First day of class: check.
I guess an hour and a half of school in exchange for a whole lotta time exploring the Spanish countryside is a pretty fair trade off. It went pretty well- I've got class til Friday, then it's time for El Escorial and Salamanca this weekend! Can't wait. But I digress.
Since Mama found out about my dislike of eating things with faces, she hasn't been making me eat much of it. However, I guess fish don't count or something. Today for lunch we had Valencian food: boiled patata, judia, y cebolla con vinagre, sal, aceite, y mayonesa. Translation: potatoes, green beans, and onion smothered with vinegar, salt, oil, and mayo. Yeah.... those are the only things they like to flavor food with. It was a little weird, but I just did my best to eat around the mayo and enjoy my vegetables. After the first course, Mama brought out some breaded fish thing. I could tell it was fish because they still had tails. She told me it was a fish I can't pronounce battered in egg and fried. It didn't taste bad, but I chewed as little as possible. Is that bad for your digestive tract? Am I gonna die? Hope not.
After yet another adventure in eating, Natalie and I headed out to the train station to meet up with our amigos and go visit El Prado- museum of a great handful of great Spanish artists. We had some time to kill until it was free to go in, so we wandered around the city a little bit, then got some chocolate con churros to tie us over. However, I must say I didn't enjoy it as much this time because we had to sit outside, and it was extremely windy. And I was in a dress. Let me just say that I am thinking I underpacked in the "warm clothes" department for this trip. Looks like Utah weather swam across the Atlantic and found us :(
After eating, we headed over to El Prado. WOW is all I can say about that museum. Heard of Goya? Velasquez? Bosch? Yep, lots of works by those three and more in this place. It's HUGE, and has so many galleries! My favorite works we saw today were definitely Las Meninas, The Garden of Earthly Delights, and El Cristo Crucificado- it's so crazy to think that the last time a paintbrush touched those canvases was in the 1500-1600s!
After it was time to leave El Prado, we ventured back to Alcalá and hit up the tapas bar. First off, let me just tell you that the Pepsi here is tenfold better than the chemicals they've got back home. This stuff is basically straight carbonation and sugar. Anyways, as for what to order tapas-wise, I didn't know what to get, so one of my newfound buddies, Mike, told me to order the "gulas"- it was like pasta and garlic on toast! He had me at pasta. I ordered it right away. However, when the mesero came back with our food, I was a little.... afraid.
This was not like any "pasta" I'd ever seen. Mike swore he didn't know what it was, but it was good, so I started eating the... thing. I knew deep down it was not pasta. Or garlic. After I'd finished picking at it a little and the mesero came back, I asked him what exactly I was eating. He told me something in Spanish, something about fish, and then something about "angulas".
"... angulas?" I said.
more Spanish gibberish I don't remember, but the next two words came out plain as day in perfect, non-accented English. "Baby eel!"
At this point, our room table went up in a roar of laughter, disgust, and just plain confusion. Well, guess I can add that one to the list of scary foods I've eaten. Thanks Mike, you're a true friend.
When I got home it was dinner, but that little eel thing either filled me up, or made me nauteous because all I had was a Valencia orange. Delicious, BTW. Again, if you've got the means, pick some up. After dinner, however, it was postre CITY as Fernando had bought us some delicious dessert thing I don't remember the name of, and then Mama made us bizcoccho, a type of orangy cake too. (Her attempt and vegetarian cooking/desserts are gaining points in my book.)
Anyways, what a day it has been. Tomorrow? Not a clue. But that's okay, because guess what?
I'm in Spain.