I’m long overdue for a post! Gotta recap some of the things I did at the end of last week/this weekend.
THURSDAY | So Thursday I had my first hospital visit class for my nursing class, and we actually visited the University of Valencia Medical School. It was the first time this visit had been done so it was really kind of not planned well and kind of derpy. Like we spent a ton of time just standing around, but the one redeeming part of the visit was that we got to visit the Anatomy Department. They took us into the huge freezer where they keep all of the cadavers, and they were all in these body bags (bloody, might I add). A bunch of them had Sin cabeza written on them which means “without head” and there were also a bunch of human brains and other organs just sitting there in like plastic storage bins lol. Afterwards, we went to the big room with all the exam tables, and we got to see a cadaver which was really cool. The legs were like wrapped up to try to contain the moisture, but they lifted up like all the skin and bones and stuff so we could see into the body cavity and we saw the intestines and all that stuff, and it was really interesting. First time I’ve seen a cadaver before, and it was a bit unsettling tbh. We also saw this display of a bunch of deformed babies that died before birth in these different jars. Sounds kind of gross/gruesome but it was actually really really cool. One baby had anencephaly so it was missing most of its brain, and it looked really interesting.
So after class at 7 we went to a cooking class which was organized by the school. It was at this cooking school place in Valencia, and it was really cool! I’ve never attended a real cooking class before. The teacher chef was this little guy like probably up to my shoulder but he was super nice and he knew so much about cooking. He taught us how to make 2 types of paella, which is a very traditional Spanish dish. One kind was with chicken and one with squid. The one with squid we died black with squid ink so that the rice at the end was black, called arroz negro which was pretty cool. We also made a traditional drink called horchata which was amazing; it’s made out of tiger nuts and it tastes like almond milk basically but better. After cooking for like 1.5 hrs we finally go to eat the stuff, which was really good!
Later that night, we went out to this bar called Portland because it was Ladies’ Night aka 50 cent shots lol. I met up with Katie, Zoe, and Robbie at the school and we took a cab over together. The place was really packed with this huge group from Iowa State, and a bunch of people we knew were in the back and had already had like 4 shots LOL. So we went to the bar to buy shots. It was so crowded and it took forever. We got 8 shots of strawberry vodka to bring back for everyone, but they were topped off and so we just decided to take 2 each at the bar LOL. Then we just hung out outside on the patio area and just talked which was nice. All the girls got sex on the beach which is so good btw, and Robbie got a nice beer (which was hella expensive, like 5 euros lol). Afterwards the rest of the group was going to go to Radio City, this bar they go to a lot in Barrio de Carmen, but I didn’t really want to go because it’s kind of far from where I live and I didn’t really want to stay out til 4 again. So Robbie wanted to walk off his drunkenness so we just walked around while the rest of them went to Carmen, and we were just like in awe of the architecture LOL that’s like all we could talk about for like half an hour. We ended up walking down some street that had a walkway down the middle lined with palm trees, and eventually we realized that it was getting kind of sketchy so we haled a cab and went home. But it was pretty fun and probably a lot more fun than going to some American bar we’ve already been to lol.
FRIDAY | After class today, I went to a wine tasting with some people from my nursing class, as well as my teacher. It was actually liek a class activity because he wanted to teach us about “Mediterranean diet” but really he just wanted an excuse for us to go out and drink together I think lol. My teacher is quite the character btw. So a group of like 10-15 of us went there but we were early, so my teacher ended up treating us all to a bear at this bar lol. After hanging out there for a bit, we went to the wine tasting place where we were served 4 different wines with 2 tapas for each. It was so good omg. The first was this sour white wine, and we had sun-dried tomatoes with hummus and tomato marmalade with guacamole and marinated anchovies on it.
Then we had this red wine with these little triangles with vegetables in them and these artichokes with gorgonzola cheese in the center.
Next we had another red wine, which I liked much better (the former was really bitter) and we were served like french fries with a fried egg and Jamón serrano which this really yummy Spanish ham. Then we had like these fancy chicken tenders lol. For dessert we had a white dessert wine and a slice of chocolate cake. YUMMMM. Overall it was lots of fun, and I learned a good deal about how to properly taste wine too! Although it still all tastes really similar to me lol.
