1. Small CityEveryone keeps saying "oh Pamplona is a small city" but for me, everything is new and exciting and SPANISH! A smaller makes it an exchange students dream, big cities can be intimidating for a newbie. When I got lost (just that one time!) I managed to navigate my way back to my house, even though I couldn't open the gate once I arrived, the neighbors helped me out. Which brings me to #2.
|I've been saving the peanut butter but now that it's open I splurge! Look at this little spread of heaven.|
2. Nice People
Here I would have placed a picture with some of the wonderful people I have met but my new Spanish mobile device has decided to not work with my American laptop. I apologize for such an unfortunate political conflict.
3. Running RoutesExercise junkie, right here. I worked for my crazy legs but inherited my workout obsession from my parents. My brain is full of Spanish, English, names and memory, exercise clears my mind. Mountain side, river side, park side, the paths here are green and gorgeous. Story time! When I went running the other morning I stopped at the perfect spot to do some my favorite HITT workouts (found on youtube "BodyRock" check it out!) and after I finished the first round I noticed a little old lady had been watching me and she said in Spanish. "Such strength. You are lucky. I wish I could do the same." We both laughed, I thanked her, and she continued walking. I felt once again, like a superstar!
4. Singing BrothersI really hope he doesn't see this (and if you are a friend to me you will not share it with him) but my host brother sings and I adore it beyond belief! I hear his American music playing and it doesn't take much to hear his sing-a-long cover as well. With an endearing accent it makes me think of home and my own dad singing, off key but still wonderfully.
|The other bother, Alberto about to take the shot. And yes, they won!|
5. JUEVINCHO!No that wasn't a sneeze you just experienced. In Pamplona "Thirsty Thursdays" take on a whole new meaning. At night around 22:00 (10pm) everyone heads out to the streets for "unos pinchos y unas cervezas". Pinchos are these amazing little servings of food and cervezas, well it's beer. For 2€ (about $3) you can have both! The most amazingly Spanish food entertained my taste buds. Jamón, toasted baguette with tomato, thinly sliced ham and topped off by a bit of olive oil. Simple right? But absolute perfection. First the crunch of the bread let's you know "mhmm this is going to be good" then the sweetness of the tomato says "just wait it get's better" and finally the ham, so delicate it virtually melts on you're tongue "you are welcome". (Sorry to any of you on diets who just suffered through such an epic foodgasm). Were we done? Heck no it's Pamplona! My sister Marie was so great reassuring me "You don't have to drink. If you feel tired just tell me. Whatever you like." I felt so relieved to have her there. But drinking, I'm an exchange student, a representation of Rotary and my country, responsible, independent -ok the Rotarians aren't looking now right?- I kid I kid! With school and soccer I really didn't want to go crazy. So Marie gave me "un zumo de uva". At first I thought omg how lame I'm having grape juice! But after the first sip I didn't care how lame it sounded. The juice was like a grape bursting in my mouth so fresh I wanted a gallon to take home! And onward we ventured into the late night lively streets.
|In Spain we eat Pinchos on the ground. Get at us!|
6. There is LifeNo matter what time of day (well minus siesta time) there are always people out and about milling through the streets, biking to they're next adventure or crowding cobble stone streets into the wee hours of the morning. Oh the night life of Spain! Perhaps it's that I've been trapped in the box of American teenage society but I could not get over how many people go out at night. You'd have to lock arms with friends when passing through a forest of the tall and tan... can you guess my next one?
|Again, I am an exchange student, not a tourist. So of course I took a sneaky video to capture the crowd. This was at about 10pm. Later, it got more packed!|