Contents of My Blog

Starting bright and early (4am to be exact) on June 25, 2010, I will be embarking on my biggest adventure to date. I will be in Rome and Paris for one week before I arrive in my final destination: Spain. I will be living with a family in Oviedo, Spain from July 4 -July 31, 2010. They don’t speak English in this town, so needless to say, this will be quite an experience that will most definitely contain some pretty entertaining stories. So, stay tuned and look for updates of my summer in Europe!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Las Playas y Las Montañas!

The past few days here in Oviedo have been awesome!! I mean, this whole time has been great, but this past week especially has been wonderful. I´ve done and seen so much, it´s crazy!! Where to start?! Well, after the craziness of the World Cup settled down, us Americans got bored and decided we needed more excitement. The city is surrounded by mountains, and on one of them there is a big statue of Jesus. He overlooks the city with his arms stretched out. We didn´t really notice it until one night when it was kind of hazy. He was all lit up and it looked like he was floating. It was awesome! So, we all decided that we wanted to find a way to hike to the top of the mountain to the statue. Well, it just so happened that the University was leading a tour up there a few days later. Perfect! So, on Tuesday we made the hike. We just had to walk to the mountain, all the was up to the top of the mountain, back down the mountain, and then back home from the mountain. It only took 5 hours, no biggie. Oh, my, gosh - I was SO tired by the end!!! It wasn´t too bad hiking up most of the way because it was a pretty slow and steady incline (these mountains are no rockies). Well, like I said, it was like this MOST of the way. For about the last 1/5 of the way there, it was straight up!! And I am not exaggerating one bit! It was so steep that I could literally stick my hand out and touch the ground in front of me. Now, I know I´m pretty short, but that is just ridiculous. Needless to say, I was panting for my life when I got to the top! I thought I was going to pass out because I haven´t exercised in a long time and all this fried food that my host mom is feeding me is definitely not helping. It was so worth the dreadful climb though. The view was amazing! We could see the entire city! We even picked out the University. The statue was beautiful too! I´m so glad I did it! Now, everytime I look up there I think ¨Ya, I was up there¨. Here are some pictures of the view:

Ok, so I need to back up a little bit. Sorry, I know I´m super unorganized. Oh well. On Sunday, the day of the World Cup we ventured to the beach for the first time. I think I already talked about that, but I´m not positive, so I´m just going to tell you again. Don´t worry, I have pictures. Anyways, the beach is 30 minutes away in a town called Gijón. (I love that I can make accents on these computers!). We got there, and it was not quite what I was expecting. It was SUPER crowded, but I wasn´t going to complain because afterall, I was at the beach. We put our stuff down, and it immediately got soaked just from sitting there. Then, like 10 minutes later, we had to move back because the tide was coming up. We repeated this every 10 minutes after that, until we were camped out on the steps leading down to the beach. There was literally no beach left. It was crazy! I´ve never seen such a high tide!

This is a picture of the water coming all the way up to the steps. Don´t worry, I didnt just take a picture of my ugly feet.

Then, on Saturday (yesterday) we had another excursion! We have those every Saturday, in case I haven´t mentioned that. It was the plan that we were going to go to Los Lagos, which are lakes way high up in the mountains. I´ve heard that it´s amazing and a beautiful view, so I was super excited!! First, we stopped at this tiny town. It was super cute! We walked around, ate at a café, and enjoyed the view for about an hour. Then, we headed out for Los Lagos! We got to the base of the mountain, and then our teacher came onto the microphone on the bus. We couldn´t go up to Los Lagos. It was cloudy, therefore making it too dangerous for the buses to go up there because the drivers wouldn´t be able to see very well and the roads are tiny. I was SO upset!! That was the whole reason I wanted to go on that excursion! (Although, I probably would have been like peeing in my pants on those roads. I hate mountain roads!) Instead, we stayed in this town called Covadonga. It had a huge church tucked into the mountains, and that´s it. The church was really cool and the veiw was great, but I was still really disappointed. Here´s a picture of the church:

