Spontaneity in Segorbe -January 12, 2013

Our plan was to bathe in the hot springs of Montanejos, but like most things, it did not go as planned. Saturday morning rolled around and to my surprise a good number of us were up and ready to take on a new part of Spain, it was not even 9:30am which is a time of day rarely seen in the study center (unless you are going to class, but this was a Saturday). The adventure began as soon as we walked out side of the study center, since we are on Spanish time here, naturally we were late. So we hailed a cab to take us 1/2 a mile to the bus station to make our 10 o’clock Montanejos bus! 9:55 we arrive, on time! We searched for our bus, and to our dismay the bus to Montanejos came everyday besides Saturday. Plan B, their was no Plan B. W were already at the bus station so we had one other option, Segorbe. This is a small medieval town located in the region of Valencia and province of Castellon. So we got on the bus and into the mountains we went!

The town was beautiful, their were mountains as far as the eye could see and the sun rays were beaming strong as ever!

We made our way to the highest point of the town, and hung out for a while at the remains of an ancient medieval castle located on the hill of ‘la estrella’

The view of the town of Segorbe from the top of La Estrella hill

It was quite evidant to all of the locals that we did not belong in Segorbe, we were defenitly the youngest people in town.

We than made our way to the square of agua limpia where you could see people filling their water jugs with the clean spring water. Segorbe is a town that is heavily devoted to it’s agriculture. On our ‘hike’ we stumbled into some gardens, the hard work was evident in the development and structure of these gardens.

Mountain side garden in Segorbe

Natasha and I flying high in Segorbe
(photo by Mili)

We explored the entire city in a little under 6 hours, if you are around the region of Valencia during Segorbe’s famous ‘Entrada de toros y caballos‘ which takes place in early September, this would be the time to check out the town. Thousands of tourist come to Segorbe to see the horses lead the bulls in the street. From the looks of the town, I feel that this is their main event of the year, a festival not to miss!

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The essence of pleasure is spontaneity.”  -Germaine Greer

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Bilbao in the Basque Country of Spain!

On January 5, after we partied with my schoolmates at the discoteca “La Tres” until nearly 5am (“early” according to the Valencian’s) Abby and I made a quite jocular journey to VLC airport to catch a sunrise trip to Bilbao, Spain where Abby will be studying until mid-May.

Never have I witnessed a sunrise quite as beautiful as the one coming into Bilbao, imagine being high above the clouds watching the sky go down the color spectrum … black<violet<indigo<blue<green<yellow<orange and finally the red fiery ball of the sun! If you can ever catch a sunrise flight, do it! Than we began to roll into the mountains, I have never seen better scenery!

After we checked into our hotel room we went to Frank Gehry’s “Guggenheim Museum” which gives the city such a fresh look with a mountainous back drop, the most picturesque town i have been to in my short 20 years of life! Bilbao’s architecture was very unique, it is a mix of modern buildings and antique churches… suitable for everyone’s taste! Not only that, but the city is in the mountains and on the beach, what a combo!

Guggenheim along the Nervion river (Notice the Jet skii’s passing by)

Louise Bourgeois, Maman, 1999

Flamingo Capsule, 1970 by James Rosenquist

I really loved this piece by Rosenquiest done in memory of 3 astronauts who died in training for Apollo 1. It was neat when you looked into the aluminum the colors morphed together with the reflection from the painting. To read more check out http://www.guggenheim.org/new-york/collections/collection-online/show-full/piece/?search=Guggenheim%20Museum%20Bilbao&page=3&f=Institution&cr=25

Bilbao’s collection of art was amazing! They had one exhibit dedicated to the 60’s and another was all pop art from the 70’s and 80’s (above and below) which was my favorite!

 

Gilbert Y George 1984

The Waking by Gilbert Y George 1984

(photo’s by me!)

Ended up taking quite the siesta on Saturday (Two sunrises in less than a week will do that to you) and Sunday spent the day moving Abby into her new dorm at Universidad de Deusto, so my time spent in the Basque country was not nearly enough! I shall return in April and have much more time to explore the Sopelana beach and hike the cliffs that run along the ocean! Two thumbs way up for Bilbao, Spain; the 4th largest city in Spain!

DAY 1 (recap) let the new year begin!

I love to write, but I have never had a blog. After reading a few school mates blogs I realized… why not? Si o no? SI! So here it goes… I have been keeping a journal of my time in Espana but now this will go beyond that so my friends and family on the other side of the pond can keep up with me… because it is a little difficult to find time in between school and a 6 hour time difference to skype.

After spending my summer in Vail,Colorado my return back to Tallahassee was not pleasant. I missed waking up to breathe taking scenery and having endless amounts of new territory to explore, so August 20 when I arrived back in Tallahassee, known to most of us as “Tallanasty” I knew my time back would be temporary. Rather than taking a semester off and putting my self behind in school I came across my University’s study abroad program. Since I am an international Affairs major, this sounded perfect! My major would allow me to go to Valencia, Spain or Florence,Italy; it didn’t take me long to pick Spain. Being half Puerto Rican and Half Spanish, my great-grandfather was from the region of Gailica, it seemed perfect to go back to my “roots.”

And finally the day came December 30, my best friend, who is studying in Bilbao, and I set off for a trek across the sea and landed in Valencia, Spain on New Years Eve, a night were people tend to party… so I’ve heard 😉 My program started Jan 3, so we had a few days before hand to explore the city. First stop, bed! After coming off of a full day of flying with no sleep because I was to hopped up on excitement to rest, we knew we needed to nap before the New Years eve festivities began. We slept the day away and woke up at 11 pm! We quickly got ready and hailed a cap to the “city center” were most of Valencia would be drinking champagne and eating the traditional 12 grapes for good luck!

The sun begins to peek out over the port in Valencia
photo by Abby

Yellow and pink encompass the first skies of 2013!
Photo by Abby

Well our cab driver wasn’t the wisest of them all and dropped us off near (what I would later find out) Plaza de la Virgen. The streets were empty, so we tried to hurry to the city center to ring in the new year, that didn’t happen.  The clock struck 12 and we were in the middle of Plaza de la Virgen, which is A OK with me! Long story short we met a great group of Germans and danced all night than proceed to watch the first day of 2013 come to light over the calm waters of the Mediterranean.