Spending two consecutive weekends in a row in Cáceres calls for a making a few adventures of our own. The official plan for this weekend was to head on a bus to Valencia, Spain, to take part in the famed Las Fallas festival. What really happened was there were not enough people to fill the bus, so we got our money back but lost an experience. But, I suppose it just gives me another reason to come back!
Therefore, we have been keeping ourselves very busy and enjoying some downtime before our springtime travels begin for the rest of the program! Here is an account of my mini adventures through Cáceres lately:
1. El Mercadillo: Located on the outskirts of Cáceres, and taking place every Wednesday, the Mercadillo is pretty much the largest farmer’s market I have ever been to. Anything from frozen fish to bras and panties–they have it. Here it is famously run by the gypsies who yell to attract people into their booths “Robbed it yesterday, selling it today! Get it before the cops come!” And that is exactly what they did! I managed to find a gorgeous blue dress for 10 euro that I have a feeling wasn’t originally 10 euro…not to mention the tags were off of it. And after a lot of walking, we decided to enjoy a box of the fresh strawberries…which we finished in under ten minutes.
2. La Fiesta de La Primavera (The Spring Festival): Put on by the students of our university here, this fiesta attracted hundreds of students from all over the area to celebrate all night (literally all night…5pm-7am) the coming of spring. I only made it until 1:30am before calling it a night but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t great!
One of the perks about being in Spain is that I am the legal drinking age. One of the perks about being una americana (American girl) in Spain is that if you pretend you don’t understand the language, the guys get too fed up trying to explain how much a beer is, so they simply buy you one. This has only been proven once, but it may be put into action in the future if I notice I am low on funds again. Warning: if this trick is used in the future, make sure not to laugh at their Spanish jokes after…they were on to me…
3. El Campo (The Countryside)
What is the perfect way to get out of Cáceres and enjoy great (host) family time? Visiting the Spanish countryside of course! A day filled with baby animals, wonderful homemade food, and a breathtakingly beautiful (and truly Spanish) view it was simply wonderful. I was able to bond with one of Leandro and Teresa’s daughters and her family who were so kind to invite me for the day. We even made a new friend (a baby lamb)!
The house, outside of a town called Arroyo de la Luz belongs to my host parents’ daughter and son-in-law. His family used to own the local movie theater and when they sold it, he was able to go in and take all of the old movie posters and photos. They now are all over the house and really give it such a cool atmosphere! Sidenote: everyone agreed that I can fit in to the family as the long lost American niece! The rest of the day was spent eating, playing fútbol with Fernando and teaching Elena a few tricks on braiding her hair. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end my weekend.
All in all, these past two weekends settled in Cáceres went way too quickly–even though this whole semester is going by much too fast. But I still have so much to look forward to!