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Spanish Food

As titled, this post is solely about food because who doesn’t love food?

One of the best parts about Spain is tapas. Tapas are small meals, basically equivalent to appetizers (most of the time) that are very cheap and quick. So basically, if America combined the appetizers of fancy restaurants with the speed and price of fast food restaurants, we’d have tapas. Most tapas cost around 2.20 euros, or about 2.50 dollars. I love going out for tapas because the proper way to “go out for tapas” is to just hop from place to place for a few hours or until you’re full. It’s a great experience because it’s cheap, still healthier than most food in America, and I get to try all sorts of different food in a short span.

One of my favorite places for tapas is La Buena Vida. It’s a very small place but the service is excellent and they have the closest thing to American food. When I’m hungry and homesick, La Buena Vida is the place to go.

My other favorite place is called Brasador y Tapas XXL. The XXL is for the size of the tapas… I made that up, but it seems right. The portion sizes at Brasador are that of a regular (American) entrée, for the low price of 2 euros. In addition, this place is right on the river and is made of glass allowing you to people watch, no matter where you sit.

As good as the tapas are, nothing beats a home-cooked meal, especially when your host mom is the best cook in all of Spain. Somehow my host mom has turned foods I don’t normally like into dishes I love. For example, I don’t even know what the food in the picture to the is called but it looks a little gross… however, I wolfed that down and loved it.

Here’s a few more pictures of some of our meals, and there hasn’t been one I didn’t like. Every home-cooked meal is accompanied by bread, gazpacho or salad, and fruit for dessert. Never in my life have I eaten so healthy and loved it so much.


Natalie Rediger is a junior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Criminal Justice and Criminology. Natalie is spending six weeks of the summer studying abroad with the UMKC Spanish Program in Granada, Spain.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

Estoy en Granada!

Well I’m a little behind in the blog seeing as I’ve been in Granada for two weeks now and not posted a single thing about it… Oops. I’ve been having too much fun to be holed up in my room writing. So, this post is about my host family, first week of class, and a couple of adventures so far.

I could not ask for a better host family. My host dad is a former Real Madrid player and my host mom is probably the best cook and the nicest woman in all of Spain.

My room!

My roommate and I live in essentially a ground floor apartment. Our host parents and four of their kids live in the upstairs apartment. For the most part, we only see the family for meals.

 

 

One of our host sisters took us to El Mirador de San Nicolas at night to see La Alhambra lit up (featured below). The only bad thing I have to say about the host family is that we live at the top of a mountain as seen below on the right. The circled car is at the bottom, and I took this picture about half way up. It takes us almost 4 minutes to walk up this hill, but my calves are looking fantastic so I can’t complain.

Manuela and I chilling at the Mirador

The first week in Granada was spent getting adjusted and attending two classes a day. One class, taught by one of our UMKC professors, is about the history of Spain. The other class was a night class that was used solely for practice and review for our placement test. The second week of school, we took the placement test Monday, and then started our real classes. So far, my classes have been sufficiently challenging. That’s about it for my academic adventures…

Here’s a little about my other activities:

The first weekend in Granada a group of about 15 or so went hiking in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. We took a bus to Monachil, a pueblo just outside Granada, and hiked a 5 mile trail there. It was incredibly beautiful but also very hot. The trail took us about 3 hours, and we had a great time exploring. We met these two gentlemen along the way, and our group is featured in a series of videos on one’s Facebook page. The following pictures are from our hike:

Top of a mountain with Granada in the background

 

 


Natalie Rediger is a junior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Criminal Justice and Criminology. Natalie is spending six weeks of the summer studying abroad with the UMKC Spanish Program in Granada, Spain.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

 

Tourist Week Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of Tourist Week, and quite frankly, some of my favorite parts. Same drill as last time… a little about the city, what we did, and what I liked the best.

Toledo:  Toledo’s claim to fame is the amount of religious buildings it has… meaning there are several synagogues, mosques, and of course cathedrals, which is where the expression “holy Toledo” comes from. Woohoo history… Ok, now for the fun parts. Of course, we toured the cathedral, which like all the others was amazing. I probably sound like a broken record, but who cares.

Every inch of the cathedral is intricately designed to point the viewer to God. The picture below is of the altar (I’m not Catholic, so I’m not really sure if that’s right or not… sorry if that’s wrong.), which depicts the life of Christ. I can’t imagine having the patience to work on something so intricate such as that.

While the cathedral was beautiful, my favorite part was the lookout point featured below. From that spot, you can see the whole city.

Sevilla: My fun fact about Sevilla is that part of Star Wars Episode 1 was filmed in La Plaza de España, pictured below. (Follow the link to see the Star Wars scene: La Plaza de España en Star Wars )

While exploring La Plaza de España was incredible, my favorite part of Sevilla was using some free time to climb the cathedral tour. We entered the cathedral about thirty minutes before it closed and the security guard said we couldn’t make it to the top by then. Little did he know, we skipped the actual tour of the cathedral and practically ran the 35 floors of the tower and made it in about ten minutes. The view was breathtaking, as you can see below. I also made a lifelong friend in Sevilla… but only because I had food.

 

 

Torremolinos: Torremolinos was right on the Mediterranean Sea, which made it one of my favorite cities. However, the hotel we stayed at was unique… unique here having the meaning of ridiculous. Typically, when you stay at a hotel, a meal or two a day is included in the price. At this hotel, a meal was included but drinks were not. You had to pay 2.5 euros for water… WATER. That’s essential to life people… I just had to get that out there.

