes. The highlight of the week – at least for me – was the Jack O’Lantern that I carved. The kids really got a kick out of it when we would lower the binds, switch off the lights and light the candle. It was the first time most had seen a glowing pumpkin with a face. Little kids’ expressions and reactions are the best!

Several weeks back I went to Madrid with the other English assistant at my school. We took in a few of the “must see” museums like el Museo del Prado and Reina Sofia. It was cool to see some of the famous paintings especially of Piccasso and Goya. Madrid has no shortage of historic plazas and palaces of which we saw a few. Of course, I had to go to the botanical garden there as well. They had quite a mix of flora there – I’m not really sure how they get such diversity of plants and trees to grow in that single environment. Included in the collection were such exotic species as red pine and sugar maple.