Saturday, November 28, 2009


This blog entry requires immediate attention. More often than not I find myself slacking in the blog-writing department; today is different.

I went on an adventure with Rob, whos is currently visiting from back home, and Jen, a wonderful 3-citizenship-holding girl who seems to know all the secrets of Granada and surrounding area. We rented bikes and tore out of Plaza Nueva at 10:30. We rode for some time, an hour or so, until I stopped the line because I saw a very large bird in someon`s yard beside the trail. It turned out to be an ostrich. After snapping a few pictures, a few guys on bikes flew by. The ostrich was startled and bolted. It didn`t get far. One leg got caught in the handle bars (a full metal circle) of a teeter-totter and the bird went DOWN. It flailed wildly, only to get its other leg caught. We searched out help but no one was home at any house in sight. 20 minutes passed of ostrich self-mutalation until we decided we had to interveine. I found an old stick some 2m in length. Leaning over the fence I tried to pry its leg free... at this point both legs were already quite bloody. The stick was neither long enough or strong enough. Using my leatherman I sawed a living tree and fashioned a much more appropriate pry-bar. I guided the stick to the bottom of the ostrich`s foot and pushed hard: it fame free. It`s other leg was still caught, however not nearly as badly. Because of the ostrich`s position (laying beside the teeter-totter panting and terrified) I wasn`t able to force the other leg free. It was clear that the bird was exhausted so we decided to let it regain some strength and maybe it would free iteslf. After another 5 minutes it seemed a good idea to ask for help. A man walking with his toddler son approached and we explained the situation. Without much consideraiton, he hopped the fence and began pushing the ostrich`s leg with his bare hands - his toddler son watching all the while.

Knowing the capabilities of an ostrich let alone a trapped, scared, angry, and bloody ostrich was enough to keep me on my side of the fence. The man so close to the ostrich made me quite nervous, if not for his own safety then for ours: it would be a lasting scar in my mind, let alone his son`s, to see this man brutalized by kicks and head buts from such a large bird. Yet, this fearless spaniard was able to force our feathered friend`s other leg out of the metal ring with and happily hop back over to use his son`s baby wipes to clean the blood off his hands...

Aside from the bloody ostrich, we had a great bikeride in the countryside, visited a pretty small town, and bought some local cheese, sausage, bread, and 5L of their pueblo-branded wine :)

Monday, November 2, 2009

San Sabastián

I dropped the ball slightly on this post. It's been a month since this wonderful trip with my two closest friends here Alicia and Tati, but I'm sure it's not too late.

We rented a car, disappointingly a Ford Fiesta, and headed north to Pais Basque. We stopped the first night in Burgos to sleep and check out the Cathedral. It's pretty impressive. Spain continuously reminds me what an empire religion has been/is in the world. It has produced some gorgeous buildings to say the least.

The next day we went to our destination: San Sebastian. This city is near perfect. It's at the base of a mountain range, its built in the point where two ocean bays meet, a large hill (the one Tati and I are sitting on in the picture) blocks it from direct view of open ocean. It's no wonder Basque Country remained ethnically different for so long...

Nedless to say it was beautiful, fun, and very relaxing.

We saw/heard that France was a short drive away so we decided to take advantage. We did a day trip to Biarriz, a small surfing town on the Southwest coast. We slept on the beach most of the day...

We returned sad to be away from the lush green forsts of the north, but refreshed and ready to start the schoolyear.

Planning to Study Spanish in Granada?

I stumbled across this blog. It summarizes all the language schools in Granada and gives prices etc. Very handy, tell your friends.