After spending the past 24 hours in Heathrow Airport, London, I am finally homebound. PEACE OUT
On Friday the 6th, my flight arrived late to Heathrow airport, which made me miss my connecting flight to LAX. The airline at fault accommodated me with a free hotel, meal, and transportation, which gave me the opportunity to travel the city. I explored Central London on my own and I enjoyed it very much. Here are the photos until the camera ran out of batteries. Visited the London Eye, Parliament Square, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, London Tower, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square…
The Radisson Edwardian Restaurant
The free meal. It actually looked better in person, haha. Medium-rare sirloin with fries, onions, mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes (19pounds value @ 1gbp=1.7usd)
The Radisson was about an hour away from Central London.
UK = drive on left side.
50pense, 2pound coins
Entrance to St. James’s Park
First sight of the London Eye.
I also got to walk on Abbey Road, which was pretty damn cool. Sadly, the camera was out of batteries by then…
For the ignorant folks, this is the cover of The Beatles’ 1969 album titled “Abbey Road”
Madrid, Segovia, Toledo, Granada, Nerja, Galicia, Barcelona, Valencia.
With only about 8 hours left until my flight back to LAX, I’m starting to reflect on my time abroad. “I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma.” -Eartha Kitt. This trip was a perfect opportunity for me to step back from my busy and routine life & see life in a different perspective. Meeting people from different parts of the world, learning a new culture, eating new foods, and speaking different languages have all helped me to realize how small & ignorant I am. Before this trip, I knew nothing of the Spanish culture except that they like to take naps. After two months of interacting with local Spaniards and learning about their culture, I realize how rich the Spanish culture really is. I developed a liking for Spanish art, as well.
I’m also glad to have met some of these people in the EAP program. I know we’re going to keep in touch so no need to be sad…but to those who I won’t be seeing…it’s been a good 2 months. As I’m writing this, I keep seeing a pile of crap I need to pack in the corner of my eye… so I will end this here.
To those who followed my tumblr posts, thank you. I hope my 2hours/post updates were enjoyable… SEE YA’LL IN CALI!
The Asians of Spanish 34..minus Jeremy & Miri. I’m gonna miss this lady…She taught us important words such as “Masturbation, thongs, penis, shit, etc..”
For our last dinner together, some of us went to eat at the oldest restaurant in the world… Restaurante Botin.
My new friend, My-Hang.
The last night in this apartment….
On our last weekend in Spain, Mike & I decided to spend it in Valencia, famous for the paella and horchata. It’s crazy how you’ll see neo-classical styled buildings in the city, but see futuristic buildings in the City of Arts & Sciences. The famous architect, Santiago Calatrava, was responsible for building these structures. Enjoy the pictures!
Ryan-Air. That’s how we got off the plane…presidential status
Carrer la Pau. They speak Valencian here, which is a dialect of Catalan. It’s so hard to practice Spanish here, because of the differences in their language. (Carrer is Calle in Spanish)
La Riua. Famous amongst the locals and tourists for their paellas.
The best paella I’ve ever had…
So in Valencia, there used to be a river that flowed within the city, but it eventually dried up. The government wanted to use it as a project, but the residents protested against this by going to the river at night and planting seeds. Now it’s a long strip of green. haha
Too bad it’s fake turf
Cool looking gargoyle.
Reina Sofia Theatre. City of Arts & Science
Stairway to Heaven.
They had some Marvel convention or something..
He ate too much candy.
“Whoa. Calm down, bro.”
Hi, I’m Caffeine.
Hi, I’m Iggy.
Hi, I’m Jeff.
Jus chillin on the captains’ seat na mean..
Buffet…best buffet i’ve ever had in my life…
Plaza de ayuntamiento
Orchata!! They use tigernuts here and it tastes so much better..
Long time ago, they used to pour hot oil and light it as a defense mechanism. Today, it’s used to show off your goods to tourists below.
This slit was used for archers.
Cathedral, which houses the Holy Grail.