Then, after we left the church, we were told that we were going to the beach since we couldn´t go up to Los Lagos. I was excited, but was thinking that this beach better be amazing or I´m still going to be mad. We pull into the bus station in the town that supposedly has a beach, and there is a rocky shore next to this ugly little river. I was SO mad!!! That was NOT a beach!! Well, luckily, they quickly told us that the river bank was not a beach. There really was a real beach there! We walked through town and found it. Oh, my, goodness, it was AMAZING!!!! One of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen!!! It was not at all croweded and was tucked away in the mountains! I couldn´t believe it! The mountains and the beach all in one place! I love the mountains, but prefer the beach, but mountains plus the beach in one package equals HEAVEN! The sand was super soft and amazing, and the water was blue and beautiful. On either side of the beach, there were mountains that jetted up and the water crashed up onto the rocks. It kind of looked like Hawaii. This definitely made up for not going to the lakes. We layed on the beach and napped a little bit, and then I explored the rocks. We were only there for 2 1/2 hours, so I didn´t get to explore as much as I wanted too, but we already decided that we´re coming back next Saturday for the entire day. I can´t wait! It´s going to be awesome! I really hope the weather is nice!! Anyways, here are some pictures:

Then, today we went on a float trip! We took a bus close to the beach we were at yesterday. It was a little river in the middle of these amazing mountains!! We had such an awesome view the entire time! Not onlywas it absolutely gorgeous, but it was SO MUCH FUN!!! We rode in kayaks, which were really a combination of a canoe and a kayak. They were a little bit bigger than a real kayak, but much smaller than a canoe. Anyways, we could either do a 2 person or a single. Naturally, Chrissy and I wanted one together. (We have been attached at the hip this whole trip. We hit it off so well, it´s awesome!! We have so much fun together!). That was dangerous from the start. We can´t stop laughing when we´re together on a normal basis, so we knew we would be dying the whole time down the river. We got in, and they shot us down this schute thing into the river! Chrissy was in the back and couldn´t stear, so we immediately ended up on the bank across from the entrance. Then, I remembered that I knew how to stear from all of my summers at camp, so we switched. After that we were pros! Well, kind of. The river was pretty calm with a few small rapids. We paddled and paddled. We were getting so tired and so hungry! Our lunch stopped seemed like an eternity away! But, we finally got there and relaxed. There was this tent set up with a bar in it. It was pretty funny! Only in Spain. There was also this big bridge that people were jumping off of! It was really high, and they had to time it just right so they didn´t jump onto a kayak coming through! I didn´t do it, because that was way too risky for me. Especially since you had to climb over a rope at the top to jump off. If that rop wasn´t there I probably would have done it, but that was the deal breaker for me. After lunch, we went on our way to the end. Chrissy and I were doing really well until a group of these super obnoxious Spanish people bombarded us. They were HORRIBLE at kayaking and kept running into us and getting us off course! They didn´t even say sorry either! They just kind of laughed and continued to do it. I guess you could call them the rednecks of Spain. It was so annoying, but finally we paddled ahead of them. Then, there was a patch of pretty big rapids. Me and Chrissy went right for them because it looked like so much fun! Well, we didn´t see that there were a lot of rocks. We did an awesome job dodging them until the biggest one. I couldnt stear away in time so we hit it head on. We hit pretty dang hard too! We both grunted and like leaned forward a lot. We immediately started cracking up! We didn´t tip at all so that was good! Then, we finally made it to the end. I think every part of my body is going to be sore tomorrow. That was such a hard work out! It was so much fun though, and I´m so glad I did it!

Here´s us at the finish! Yay, we made it!! Here´s a super ugly picture of me and Chrissy in our awkward life vests before we started. It even had a strap that went in between our legs. We didn´t use it. I couldn´t do it.
This is the river that we floated on and the amazing view we had the whole time. Sorry I didn´t take more pictures of the float trip. I didn´t want to risk getting my camera wet and ruined.
Well, this was officially a huge, fatty update! I hope you all enjoy!!!

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