Granada, Spain - Journal
ARS 01 - 13 - 2010

Today was a day of experiences! While this entire trip has been a whole new experience in general through the aspects of architectural design and city planning, not to mention all the great things seen culturally, today had more personal experiences that happened to me. We started the day with a tour up the mountain to view La Alhambra Palace. It was a beautiful building with wonderful hedge gardens. There were areas of foundations from  ruined buildings during the French invasion. Better than the building and gardens, however, were the views it allowed. With it being at the top of the mountain, you could see all of Granada. Even more beautiful were the mountains that stood proudly in the skyline. I've never seen mountains before so this sight was wonderful to me. After we toured, we were given free time to walk around. I walked around with Sarah R, Katie S, Matt M, and Ben F. While we were walking, a gypsy woman came up to me with her pieces of flower or plant or whatever it is she tries to pass out! I kept my hands in my pockets but she was persistent and tried to put it between my arm and body. I pressed my arm tightly against me and shook my head vigorously at her as I walked away! Haha! We continued to walk around through shps where I had trouble not spending money as usual... which is a little more severe on the pocket book since you only get around 62 euro for a hundred dollars right now. We decided to head back to the hotel so we could have time to rest before we went to the Flamenco dance that night. As we walked back, we decided to stop off the main street into a tobacco store (pictured to the top right) that we heard sold stamps; that is where the really crazy experience happened. Randomly, as we were waiting in line, a guy barged into the store, started yelling and came at me! He was kind of pointing at my camera so we thought at first he was the owner and that he thought I was taking pictures of stuff rather than buying it. He began to come closer as I backed up and began to leave the store, confused, so that I didn't cause problems. That's when the men behind the counter came over and pulled the screaming guys away and tried to get me to come back into the store. As I turned around to go back in, the screaming man came at me again! Completely confused and somewhat scared, I turned around again and finally went outside of the store as the owner continued to get me to stay. Sarah and Ben stayed inside as the store owner talked with the man at the other entrance. I thought they had it under control and I still needed my stamps so I went back in to Sarah when the man flipped out and came at me again! This time we had all had enough and the three of us finally turned around and walked out of the store as the owner continued to get us to stay to make his sale. We were pretty sure they had called the police and we thought about staying to see but we didn't want them coming up to me and asking questions so we just left! We went back to the hotel and I worked on some homework for a little while until I decided to go to the supermarket with a group of people. This was a crazy idea! It was about 8:00 pm and the place was absolutely packed! To make it worse, all the columns in the building had mirrors on all four sides which completely disoriented me and made it hard to tell where stuff was and if I was even walking toward a shelf or an image of the shelf I wanted! At the marketis where I came up with my theory on the Spanish culture. I've noticed a lot that when I say sorry to someone there is very little response, along as when I say excuse me. I have concluded that the Spanish way is to simply push through wherever and whenever you can. You don't say excuse me, you don't say sorry, you just do it. This may seem rude in America but I have come to believe that it isn't here. There is no need to apologize because it's not rude here; everyone does it and it is simply what you do. Now once again, I don't know if this is true or not but it is simply what I have observed.
The entire group went to the Flamenco in the evening (pictured bottom right). It was different then what I though it would be, I don't really know what I was expecting but I didn't realize that it was a type of clog/tap dance (or so is my explanation for it). The building was an old cave that had been made into the building. It had all white walls with pots hanging from the ceiling and pictures all over. We all drank Sangria and watched the great performance. There was an older man there with  his wife who kept falling asleep. he was even snoring which became even more hilarious to watch! One of the men dancing was messing with Jessie L and messed with her hair as he danced. He then approached the sleeping man and messed with his hair as well waking him up. It was pretty hilarious. At the end of the show, they made people from the crowd stand up and dance with them. Jessie, Ted, Amber, Amanda, Jimmy, Liz and others were all made to attempt their best Flamenco. Luckily we got it all on tape! Afterwards, we walked around a little to see the city at night. We went where there was a view of the Alhambra that was lit up at night. It was absolutely beautiful standing high up in the mountain area and looking down on the city with all the lights glowing.
The entire day just kept leading to new events and experiences that made it great for a whole new style of reasons. There is so much more to this trip than just seeing the architecture and culture of different cities. It's about the amazing experiences and life changing events that you have as well.

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