Many people believe that this was the actual cup that Jesus Christ drank out of during the Last Supper.
Rented out bikes and biked around the city. It was so fun.
Got to the City of Arts & Sciences in literally 5 minutes..
With so much trouble in the LBC, it’s hard bein Snoop D-o double-g
Best with Fartons.
We went to Las Tablas with the rest of the EAP program to watch Flamenco Dancing.
I’ll post a video of him dancing.
Went to El Tigre.
Every Sunday, there’s a huge open air flea market in Madrid called el Rastro. It’s quite popular amongst the locals and tourists as well.
On another day, we went to go try the Chinese food in some ghetto underground complex…The food was whatevers, but I’m surprised there were a lot of Chinese people there. Fong was pretty damn excited about eating some comida China.
Haha, Dudu’s food didn’t come out until we were all halfway done. Angry Dudu.
HUNGRY DUDU. HAHAHA and Zakiya wantin some of that purple stuff.
So they do have soju in madrid..
From August 22nd to 25th, a bunch of us went to Barcelona for a weekend trip. Mike and I were about 20 minutes late, but thanks to RyanAir’s consistent flight delays, we were able to make it just in time…Barcelona was the best…Good weather, good food, etc. The entire city is filled with famous works by Gaudi, who was an architect.
We ran through the entire airport…I was drenched in sweat by the time i got to the gate.
Our hostel for the weekend. Good location…props dudu.
During the persecution of the Christians under Diocletian’s rule, Santa Eulalia was tortured for refusing to recant her Christianity. The thirteen tortures included: Stuffing her into a barrel full of knives and sharp glass and rolling her down a street, cutting off her breasts, and decapitation.
A small, hidden plaza near the Cathedral. During the Spanish civil war, people were lined up against the wall and shot at. Those are bullet holes.
Haha, funny true story. One day in Barcelona, a young Picasso was drinking at a bar discussing his paintings. At this time, he wasn’t well known and he was barely getting by in life. When people were admiring the work of Miro, Picasso immediately stated that he was as good as Miro. By this time, he took couple shots of Absinthe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absinthe) and started to doodle on a napkin. Hence, the drawings above.
Cuatre Gats (4Cats) was the bar where it happened.
The school that Picasso attended.
Palau de la Musica Catalana (Palace of Catalan Music) - UNESCO World Heritage Site
Giants they used in festivals
The George Orwell Plaza. A statue of tuberculosis…haha
Recently, people deal drugs in these neighborhoods and the residents just want some peace!
Donkey is the animal of Catalunya.
This place was legit
Ensalada de lenteja con vinagreta de mostaza
Rissotto de setas y gambas con parmesano…this was so delicious.
Pescado fresco del dia a la domostiarra.
Statue of Christopher Columbus. He’s supposed to be pointing to the Americas, but he’s actually pointing towards Libya.
Plaza de Catalunya
One of many houses by Gaudi called Casa Batllo.
Casa Mila o La Pedrera. Another work of Gaudi.
Inside La Pedrera
One thing that was so great about this house is that all the rooms had natural lighting. It was designed so efficiently.
The only room in the entire house with no natural lighting. This was the maid’s room. Also, the floor tiles were different in this room as well.
The chimney’s were designed for adjusted ventilation. During the hot summers, wind would enter through the chimneys.
La Sagrada Familia - UNESCO World Heritage Site
Waiting for the sushi/seafood buffet. It was so bomb.
The cool table
Fail.. so we came to watch the famous Barcelona fountain show, but we were too late.. I’ll post a video of it later.
Nice view of the city
Straight up nude….people in Barcelona are crazy
La Mercat de la Boqueria. One of the most famous markets in all of Europe.
These fruit juices were SO fresh.
Chorizo - Spanish sausage
Spain is big on olive oil.
The hike up to Park Güell.
View of the Sagrada Familia from a distance.
