Monday, March 18, 2013

Alpujarra and Science Park Museum

Alpujarra?! Gesundheit, right? Not quite, Alpujarra's the name of a BEAUTIFUL spot in Granada to visit the Sierra Nevadas mountains. My program and I took a day trip excursion to visit the Alpujarra terrain on Saturday, it was lovely! Well as the Spaniards say, "Un imagen vale más que mil palabaras"...
So we'll let my pictures speak for themselves!

So many quaint street views here.
 It's a good thing I've got limited space in my suitcase coming back, or I might have gotten one of these rugs. Wouldn't they look darling in a college apartment?! 

I love the mountains! And my sweetheart of a friend, Kara!
Not sure why I couldn't keep my eyes open in this one... 
We know I wasn't imagining myself in a better place that's for sure! 

Oh and we visited a ham factory. I have never seen so many jamon legs in my life...
2000 in one room,  oh my! That's not something you see in America everyday!

Hiking is the best kind of day! 

And this is why I love Europe.

Such a perfect day!

Science Park Museum
-Where I expanded my mind and learned lots of sciency things...

 This is me getting WHAMPED at a mind relaxing competition! 
Apparently it doesn't work well if your giggling... Who knew?! 

Science Park, Granada Spain. Come one come all!

Inside the butterfly garden. 
Didn't catch any mariposas, but believe me I tried!

Mind blown! I feel like these "tuning" bells were just a way for the museum 
to see how many people they could fool to stick their face up to a pipe... 
Looks like it worked! ;)

Having WAY too much fun on the playground...
 Good thing there's no age limit for this exhibit! 

That's all folks!

*On a side note, I have not been blogging as much recently because I've been CRAZY busy studying (shocking, I know!) for my midterms this week. Prayers appreciated!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Roma- ¡El Fin!

Part III:
   Spent my last full day in Rome on Saturday exploring more of the city, touring the Colosseum and Roman Forums along with several other monuments. It was definitely a great day, so many wonderful memories! And now for some pictures...

Thought I'd add a picture of our plane, something cool about it isn't it?! 
This one's for you, Dad! ;)

And now, The Roman Forums...

So many ancient ruins!

 I loved imagining what this place looked like back in the day. 
Hard to imagine I was walking where good ole Julius Caesar used to walk, crazy!

Btw, if Spanish Education doesn't work out I'm applying for this weed whacking job.
 Who wouldn't want to mow the lawns in the Roman Forums?!  ;) 

We toured a museum of all the preserved statues found in the Roman Forum ruins. 
Just every statue was missing something... 
So we thought we'd help this one out by giving her 2 extra heads! 

Things got silly...

There I'm standing right in front of the place Caesar was killed- cool! 
Again, here I'm trailing behind everyone trying to capture just 1 more picture! 

And now to the Colosseum...
 Buenas amigas :)

This place is just simply GINORMOUS! 

It's moments like this that I just feel like I'm dreaming! 
What an amazing semester this has been!

It's hard to imagine that such a massive and beautiful place
 has such a dark history, isn't it?

Plaza de Venezia

We enjoyed visiting this beautiful plaza again, it's pretty big so you can't miss it!

The Roman Empire really was incredible!

Todas :)

And we ate LOTS an LOTS of pasta- yum! 

And gelato! Deliciousness. I was so excited I couldn't keep my eyes open! ;)

And finally, before calling it a day we decided to visit the Pantheon one more time.
And I'm so glad we did- what a cool building!

Here's a view of the open Rotunda- I'm so glad it wasn't raining! ;)

And that concludes my fantastic adventures in Roma!
 What an incredible trip- I'll treasure these memories for ever that's for sure.
My favorite view of Rome by far!  

I'm in LOVE with Rome! :) 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Más Roma

Part II.
(My brother informed me I should be using ROMAN 
numerals for this blog title- why didn't I think of that?!) 

