So it has been a great weekend! Today I went snowboarding for the second time of my life in the mountains of Asturias! Emily and I went with some Irish friends that we met, and it was so much fun!! Although it was terrible weather, windy with a rainy/snowy mix, we had a blast! I did pretty well for a beginner and so did Emily. It was also really cool because Emily and I and only one other Irish friend knew Spanish so we got to translate and communicate for everyone all day! I was able to have lots of conversations and figure out what to do all day in spanish because we were pretty much the only ones there, it was really good practice. I can’t wait to go snowboarding again, and maybe before I leave Spain I’ll actually be good.
So this past week was Carnaval!!! Carnaval is a festival that takes place in lots of different countries (with strong Catholic histories) all over the world with the biggest and most famous in Brazil. It’s to celebrate the beginning of lent and final indulgences before the lent season. I heard the name comes from the latin word (and Spanish) for meat, carne, because back in the days when more people were strict catholics, you couldn’t eat meat during lent. Spain, with its big piece of Catholic history has a prevalent Carnaval to this day. Everyone dresses up in costumes, exactly like we do on Halloween (but perhaps more enthusiastically here! Which is awesome!) and celebrates in the streets with parades, concerts, botellon, etc. In the province of Asturias, I went to 3 Carnavals! Lo he pasado fantástico!! I had SO much fun. The first and most famous of Asturias is Avilés. We went last Saturday, and when we showed up late at night the streets were covered in foam from the foam party earlier that day! There was a huge concert and EVERYONE was dressed up in AWESOME costumes. I’d have to say my favorites were the Avatars! My friends and I dressed up with Spanish friends like the Oscars. We were the paparazzi and they dressed up as celebrities in gowns, they even brought a red carpet and a Oscars backdrop! People go all out here. There was literally a SEA of people in costume at Avilés. I’ve never seen anything like that, beside Broad street when the Phillies were going to the World Series.
Monday Emily and I went to Gijón (city on the shore of Asturias, Spain that I LOVE) for their Carnaval celebration. We went with some Spanish friends of ours, and even though it’s smaller than Avilés, I had a lot of fun because I really like Gijón and it wasn’t as overwhelming as Avilés. It was pretty to see the shoreline lit up at nighttime. And finally, Saturday was Oviedo’s (my city) Carnaval! Despite it raining a lot, (of course sunshine all week, than rain on Carnaval) it was a great night! For both Gijón and Oviedo I dressed up as a Hippy:]
Oviedo was a lot of fun because I know the city more and it was cool to walk around and see SO many people filling the streets at night in costume. All of the bars had a competition and dressed up the outside of the bars as a certain theme! It was so cool, but I regret not taking pictures. Some were dressed as underwater, wild west, space ship, all kinds of crazy things! I’d have to say my favorite costume of that night was the baby stroller that was transformed into a massive airplane haha — Baby inside and everything, it was the cutest thing.
Needless to say, Carnaval was fantastic, much more spectacular than I could describe in a blog, it is something you have to experience yourself :]
Spanish is coming along great! My Spanish friend gave me lots of Spanish books meant for elementary-middle school age, so they’re easier for me to read. It’s a great excuse to read the books I loved as a kid again 😛 Hasta luego!