So about two weeks ago, I went to see a bullfight in Madrid with the rest of the EAP program. Here are the pictures:
Plaza de Toros
Okay.. so in Spanish traditional bullfighting, there are 3 matadores (matadors…) who fight two bulls each. Each matador has six assistants, which include two picadores (lancers) on horses, three banderilleros (literal translation = flagmen), and a mozo de espada (sword page). These seven people are called a cuadrilla (entourage).
As an opening ceremony, all the participants enter the arena and salute the crowd.
Stage 1 (tercia de varas): As the alarm sounds, the bull enters the ring and the matador tests the bull’s physical condition by performing a tanda (series of passes). He also gets help from his assistants (as shown above).
Stage 1 (Continued): Next, two picadores are brought out and the bull eventually attacks the horse, allowing the picadores to stab just behind the neck of the bull. This weakens the bull and results to its first blood loss. If everything goes smoothly, the bull should hold its head lower than it did before. These horses are blindfolded so that they don’t react to the charging of the bull. They are also protected from the horns of the bulls.
More series of passings to tire the bull.
Stage 2 (Tercio de banderillas): The three banderillos try to plant two banderillas (sharp barbed darts) into the bull’s shoulders. This angers the bull and makes it more active.
They run at an angle so that they can avoid the bull, while planting the banderillas.
Finally the matador comes out again and performs series of passings. The red cape is called a muleta.
7 professionally trained bullfighters vs. a beat up bull. A fair fight? You decide.
The bull collapses once the sword reaches its heart.
If the crowd doesn’t like what they’re seeing, they clap three times consecutively. If they do like it, they clap normally.
If the crowd thinks that the matador’s performance was exceptional, they wave white handkerchiefs. Then, he is awarded the ear of the bull.
On the contrary, if the crowd believes that the bull fought bravely, the bull is set free and returned to the ranch it was originally from, where he is treated like a king for the rest of his life.
This one, unfortunately, didn’t get to go back to the ranch.
This whole procedure times six.
If you guys have been keeping up with the news, bullfights have recently been banned in Catalonia because of animal rights activists. In the defense of the bullfight supporters, they claim that these bulls are treated like kings before making their way into the ring. Whether it’s animal cruelty or just a Spanish tradition, I’m glad to have experienced a bullfight in Spain.
We went to go check out a Jazz Bar in Madrid & ate at the famous churros with chocolate restaurant.
Angela Cervantez - Vocals, Normal Hogue - Trombone, Rafa Serrano - Sax, Marta Sanchez - Piano, Hector Rojo - Contrabass, Peter Castelano - Drums
So on the 15th of July, Karen, Mike x2, Alicia, Josh, and I went to Casa de Campo & Reina Sofia Museum.
I’ll edit the captions later, but enjoy the pictures for now!
About to ride the teleférico
It’s dudu, baby.
Josh, Alicia & Mike N.
View of the Palacio Real
You don’t see many rivers in Spain…
Casa de campo amusement park in sight!
Haha, so random. Baby parrots
After Karen ditched us, she takes this picture. -_-
Museo de Reina Sofia
Sorry, but I haven’t learned to appreciate modern art yet.
Wow, this piece is beautiful. The author portrays multiple emotions made evident through the brush strokes…NOT. What the heck is this.
Picasso’s ‘The Swimmer’
Picasso’s masterpiece - Guernica (Ask me if you want the different interpretations & historical background of this piece)
Dunkin’ Coffee hahaha
I’ve been to this place a couple of times before to watch World Cup games, but I’ve never had a chance to tour the inside of the stadium. It costed us 16 euros to enter, but it was definitely worth it. For any sports fan, this is heaven. haha enjoy the pictures
“Welcome to the stadium of the 20th century’s best football club”
These kids were so annoying
Damn…that is pretty impressive.
One of the first shirts players wore.