We also had an entire free day in Torremolinos, which made it pretty awesome. A friend from our group and I saw people out on the sea riding jet skis and decided that would be fun, so we tried to find some to rent. We just started walking down the beach, asked for directions a few times, got four different answers, but eventually we found them. It only cost us about 35 euros (40 dollars) to rent one, and we had a blast! We only flipped it once, and it wasn’t while I was driving.

Last thing about Torremolinos: It has the best ice cream place I have ever been to, and I work at two different ice cream stores… It was homemade ice cream and wow, was it delicious. It also helped that the worker said I had “beautiful Spanish”.


Natalie Rediger is a junior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Criminal Justice and Criminology. Natalie is spending six weeks of the summer studying abroad with the UMKC Spanish Program in Granada, Spain.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

Tourist Week Part 1

Well I have now been in Spain for a full week… wowzas. In that week, I have toured parts of 9 cities, taken about 500 pictures, and had the absolute best time of my life. Since I have seen and done so much it’s hard to write and capture every memory in a brief post so sorry ’bout the lengthiness. I’ll add in a lot of pictures so it’s not so boring. So here’s the first segment of this week with some of the top moments in each city:

Night time view of Madrid from the hotel roof.

Madrid: My first thought landing in Madrid was “crap everything is in Spanish”. I thought traveling to a foreign country would be scary and take adjustment, but I’ve been studying Spanish long enough that it really didn’t require much more effort than flicking a small switch in my brain from English to Spanish. Some friends and I had the same flight into Madrid so we met up, went through customs together, and then found our luggage. Eventually, we exited the airport and our first challenge arose… it was a debate over who could properly get a taxi and tell the driver the hotel address, but between the five of us, we did it. Even though we didn’t have to, we tipped the driver because he was so nice. The reason tipping isn’t necessary in Spain is because the tax and/or tip is already included when looking at a ticket or price tag.

Hotel shower in Madrid.

One thing that really stuck out to me was the lack of a door on the shower… as said in the Hunger Games, “the showers are weird”. My favorite moment in Madrid was going to the roof of the hotel on the very first night and looking out at the city. There aren’t many skyscrapers and other tall buildings in Spain so on the roof of the hotel, I could see for miles.

Segovia/La Granja: Segovia is a smaller city to the north of Madrid and it is known for its historic architecture, such as its Roman aqueduct. We did a walking tour of the city and saw all sorts of interesting things such as a church from the 13th century and a huge cathedral (pictured below).

My favorite part of Segovia was a tour of an old royal palace (pictured left). The tour itself was pretty dull, so a few of us broke off from the group and did our own tour. We found a dungeon that had been turned into a wishing well and explored other parts of the castle that probably weren’t meant for the average tourist. Side note about the tour, our guide was Luis and he was with us for most of the week. He was the complete opposite of boring, but during the castle tour there was just a lot of history and factual information that was far less interesting than closed doors and roped off stairs.

In the same day, we traveled to La Granja, which used to be the summer palace for the monarchs. The best part of that excursion was the 48-acre garden surrounding the palace. In the picture to the right, we’re standing at the top of a massive fountain looking back at the palace, which would’ve an epic picture if there was actually water in it. About 20 minutes after that picture was taken, it started down pouring, which would’ve filled the fountain, and I’m still a little salty about that.

Córdoba: We only spent a few hours here but we toured the Mezquita-Cathedral which was fascinating. It is a hodgepodge of architecture on the inside because control over Córdoba changed between the Christians and Muslims quite frequently during its construction.

For example, in the picture to the left, the columns are from the Roman Catholic Christians while the high archways are from the Muslims. That’s about it for my factual knowledge on that. Everything in Spain is just so interesting and beautiful. The buildings are old, but wonderfully preserved and all the cathedrals have super intricate designs inside. I could stay here for years and still be left wanting to see more.


Natalie Rediger is a junior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Criminal Justice and Criminology. Natalie is spending six weeks of the summer studying abroad with the UMKC Spanish Program in Granada, Spain.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

The Build-Up

Window seats are the best.

Welcome to “The One Where Natalie Goes to Spain”; a blog about my experience studying abroad for 6 weeks. I started this blog because it’s a requirement for a scholarship, but it will also be used for family and friends to receive updates on my adventures. I have never blogged before, and I am not a super open person so this could be quite interesting. Let’s do this…

Today’s topic is the build-up, meaning my pre-trip  and flight adventures.

Anybody that knows me knows that I procrastinate, which isn’t always a good thing. The trip was no exception. My flight leaves today (June 18) and just yesterday I bought my suitcase and began packing. Despite my love of procrastination, some things can’t be put off like getting a passport or booking a flight. I did those things months ago when the trip still seemed like a distant thought. Now I’m sitting in the airport waiting to board my first flight, and wow this trip feels so real. I am going to Spain…

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Today was Father’s Day so this morning we drove to Omaha, had a delicious meal (pictured to the left) to celebrate, and then drove to the airport. I said goodbye to my family and proceeded to the security checkpoint…. And never in my life have I been so nervous. I’m not hiding anything or carrying anything illegal, but something about all those TSA agents breeds fear. They pulled my carry-on aside to manually searched it, and my heart stopped. Again, I don’t know why I was so nervous because nothing I have is illegal or dangerous. After waiting around for a bit, we boarded and my first flight was underway. The trip finally became real and I’ve never been more excited in my life. More to come later in the week.

Natalie Rediger


Natalie Rediger is a junior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City studying Criminal Justice and Criminology. Natalie is spending six weeks of the summer studying abroad with the UMKC Spanish Program in Granada, Spain.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.