Wednesday, July 30, 2008
There is a mountain on the outskirts of Alcalá that I really enjoyed scaling. In order to get to it, I had to cross a dam that always has about two inches of water flowing over it. When I was crossing it for the first time, I lost my flip-flop just as I reached the other side. I watched my poor foot's companion float downstream to oblivion. I even went down and asked a man if he had seen it. He said he had, but ten minutes earlier (it must have taken me a while to put my tennis shoes on and meander my way to where he was). I guess I have left a small part of me in Spain, never to be recovered again. Oh well. At least it wasn't my camera.
This is a traditional Spanish paella that Ana prepared for me while I was in Spain made of rice, saffron, shrimp, chicken, olive oil, peas, squid, and probably other stuff too. I love paella, but I especially like it with just chicken. I am going to learn to make this and Spanish tortillas like a Spanish chef, hopefully. We'll see how they turn out.
This is a plate I enjoyed in Spain. The black stuff is morcilla, or blood sausage, made from the intestines, stomach and whatever else, oh and of course the blood of a pig. Yes, I ate all of it. I sort of liked it, but it had a pretty strong taste. Actually, my favorite dish during my trip was at a restaurant called La Cueva de San Esteban in Segovia. I ate a plate of scrambled eggs with small morsels of morcilla, spinach and pine nuts. It had an earthy, exotic and extremely flavorful taste. You wish you could try some, I know. Just go to Saint Steven's Cave and order some.
I went to Spain, everybody; took a course, saw many old things and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Next time I am going to take a direct flight though. Stopping in Amsterdam and switching planes added quite a bit to an already long and tiresome trip. I stayed in Alcalá de Henares (20 miles or so outside of Madrid) with a woman named Ana. She has a small apartment near the University of Alcalá and frequently houses people for the university. I appreciated her willingness to cook me authentic Spanish recipes. I stayed in Spain from July 6th to July 25th in order to take a Spanish language and culture class. Five other students and I went to class every day from 9am to 1:30pm, including periodic excursions and two full-day excursions to Toledo and Segovia and the Escorial. I'll be sure to post some pictures I took, and I hope you enjoy them!