Nerja July 16th

Hola a todos!

Today was a special day for the people here in Nerja. July 16th is the patron saint’s day of La Virgen de Carmen, who happens to be the saint of the fishermen and, with Nerja being a seaside, fishing village, the patron saint here as well. Therefore, it was a local holiday today and this evening there was a procession as the townspeople carried a statue of the virgen through the streets, accompanied by two marching bands, and later proceeded to put her in a boat and sail her along the Mediterranean coast from one beach to another.

We ate dinner in a local restaurant tonight, so before we found the procession and had a chance to snap some photos (sorry, none here, but most of the students have their own on their cameras) and witness this very Spanish tradition. Our dinner was at a beatiful restaurant with an outdoor terrace overlooking the Mediterranean. While we ate, there was live flamenco being performed with one gutarist and two dancers. We also had the added surprise of seeing the virgen pass by below in her boat as she made her trip along the coast. To top everything off, we finished our dinner with fireworks brightening up the sky overhead as the virgen made her landing on a beach near the restaurant.

Hasta luego,
Dave

 

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Fireworks

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The dinnertime entertainment

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At the restaurant

Nerja July 15th

Hola!

We had a very busy day today! After having the morning free, the students listened to a seminar given by myself and our local leader, Patricia, in which we gave a brief summary of Spain’s long, rich history and talked a bit about some of Spain’s more well-known traditions like Semana Santa, Las Fallas de Valencia, and the tomato throwing festival known as La Tomatina.

In the afternoon we headed over to Nerja’s biggest beach, Burriana, to have another session with our Language Partners. We spent a few hours on the beach and played a couple very entertaining games of volleyball and took a swim in the Mediterranean to cool down from the now very hot temperatures.

Later in the evening the students re-united with the language partners and they went off in groups to enjoy some tapas and get a feel for how the locals dine out. Each group went to three or four different tapas bars and tried things such as “pulpo a la gallega” (Galician octopus), tortilla de patatas, and sangre encebollada.

Tomorrow we have the morning free so the students can enjoy the beach then we have dinner reservations at a seaside restaurant with a special surprise planned!

Hasta mañana!

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Charlie going up for the spike

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With our Language Partners

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John with the service

 

Nerja July 14th

Buenos días!

Today we caught a bus and took the 15 min ride up to the village of Frigiliana. This is a typical Andalucían village full of white-washed houses, hilly, narrow cobblestone streets and gorgeous views from its mountain side location. We took a walk through the village admiring the scenery and entering the different handmade craft stores that fill the streets. After our tour through the village, we went to a small store that sells food products coming from all over the region. Here we had a tasting and tried chorizo, morcilla, cheese, and marinated olives all produced in the surrounding area. This was all washed down with a non-alcoholic juice made from apples and wine grapes.

Later in the afternoon  the students had some free time to enjoy the beach and the sunny weather.

Tomorrow we have a beach volleyball session with our language partners after class then, at night, we’ll be meeting up  with them again so that they can take the students on a tapas tour throughout Nerja to sample some more of the local cuisine.

Hasta mañana,
Dave

 

The group at one of the many panoramic viewpoints in the village

The group at one of the many panoramic viewpoints in the village

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Our tasting platters

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Sonnet and Celia with a mule that had brought up the bricks in the background

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Posing in the street

Nerja July 13th

Buenos días a todos!

As we wrapped up our first week here in Nerja the students had a free morning to sleep in today and recover from our long day yesterday in Granada and from the week in general. They also took advantage of the opportunity to go out for breakfast together and enjoyed some morning crepes.

In the afternoon we took a short bus ride to the caves of Nerja. These caves are located just 5 minutes away and are a series of connected “halls” of humongous rock shapes, including the Guiness Book of World Record’s largest stalactite. The caves were discovered by a group of local children back in the 1959 who were hunting for bats in the area. The caves themselves date back millions of years and to this day continue to change form due to the humidity found inside.

Tomorrow we are visiting a neighboring village in the mountains, Frigiliana, to taste some local food products.

Hasta luego,
Dave

Inside the caves

Inside the caves

Excitedly watching the World Cup final!

Excitedly watching the World Cup final!

Nerja July 12th

Hola a Todos!

Today we made a trip to the city of Granada and visited the Alhambra, a Moorish palace, former military stronghold, and small city dating back to the 9th century. The group had the chance to climb to the top of the tower of the military fortress and admire some breathtaking views of the city and surrounding area, wander through the Nasrid palace and marvel at the intricate tile work and wall carvings throughout the building, and visit the Sultan’s summer gardens and enjoy its numerous fountains and beautiful flowers.

After the visit we had some time to wander around and explore the city. Some people decided to take a walk through the old Moorish quarter, the Albayzín, and hike up to an amazing lookout called San Nicolás, while others opted to visit the old silk market and its extremely narrow maze of streets which is now filled with small shops selling trinkets, Arab tea sets and other types of souvenirs. We ended our day in appropriate fashion (it was very hottttt) with an ice cream from the famous Los Italianos ice cream shop.

Tomorrow we have a free morning then will be visiting the caves of Nerja located in the mountains above the village.

Hasta luego,
Dave

 

The group in a tea shop

The group in a tea shop

The girls at the Alhambra

The girls at the Alhambra

The boys at San Nicolas

The boys at San Nicolas

Alhamabra Tower

Alhamabra Tower

Sonnet & John

Sonnet & John X3