Monday, September 26, 2005

Dog shows and markets

Had another good weekend in Zaragoza. Melissa and I went to the very big open area market down by the soccer stadium. An amazing array of goods are sold there at very cheap prices. Imagine Pike Place Market, but every place selling either discontinued or fake brand clothes. They only have it on Sundays and Wednesdays though.

We also went to a dog show (Melissa's idea). A bit interesting to see the differences between shows in the US and here. Much less formal here, and a couple of very different breeds. Everyone wore jeans to show their dogs instead of skirts and slacks as in the US. We saw a very interesting version of a mastiff. Looked like a cross between a Mastiff and a Saint Bernard. Probably weighed close to 200 pounds....

Friday, September 23, 2005

The Haircut

Another week, another adventure. This week's adventure: trying to get your haircut when you don't speak the language of the person cutting your hair. Let's just say it didn't go as planned. Before people probably could have picked me out as American from 20-30 meters. Now they will think I am in the Marine core from about 100....

It will grow out before my first interview.
It will grow out before my first interview.

Went to another soccer game (pre-haircut). As great as last time. One of the guys I went with took some photos, and I'll try to post some.

Monday, September 19, 2005


The bull ring in Zaragoza. We are near the end of bull fighting season, but I don't think Melissa and I will be going to any bull fights. There are quite a few bull fights in Zaragoza.  Posted by Picasa

Melissa took this photo from a park in the southern part of Zaragoza looking back towards the city.  Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Leadership and future fun

Spent all of Friday in a seminar taking several different personality tests. Apparently I don't like it when other people attempt to tell me what to do......

Anyway, Melissa and I are thinking of heading up to Rioja next weekend for the Rioja Wine Harvest Festival. People might have heard of it before, it is the big festival where everyone crushes the grapes with their feet. Suppose to be a good time, and is only a couple hour bus ride away for us. Don't know how long we can stay though, and still have to get a hotel room for the night. Hopefully it will all come through.

The first signs of Pilar are starting to appear in Zaragoza. Melissa and I are so curious to see how big of a party this will be. Friday and Saturday nights on Plaza de Pilar are already crazy enough.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Quickie

Intense week of class this week. Have more hours of class then I did of work! That is not how this is suppose to work. Been having more dealings with the Spanish government, so of course it is slow going. I have to register with the police in order to be able to stay for more then 90 days. So I registered, and now they have had my passport for a week..... The problem with that being you have to show your ID to use any credit card.

Melissa has been going around and taking lots of photos. I'll try to get her to post them sometime.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Another Week

Last week was very good to me. Melissa got into town finally. I saw my first European football match in person. Had another good week of classes, and saw a really cool castle.

A little more detail on those. Melissa got in on Tuesday, she had two ridiculously heavy bags, but luckily the apartment is only 5 blocks or so away from the bus station. It took her most of the week to adjust to Spanish time. By Spanish time I mean not just the 9 hour time difference between Seattle and here, but also the completely different schedule people have here. Eight in the morning is like six in the morning in Seattle. Dinner is had at 10 at night, and you can do business until then. Although nothing gets done between 2 and 4. It is considered the afternoon until 8pm. Basically whenever you are hungry nothing is open....

Went to the big Valencia versus Real Zaragoza football match last night. It was great. The home fans were singing a good portion of the time, and Zaragoza played very well, Valencia got a break away goal in the 85th minute to make it a 2-2 draw. I bought a Real Zaragoza jersey before the match, but apparently a bought the wrong one somehow, since nobody else at the stadium was wearing the same one as me.

Classes are still going well, have started on some good group projects. Hard to explain but much easier then explaining what I did at Virage.

Pictures of Melissa and my trip to the castle are below, it was a very interesting place both in terms of architecture and history. I also showed her Pilar. We both can't wait for the big Pilar festival in early October.

I'll try to write again soon. Feel free to leave comments, especially family and friends.

-Jon

Saturday, September 10, 2005


The inside courtyard of the palace. The highly geometric structures are very typical of Moorish architecture. It is amazing the constant level of detail throughout the palace, although of course much has faded over the nearly 1000 years since it was built.  Posted by Picasa

Aljaferia Palace in Zaragoza, the traditional seat of power in Aragon. The regional government actually still meets here. Originally built by the Moors in about 1050. The original castle was added to by various rulers over the ages. Posted by Picasa

The fountain near Pilar. As you can see my fashion sense has not improved since leaving Seattle. Posted by Picasa

The Piliar Basilica In Zaragoza, the biggest landmark in Zaragoza. It's huge, and the plaza around it is one of the main hangouts in the city. They light it up at night, I'll try to get some photos of that later.  Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 03, 2005

First Week

So I have been here a week now, so I thought I should add to this again. I have found and moved into an apartment that is only a ten minute walk from my school. It is a two bedroom apartment so I have an extra bed if anyone decides to visit. It is a bit old, but it has this nice patio that looks out over the city.

Melissa gets here on Tuesday, I have found some Spanish classes for her to take, although I don't know when she wants to start them up.

I got a chance to tour around the city a bit. The city center is just gorgeous, especially at night. The basilica pilar, the big church in Zaragoza, has a huge plaza in front of it with a interesting waterfall and the river flowing behind it and they light it all up at night.

I will try to post some pictures soon.