Weekends on the Coast

7 Feb

What a wonderful weekend it turned out to be.  A couple friends and I on a whim decided that since everyone in our program had decided to go down to Grenada for the weekend, we wanted to go somewhere without all the Americans.  So we decided to take a bus ride down to Sanlucar de Barrameda.   This place is located on the southwestern coast of Spain and is located at the area where the Guadalquivir River goes into the sea.  This was also where Christopher Columbus set sail from on his 3rd trip to the Americas.  Also it was a very important trading port with the Indies way back when.

After almost missing our bus and having to walk about 30minutes to find our hostel.  We got settled into a cozy little room then went out for a nice relaxing dinner.  The following morning at about 6am we had quite interesting experience.   I woke up to see that there was a light on in the bathroom and the sound of someone using it.  I was laying in bed and so was my roommate no obviously neither of us were in there.  In a moment of slight bravery I reached over and flipped the light on then off and the light didn’t go off.  I nudged the girl next to me to make sure that I wasn’t making things up but she didn’t look and just told me I was crazy.  So being the chicken I am just laid there thinking to myself how to say “What are you doing in my bathroom” and “How did you get into my room” in Spanish, as well as trying to figure out if I had anything heavy to throw at them.  After a little while the light turned off, but no one came out….interesting…so I went back to sleep.  The next morning I found that there was a window above the mirror and it connected into the bathroom of the room next to ours.

The next morning we decided to go exploring and find all the wineries in the area (it was wine country after all)  Only one winery ended up being open when we got to it.  The cool thing was that this winery happened to be the same winery from which my glass of delicious wine came from the night before.  This was one of the wineries that made Manzanilla wine which was specific to this small area in Spain, more specifically a special kind of Sherry wine.  It was interesting to see that the way they make the wine is that they mix the new wine with really old wine in the barrels and then they cover the surface with ground up flowers and that is what makes it so special.  We also got to look in a few barrels to see exactly what they meant, it was pretty cool.

After we had bought tickets and were waiting in the general area for the tour to start, a bunch of older men came in and were waiting too.  So we saw the lady who sold us the tickets lead a group out so we figured that was where we were supposed to go.  Nope, we got down the street and right when she was about to start she walked over to us and said it was the wrong tour and that was a ‘special one’.  We looked down at our watches and our tour was going to start in one minute.  Crap.  So we said ok, sorry and walked quickly back to the original area and this was one time I was glad that nothing starts on time here in Spain.  We made it back and started the tour five minutes later.  Talk about luck!

After our tour we went to the beach because it had turned into a warm day  (pushing 70 or maybe mid 70’s) and went walking barefoot on the beach.  How many Midwestern people can say that they walked on the beach barefoot within the first five days of February?  Then we ate a delicious lunch at a seafood restaurant that was literally on the beach.  More exploration of the city that afternoon and we saw a few churches and castles (which were closed of course) then went down to the water intending to have dinner but unfortunately nothing was open.  So we figured either they were fancy multiple course restaurants that didn’t open until 10pm or because it wasn’t tourist season just weren’t open.  So we went back to the plaza and got dinner then afterwards we went to the candy store and got sheets of candy money, it was pretty cool, and didn’t taste too bad either 🙂

I have to say that although I have traveled to many large cities on vacations. the small cities are the real places to go if you want to know the area.  If you are going to be studying abroad and want a weekend getaway or you are just going to take a vacation somewhere I would highly recommend going to smaller towns that are well known for something, like Sanlucar de Barrameda to visit wineries 🙂


One Response to “Weekends on the Coast”

  1. MOM February 11, 2011 at 9:14 pm #

    Sounds like a nice getaway weekend for exploring. Let me know how the professors and classes are going. How are they different than Purdue?

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