I just did a double take on the title, there.
27 days?! What? Where is the time going? Slow down, Spain!
Today my goal of getting to the nature side of Alcalá was finally achieved! After class this morning, Jav and I suited up and prepared to swim across the rive. However, much to my delight, right as we were contemplating jumping into a very dirty looking body of water we saw a slew of half naked, fat, middle aged Spaniards walking right across the dam upstream a little. The Chacos did not fail me, and thanks to my Vibram rubber soles, I made it across pretty easily, and did not fall and get a concussion on the concrete below. Jav, however, was not so lucky. Right as we got to the other side, he definitely lost one of his shoes to the fast moving current below. Darn you, Rio de Hernares!
The hills of Alcalá are stunning. Some have rocky faces, some are covered with trees, and then others are painted with wildflowers that make me really jealous and wish the northwest was blessed with more flowers and less sagebrush. It's really a sight, let me tell you! During our exploration of the hills, we found some ruins, (only in Spain do you find ruins everywhere) and walked right to the edge of the cliff and had a breathtaking view of Alcalá. Because there aren't many mountains here, you can see for miles and miles, and I enjoyed playing the "hey look there's the ____!" game. It was so great- the only thing that would have made the trails better would have been a mountain bike. Or rock climbing gear :/
Because I didn't take any form of clock on our expedition, I walked in a little late for lunch today. Oops :/ Pili forgave me, though, and Fernando went right ahead and dished me up a big ol piece of Spanish tortilla. I decided that when in doubt, Spaniards just eat eggs and potatoes. A lot of the time they put them together. It's not a bad thing, just really.... dense? The food was good, though- Pili has lots of different variations of the tortilla, and so far, I've liked every one. But oh, how I am beginning to feel sorry for my cholesterol! :) To finish off the meal, we had actual green veggies for lunch, too! Peas, carrots, green beans, potatoes, and artichoke all together in some sort of rue. Pili told me she'll buy me some lettuce, so maybe I'm closer to salad than I thought!
After lunch it was Madrid time. I hadn't been to the city for almost a week, so it really great to get to go back! We went to El Jardin Botanico, which is a botanical garden, but not gonna lie, after seeing the gardens at the Alhambra we weren't very impressed with this city's variety. Still pretty, but less amazing. Sorry, Madrid.
After Jardin Botanico we went to McDonald's for helado. (pronounced MAC Donahld's... love the Spaniards and their accents!) Yeah, yeah I know what you're thinking- why go to such an American place in Spain when you're surrounded by amazing ice cream on every corner? First, we just love experiencing capitalism at it's finest! Second reason is that it tastes amazing. Cono Kit Kat is so good- the ice cream tastes so different here! And the third reason is that it's on the euro menu, and who can pass up only spending 1 euro for an ice cream cone?! Not me.
When all the ice cream was eaten, we caught the train back to Alcalá, then did a little shopping at the mall here- basically there are maybe 8 major stores here, and Alcalá Magna has most of them, so it's easier to shop there than in Madrid. Yep, laziness strikes again! It was a good day.
And this is my favorite picture of the day.
Even though most things in Spain I love, I've got a few "meh" moments- things that don't exactly bother me, but kind of unconsciously spike my blood pressure. For instance the toilet flushers on the top of the toilet, the door knobs in the middle of the doors, the strangely shaped pillows, and my favorite, the lack of nutrition facts on any kind of processed foods- well, that I can make heads or tails of, anyways. Anyways, this is McDonald's interpretation of "nutrition facts" on the back of a parfait. I understand the first line, but 7% of your daily squares? 4% of your rulers? 11% of your gas? Am I just crazy?! haha I guess it's all part of the lifestyle. Eat, drink, be merry, don't count calories.