    Oh so much yet to tell you about Rome! It really was a fantastic trip- I'm having such a hard time picking my "favorite" pictures to share, there's so many! Let's see, where did I leave off last time...

     Ah yes, I had just "survived" (and enjoyed!)  my adventure getting to Rome, now to tell you about my day exploring the Vatican.  A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. We knew it would be an interesting weekend in Rome with the Pope's retirement. We had been hearing mixed messages about whether or not the cardinals would hold the conclave in the Sistine Chapel to vote for the Pope on Friday. As awesome as it would have been to be in the Vatican when the cardinals had their conclave and watch the for the "smoke" from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel in St. Peter's Square, I personally wasn't disappointed to hear that they will be holding the conclave in mid-March. Meaning, I got to tour the Sistine Chapel. Yes! 

   We spent basically the whole morning and afternoon touring the Vatican museums. There is SO much to see, and I just loved every moment of the day! What are we going to do with that Michelangelo?! Seriously though, my eyes just FEASTED on all of the beautifully ancient artwork in the Vatican. Beautiful! My pictures don't even come close to doing justice, but I hope you can get a taste of the beauty captured in the Vatican. 

     We began the morning by touring rooms upon rooms of sculptured marble statues made by Michelangelo and various other super famous artists. It was a cool display, but  by the end of the exhibit I definitely had my fill of naked statues. Awkward!  I guess I'm still not mature enough to fully "appreciate" Michelangelo's artwork... You can thank me for only showing the clothed statues! ;) 
Each room was just breathtaking!

I was just completely WOWed by all of the detail in every room. 
And then I'd walk into another room and find even more! 

Beautiful, eh?

One of the rooms had tons of maps of Italy- pretty awesome! 
Perfect time to snatch a quick picture of the whole gang. :)

The next few rooms had every wall and ceiling COVERED in paintings. 
I loved looking at all of the Biblical scenes- there was so much detail!

I pretty much just walked into each room with my mouth hanging wide open! 
So incredibly amazing! 

       It was a special opportunity to share (and translate) to my friend Minako all the Bible stories depicted on the walls as she had never heard many of the stories. Wish I could show you a picture of the Sistine Chapel, because it really is a wonder. But taking pictures in the Chapel is STRICTLY forbidden! And believe me, I was't about to argue with a Roman security guard, have you HEARD what they did to the gladiators?! So while I don't have any pictures of the Sistine Chapel,  believe me that it really is amazing! I really enjoyed telling Minako all the Biblical accounts that covered the walls and ceilings of that awesome  room! And hopefully someday she'll come to know the power found in those precious stories. 
Peeking out the window that over looks St. Peter's Square. 
Didn't get to see the Pope, but that's ok! ;) 

When in Rome... eat pizza! 

    After getting our fill of the Vatican museums we headed to St. Peter's Square, where we luckily only had to wait a few minutes before touring the one and only St. Peter's Basilica. I went absolutely NUTs taking pictures inside, but here's a few of my favorites! 

St. Peter's Square!

The view of the entire Basilica from the entrance. 

How many rotundas does it need?! Those Romans...

Ornate doesn't even BEGIN to describe this place!

By far my favorite picture. So many "layers" to this beautiful building!

Here's the supposed burial altar of  St. Peter's bones.
My tour guide mentioned that this is and I quote "definitely maybe"
 where St. Peter's bones are buried.

Pretty cool place to hang out! ;)

Heading back to our hostels via metro to rest up before doing some more sightseeing. 
We'll never fit in with the locals... Oh well! 

Later that evening we wandered around until we found the Spanish Steps. 
Great panoramic view of Rome!

There they are, Escaleras Españoles. :)

Off to Spagna Plaza- look more ancient Roman statues!! 

I'm in LOVE with Rome!

And of course, the Pantheon otra vez.
 This place is MAGICAL at night!

Can't see Trevi Fountain too many times. ;)
It was really fun to see so many of the Roman monuments at night.

Here we are tossing our pennies into the fountain. :) 
Hopefully our dreams will come true!