Goalkeeper uniforms…they look like those “ugly Christmas sweaters”
LOL signed TMacs? This trophy section was for the Real Madrid bball team.r
Chillin wit my boy Kaká hahaha
The first ever trophy (Real Madrid)
Golden Balls & Golden/Silver/Bronze Boots
Ah, coach yelled at me for wearing black shorts.. woops
Tunnel to the dressing room
looks like VIP showers…
Where things go dowwwwwn~
Mike kickin’ it with Ronaldo
____________________FOR THE FAMILY__________________________
Since my family at home is following my blog posts…
[할머니] 안녕하세요 할머니! 내 블로그 게시물 읽어주셔서 감사합니다. 그리고 제가 2주안에 모든 여행에 대해서 말해줄게요. 건강하세요, 사랑해요!
[엄마,삼촌,숙모] 엄마…워썹? 안녕하세요 삼촌&외숙모 =) 우선 고마워요… 저한테 이런 기회를 주셔서 너무 감사해요. 스페인어를많이 개선했고, 친구들도 만났고, 그리고 즐거운 시간을 보내고있어요. 사랑해요!
[Hyung] Lol… I was just going to give a shoutout to Halmuni, but I felt bad not leaving one for mom. Then I felt bad for not leaving one for Samchoon. Then sookmo.. anyway, I’m really missing hot sauce man…the food here is so dry and generally lacks flavor. It’s good, but I’m missing some pho with sriracha sauce, some king taco/ el taurino red sauce…….. let’s go get some king taco when i get back.. well yeah, I talked to you recently, but let’s video chat soon again. See you soon. Oh yeah, I kinda miss fatass Hyunwoo…let’s go ball when he gets back from korea
Last weekend, I went on a trip to Galicia with the rest of the program. Galicia is actually a region in north-west Spain, and we visited A Coruña, San Andres de Teixido, Santiago de Compostela & O Cebreiro.
There’s this cool event called “El Camino de Santiago,” where pilgrims from neighboring countries (non-religious travelers, too) walk for about 4 weeks on one of many paths, which ultimately lead to Santiago de Compostela. You can read up on the history here (http://www.americanpilgrims.com/camino/history.html). You can also watch a youtube clip of the walk here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qI7nJiZwa4&feature=channel). I wish I can do it this year..
Anyway, the weather in the northern region of Spain is generally much cooler than it is in the south, so we all got to enjoy the cool temperatures. We even had a/c in the hotel rooms….so heavenly… Our hotel was right on the beach, which was a topless one…haha yeah.. Check out the pics!
Peregrinos = Pilgrims
Breathtaking view from O Cebreiro.
Sanctuary of O Cebreiro
This is just a replica of the real “Holy Grail” in the following pictures
The real “holy grail”
Old buildings with straw roofs.
Some of the peregrinos. I wish I was there with them.
They pack whatever they need and walk for about 30 days.
Arrived at our hotel on the beach in A Coruña
haha, all of the exit signs are like that. it’s not even the emergency exit sign
For some reason, all the ambulances have mirrored text..
Welcome to the PLAYA CLUB. haha
we were craving asian food (this trip was before we had the Korean food).
had to try the galicia beer. Sapporo > any beer in spain..
Arrived at Santiago de Compostela
supposedly the resting place of St. James the Apostle
No lie…this was at 9:45pm
Legit italian food
Bread w/ Olives…it was delicious
Shelby & Jess…too bad no one paid attention to them hahaha.
San Andres de Teixido
Rumor has it that if you drink from all three faucets and throw a piece of bread in the water, it can result in one of two things. #1 If the bread floats, you’re granted 1 wish. If it sinks, you will die within the year. HAHA I’d rather not take chances with death…Oh yeah, it’s funny because it says “No potable” (Not potable).
Oh, another one. If you wet tissue paper, rub it wherever you need healing, and leave it to dry, the sun is supposed to dry away the illnesses.
On the highest bluffs in all of Europe
Back to our hotel :)
Nice restaurant called Utopia
These lights were pretty cool..
“Nipple bread!” - Jen
This plate was called Rape Utopia…no joke. It’s fish served with potatos, peas and peppers. It was reallllly good.
Bitin that meat
Hahahaha, she started choking because of something that Lauren said..