June 26- June 28: Days Ten Through Twelve

So sorry it’s been a while! Getting back to things, Monday we went to a flamenco class. This was a very important element of our trip because flamenco dancing is a unique and prevalent part of the culture of southern Spain. Being a dancer myself, I found the class fairly easy to pick up and extremely enjoyable. As for everyone else… I think they had plenty of fun attempting the movements. Afterwards we ate tapas there and stayed to watch a very lively and intricate flamenco performance. The next day we had no activities planned, so my friends and I ventured into the Arab Quarter to do a little shopping in the markets. The markets are a great place to go for souvenirs- they have an abundance of small trinkets sold at very fair prices. It’s a very interesting area culturally- the old Arabic traditions and style have very obviously carried through history, but they also sell items with a more modern, touristy twist (for example, Don Quijote or Granada key chains). It’s definitely easy to waste hours shopping those narrow streets. Wednesday was my last day with the first group of students. We went to a restaurant called “La Oliva” to try about 20 million small Spanish dishes that use olive oil. The chef prepared the food in front of us and explained the history of certain words and recipes. It was very interesting and absolutely delicious- we all left stuffed. As I mentioned earlier, I signed up for two different back-to-back two week programs, so this was the end of the first program. We had bitter goodbyes when we dropped everyone off at the airport in Madrid. One aspect of these kinds of programs is that you spend all day, every day with the other participants, and you obviously all have a common interest, so close friendships form fast. I now have plenty of friends waiting for me in California if I ever visit.

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