I realized I never posted photos of Madrid. So… here are some. I miss this city.
*click for larger photos and captions!*
This post is sooo late… Merp. (I finally went through all my photos to choose some for one of my projects so I finally have sets to post… woop)
But these photos are from my weekend trip to Ronda with my friend Carly back in June. Ronda is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, complete with whitewashed houses with window gardens typical of the Spanish stereotype, mountains in the background, peacocks in the parks, and the craziest gorge. We didn’t get to hike down to the bottom of the gorge, but we spent our time exploring the beautiful old town. If you ever get a chance while traveling, check out the small towns that may still retain the older cultural aspects of wherever you are - Ronda was absolutely [gorge]ous (<- HEHE look i stole a pun from Ithaca) and was pretty much exactly what I pictured when I dreamed of the old Spanish towns.
(hurray for finally updating this blog)
Let’s andar en cosas raras, all day every day
My friend Carley is studying abroad in Buenos Aires this semester and oh my goodness. oh my goodness.
I am traveling. This is happening. I don’t know where (although I want to go back to Spain so badly) but I’d like to see more places and experience more cultures and learn more languages (or at least know the ones I claim to know better) and talk to more people and see the world.
from La Noche de San Juan - the night of the summer solstice celebrated in Spain and other European countries by fires on the beaches and various other traditions. It’s also the only night that people are permitted to camp on the beaches. We went to a beach town about an hour away from Granada called Almuñécar for the evening/night. After watching Spain play in the Eurocopa quarterfinals against France (the first night we really began to see the craziness of Spanish futbol fans), we headed over to the beach to set down our things. Bonfires could already be seen all along the beach area. One of the traditions is to write down three wishes and three things we want to change on two separate pieces of paper. At midnight, we were to throw the three things we want to change into the bonfire and the three wishes into the sea. Another tradition is to go into the water at midnight for “purification”, washing your face three times in the water. Lastly, for good luck, you could jump over the bonfire - and for even better luck, jump over three times. This is one of those Spanish traditions that is so based on community, family, and friends - after the midnight festivities, you go back to your own campsite and hang out with the people you came with. We didn’t end up spending the whole night at the beach (I didn’t really want to anyways) since my friend’s backpack was stolen then, but it was definitely a good experience to see a little bit more of Spanish culture.
The photos are just quick snapshots from the night. Someone was stupid enough to throw a plastic chair into one of the bonfires… it was cool at first but we ran away quickly because of the smoke and fumes we knew would come soon. Harpa jumped over a smaller fire three times for good luck.
Parque Federico García Lorca
I spent a lot of time in this park… walking, reading, taking pictures, talking to random strangers who came up to me and all seemed to think I was Japanese and asked for my number…
4:20 (by hopesunbroken)
This is a photo I took at the flea market in Madrid. Even in the big, bright, busy cities of Europe there is still so much obvious brokenness. There were homeless people begging on the streets; some of them were handicapped, some of them were gypsy mothers with their children, and some of them seemed like they really had just lost their jobs and because of the economy’s downward spiral, had fallen into desperation and resorted to sitting on the streets with a cardboard sign stating their situations. I gave myself several excuses for not striking up conversations or helping out in a way besides dropping a euro into their paper cups, like “I’m not good at Spanish” or “I need to be somewhere” or “who knows what this guy/lady’s gonna do.” Street musicians in touristy areas (like the man pictured above) seem to do decently well, but there are plenty of people who so obviously need physical help - and probably could use encouragement and of course God’s help as well. I’m ashamed to say I never went and talked to people and ignored lots of people on the streets. If I go back to Spain… or… when, because I’m pretty sure it’s going to happen again… keep me accountable for this, friends!
On our last night in Granada, we saw this band called Milchakas on the streets and I bought their CD after their set was over. This is one of the songs… Spanish music makes me happy. even though their music is sort of reggae-ska-ish.
also I made a “personal” tumblr here! I post photos and music and reblog some things I think are pretty and occasionally put random thoughts over there okay bye.
Did you know, you can quit your job, you can leave university? You aren’t legally required to have a degree, it’s a social pressure and expectation, not the law, and no one is holding a gun to your head. You can sell your house, you can give up your apartment, you can even sell your vehicle, and your things that are mostly unnecessary. You can see the world on a minimum wage salary, despite the persisting myth, you do not need a high paying job. You can leave your friends (if they’re true friends they’ll forgive you, and you’ll still be friends) and make new ones on the road. You can leave your family. You can depart from your hometown, your country, your culture, and everything you know. You can sacrifice. You can give up your $5.00 a cup morning coffee, you can give up air conditioning, frequent consumption of new products. You can give up eating out at restaurants and prepare affordable meals at home, and eat the leftovers too, instead of throwing them away. You can give up cable TV, Internet even. This list is endless. You can sacrifice climbing up in the hierarchy of careers. You can buck tradition and others’ expectations of you. You can triumph over your fears, by conquering your mind. You can take risks. And most of all, you can travel. You just don’t want it enough. You want a degree or a well-paying job or to stay in your comfort zone more. This is fine, if it’s what your heart desires most, but please don’t envy me and tell me you can’t travel. You’re not in a famine, in a desert, in a third world country, with five malnourished children to feed. You probably live in a first world country. You have a roof over your head, and food on your plate. You probably own luxuries like a cellphone and a computer. You can afford the $3.00 a night guest houses of India, the $0.10 fresh baked breakfasts of Morocco, because if you can afford to live in a first world country, you can certainly afford to travel in third world countries, you can probably even afford to travel in a first world country. So please say to me, “I want to travel, but other things are more important to me and I’m putting them first”, not, “I’m dying to travel, but I can’t”, because I have yet to have someone say they can’t, who truly can’t. You can, however, only live once, and for me, the enrichment of the soul that comes from seeing the world is worth more than a degree that could bring me in a bigger paycheck, or material wealth, or pleasing society. Of course, you must choose for yourself, follow your heart’s truest desires, but know that you can travel, you’re only making excuses for why you can’t. And if it makes any difference, I have never met anyone who has quit their job, left school, given up their life at home, to see the world, and regretted it. None. Only people who have grown old and regretted never traveling, who have regretted focusing too much on money and superficial success, who have realized too late that there is so much more to living than this.
and what am I doing with my life? what do I really want, and more importantly, what does God want? lead me, Lord, and I will follow… even though I will doubt and delay and whine and cry and fear the challenges and adventures You’ve planned out for me, with Your strength, I will follow.
This place was so hard to capture… especially with my 50mm lens because I was silly and only brought the 50 to Spain.
Taken on our adventures in the Sierra Nevada mountains. We started in the town of Guëjar Sierra, about a 40 minute bus ride from Granada, and just wandered around. We eventually made our way to that beautiful blue-green lake of snowmelt after climbing up and down and wandering behind a couple who said they were going to a secret cave before we realized it was probably a bad idea. oops.
We probably hiked at least 10 miles that day… in the Andalusian sun and heat, and during siesta time too. I’m surprised we made it as far as we did.