June 7, 2022: The Palace of the Moors

A Day in the Life:

My schedule here is so vastly different than the schedule I kept while in the United States. It’s strange to wake up at 7:00 am here, and most of the time I’m waking up between 10 and noon. Things aren’t open early and the entire country closes for six hours in the afternoon like literal clockwork. Today I woke up at 11:30 am and took a long shower with the incredible water pressure of the showers here. I also washed my hair for the first time since toning it in Barcelona and apparently the toner isn’t sticking the way it should, overall I’m feeling as though we should just let it do what it’s going to do and fix it when we get back home in September. We made breakfast for ourselves today in an effort to save some money. I drank a smoothie from the grocery store yesterday and Kassondra experimented with a microwave omelet cooking gadget to make some very interesting but somehow still decent french toast. I certainly won’t say it’s the best I’ve ever had because my mom makes some damn good french toast but for being a microwave meal it was actually quite impressive.

Following that we all worked on various things for a couple of hours with me organizing the next few days of activities and flights, managing our finances, and trying to catch up on writing about our trip in my journal posts. I found a free tour to be shown around Alcazaba online and booked it but when we showed up at 5:30 we didn’t see anyone with a blue umbrella like we were told to look for so instead we just looked around ourselves. The Alcazaba is one of the oldest Muslim fortresses left in Spain and is a testament to the grandeur of the Moors during their reign. The site is nearly 1000 years old, having been built between 1057 and 1063. The bottom walls and winding corridors helped prevent the Christians from quickly gaining ground because they were unable to use the horses they often relied on and were forced into bottlenecks and around blind corners, all of which gave the Muslims an edge. Further up you’ll find a grandiose palace with an ancient water system supplying many fountains and maintaining ornate gardens. The entire thing was a wonder to behold and a huge highlight of our trip so far!

Afterward, we walked towards the beach where our flamenco show at Tableo Alegria was going to happen and were seated in the very front row. I went in with very little knowledge about Flamenco or expectations about what we’d get to see. It turned out to be a kind of Spanish tap dancing that was backed by passionate singing and guitar. The show paired live music with two very talented flamenco dancers showing off their skills. We were all impressed and mesmerized by the entire performance and it was a completely unique art from anything else I’ve seen, even among other kinds of dancing I’ve watched.

When the show was over we went to get burgers and found a place called La Burguesita where we all got delicious burgers that we thoroughly enjoyed. Despite not being a traditional food from Spain there were numerous burger restaurants to choose from and Bryant was craving some more protein than what was readily available in the fruit, pastries, and carbohydrate-heavy dinners we had been eating.

Back at the hostel we stayed up for another few hours socializing and playing pool with some of the wonderful people also staying at our hostel including a man named Tom from Toronto who was a joy to play pool with!

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