Logroño was voted the gastronomical capital of Spain. In honor of that, Logroño had the week of the pincho. During this week, some bars have had main pinchos. With the purchase of the pincho the bar puts their stamp on one of five spots of a "gastronomical passport." The bar that puts the last stamp on the passport takes it so that it can be entered into a drawing. The winner of the drawing will win 10 weekends of hotel stays and other events in Logroño. I finished my a couple of hours ago. I hope I win!
Last week, CPC. Sagrado Corazon had its first English week. The students had to do projects on all the countries that have English as an official language. There were posters all around the school with different themes. The walls of the lunchroom were covered in pictures of kitchen utensils so that the little ones could learn them.
In addition, I gave six presentations in English. Three of them were about Georgia and the other three were stories. It was a really exciting week, because the teachers really put a lot of work into the theme. I was really impressed with the thoroughness of the teachers. They really made the first English week an unforgetable experience for the children and also for me. It made me a little sad though, because I know that I will have to leave them in less than three months. I'll just have to enjoy the time that remains.
Finally! I have caught up on my blogs. woo hoo! Now I can go back to posting other randoms. :)
So I'm trying to lay low until the Easter holidays. I need to save some money to have fun during that time and also to buy a plane ticket home. It's very tough, but I believe it can happen.
I took a trip to Laguardia this afternoon. Laguardia is a small town 20 minutes north of Logroño. I found myself confused most of the day, because I kept seeing the words "Rioja Alavesa" posted everywhere, but I also saw Basque words written above Spanish words. It took me forever to discover that Laguardia is not apart of La Rioja, but actually belongs to the province of Álava in Basque Country (País Vasco). It is located right on the border of La Rioja and also is famous for wines. So confusing.
It is a beautiful town and has many old buildings and great pintxos (pinchos- finger foods). I walked around the outskirts to take in the landscape and also walked in the town center. I was surprised that most of the bars were open. In many other towns, all stores are closed during siesta. Laguardia is a tourism centered town so many of the main shops and bars stay open during siesta. While I was touring the town, I met a couple who lives in Vitoria. The woman is from Paraguay and the man is from Basque Country. They visited Laguardia so that they could go to a famous spa called Wine Oil. I didn't have the budget for a spa visit so I couldn't join them. We exchanged numbers though so that I can visit them in Vitoria.
After I left the spa, I did some touring and then waited for the bus to come. I have once again found a place that I want to visit again. :)
Tells of the location of the advantageous location of Laguardia Spanish, Basque, English Bacalao and Fanta límon. Cod and Lemon Fanta
Last weekend, I went to a Rosario Concert with Laura. I was first exposed to Rosario's music in 2010 when I took a flamenco class in Salamanca. We always warmed up and cooled down to a Rosario song. I started listening to her again a couple of months before I returned to Spain. I love the feel of her music. She is a pop singer but she also adds elements of flamenco and Catalan rumba. I was so excited when I saw her poster on one of the buildings. I knew that there was no way that I would miss it. She's so entertaining and as Laura says, she's "so fabulous" too!
A souvenir from the Wine fest in Haro. Wine glass bag?
So the weekend of February 17 was Carnaval. There were parades and all kinds of crazy things going on. Friday the 17th, I went to Haro to go to a wine festival with one of the professors from the official language school. At the wine festival was a dance show and different kinds of wines. All the wines represented were from bodegas from all over La Rioja.
After the wine festival, I went to La Herradura (tapas area in Haro) with the professor and a student.
The following night I dressed up as a queen for Carnaval and went walking with some of the other students. I tried my best to have a good time, but it just wasn't for me. At least I went to try it out and don't have to regret not going.
I went Zaragoza the second weekend of February. Zaragoza is the capital of the autonomous community of Aragón. I was extremely homesick and wanted a change from Logroño. I decided to stay overnight to tour the city. I also went of course so that I could take some Argentine tango classes. As studio in the city center has group classes and milongas every Saturday. I stayed in a very lovely hostel near the river and the famous Pilar Cathedral. The night that I arrived, I went to dance some tango. I was surprised that I didn't have to dance with an old man all night. When I usually go to these things, I always end up dancing with an old man. I actually was able to dance someone young and goodlooking all night. Toma!
Other than dancing, I walked around the city and discovered a little about the popular buildings. Zaragoza is definitely a place that I will visit again. The people are very friendly and go out of their way to help anyone.
So at the course, I learned the basics to Kizomba. I had never heard of this dance before the intensive course. It originated in Angola and is related to samba, semba, and zouk. It reminds me a little bit of argentine tango. I'm going to take another intensive course to learn more about it. The dancers in my video are Juan Carlos Moreno and Ana of Pamplona. They are dancing the semba which is the fast version of the Kizomba.
Sunrise on my way to Calahorra Flyer for the Dance event in Calahorra So my next weekend trip was to Calahorra, La Rioja. Calahorra is about one hour west of Logroño. I went in order to learn about more cities in La Rioja, but I also wanted to go to take part in a dance course. The dance school in Calahorra had an event called "Descubre el baile" and they had beginner courses in Jive, Salsa, Zumba, and Kizomba. The courses were taught by some of the best instructors in the region. I was there all day and stayed overnight in a hostel, because I wanted to go the the late night dance party. I wasn't able to go, because I was too exhausted from the dance classes. I danced for seven hours and was wiped out by the time the dance party started. Although I missed the party, I had lots of fun at the event, and I am very glad that I learned about it. I hadn't danced that much since I left Georgia. Bliss!