After the wine tasting, Robbie and I decided to walk around again. Our half-drunken random wandering around the city has actually led to a lot of adventures and is something I’ve really come to enjoy lol. This particular night we ended up in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento where a lot of the government buildings are. It was super pretty at night because the buildings were all lit up. After that, we just wandered around and ended up in the Plaza de la Virgen where there was a special display for the upcoming Corpus Christi celebration the next day. We literally had like no idea where we were, but then we got to the Plaza de la Virgen where we had been before, and we got some gelato (my first time!) and sat at this table and talked about random shiz while eating our gelato lol. Gotta say it was so nice like sitting outside eating gelato and chatting in the middle of the Plaza de la Reina which is the heart of the city/Old Town basically. After that we ended up walking to the Rio which is this dried out river bed where they’ve built like a big park and some other stuff. We ended up walking into this music/international food festival called like Ferria de las Naciones and we saw some other UVA students there. On stage like some random people dressed like cowboys/cowgirls were teaching little kids Gangnam Style lol. Robbie and I were like lolwut. After that we kind of just walked around some more and eventually we got a cab and went home lol. Good stuff.
SATURDAY｜ On Saturday we went on a day trip organized by the school to a place called Xàtiva which was like an hour drive from Valencia. It’s this town outside Valencia that was really important during the Spanish Civil War, and there is pretty notable castle there that kind of looks like the Great Wall of China LOL. Seriously though before I went I googled the place and I was like wtf why is it giving me pics of the Great Wall. gg. Anyways first we got a guided tour of the city. The coolest part was probably hearing the story of the cathedral and how many times they had to rebuild it due to an earthquake, it being burned down by the enemy, etc. And you can see it all in the actual building like the different materials they used each time. Then we hiked up the mountain to the castle. It was pretty hot that day, and I think I seriously got like 5 shades darker lol. But it was worth it, it was a beautiful view up there and I really enjoyed seeing the castle ruins. There was a prison on one side, and basically i twas just this big dungeon lol but on top the plaque said like some important guy died June 1st 1423, and we were there June 1st 2013 lol pretty interesting.
One guy on the trip had been to a bull fight the night before at this pueblo outside Valencia called Bétera, so we got all the deets from him and we went with him on Saturday night after dinner. We were supposed to take the metro, but I took the metro from place to meet them at Aragon, and I already knew we were going to miss the last metro to the place which was at like 10:25ish. So that was a fail, and we ended up having to all take cabs there. It ended up being like 25 euros which we split 3-ways on the way there and 4-ways on the way back so it wasn’t too bad. Plus to get into the actual place was free. Basically we entered that part of the town, and the entrance was barred. There were shops/bars lining one side of the place, and the rest was just this huge open space with like a bunch of cages and places you could climb up to escape the bull when it was charging at you. Basically they had the bull in this big truck, and you could see like the whole truck moving while the bull was moving inside I guess. A ton of people went up to the truck to watch it be let out, and then they like promptly ran away lol. These torches were attached to the bull’s head which were on fire, so I guess you could see the bull better/it looked cool. Yeah the whole thing was pretty interesting and really cool. Basically people would taunt the bull, like run up and wave something like a torero or try to go up and touch it, and people were making like a lot of noise to try to get the bull aggrevated. It was so cool seeing the bull actually like do those moves…idk what even you would call them but like getting ready to charge basically like putting its head down and scraping its foot on the ground. And anytime anyone like went to taunt the bull and made a narrow escape, the whole arena would clap. There were literally like hundreds of people there watching, and the energy there was really great. Overall it was cool just to experience a cultural event like that. Definitely wasn’t a real bull fight or a running of the bulls really, but it was still very cool. It made me kind of sad though to see that the bull was liek branded on the side, and honestly he just seemed bored/mad that people kept provoking him and by the end he was like really tired and just didnt gaf about the people lol. So that was meh, I don’t think I could ever watch a real bull fight cuz it would be too sad.