Sunday, August 17, 2014

Spanish Food

Let me interrupt my talking about our wonderful events, with a short explanation of a major part of the culture. The food. It's one of the things people seem to be curious about. I'll start by explaining that Spain is on the Balearic Sea, closer to the Mediterranean than you might think, so the food is very fresh, and a lot, and I mean a lot, of olive oil is used.

It may have been that my host family was just really healthy, but I didn't find the food served at the house to be all that much different from the food that my family normally eats at home. Healthy food seems to be somewhat universal in that a lot of fruits and vegetables were served, along with grilled meats. I say meats because we had dinners ranging from chicken, to white fish, to chicken burgers, to octopus.

One major difference was that in Spain, bread is served with every meal. Except breakfast, they eat little to no breakfast. At no point is bread eaten plain, there is always something to dip it in, whether it's olive oil, or the juices from the rest of the food. A native Spaniard never eats dry bread.

In an earlier post I mentioned that my host mother made me bocadillos, so let me explain what those are. Basically, they're sandwiches.  But they look like this:

Imagen: Eugeni Pons. Bocadillo de butifarra con judías de Fastvínic
At least, mine normally did. The sausage and egg, or tuna and egg were my favorite. Although there was also some kind of tomato, chili that I sometimes got which I also loved. Because of my class schedule I got a bocadillo almost everyday. The rest of the time my madre would give me a tupperware container full of something from the night before or other left-overs. The main meal was lunch, or "comida" which is served around 2:30, when I had class. So I had to pack one everyday.

There are a lot of interesting food in Valencia, which I'll talk about in a couple later posts. One about a cooking class that I was able to be a part of, and another about an excursion for my culture class. If you have any questions before then I will definitely answer them to the best of my abilities.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Old Valencia

One of the perks of being on a college trip abroad, is that the program gives us plenty of time to figure out the city alone. But, they also take us on little trips that allow us to be tourists every once in a while. Peñíscula was one thing, but early on in our trip we were able to take a walking tour of the older parts of Valencia (where we are usually trying to blend in as students, not stick out as tourists).

Everyone going on the tour met outside of the cathedral, La Catedral de Santo Cáliz, and waited for our lovely guide Paul.

A lot of the conversation was about the architecture and the different forms of construction.  I myself, being in school for civil engineering, found it to be extremely interesting. Especially when we looked at the historical events and happenings that caused the changes in design.

Since this was an opportunity to be a tourist, of course I took a lot of pictures. Here are some more.

We walked around the cathedral, and then over to the Lonja, which used to be the silk market, where I found this window. Finally, we ended up at the train station, and that concluded our tour.