February 20

It was almost impossible to wake up, my bed felt really good and it was till so early in the morning. It was absolutely beautiful outside though. A lot of us were slow to get down to the lobby so we didn’t start to the metro station until around 10:00. I think Aitor didn’t care because so much of our group expressed interest in coming on this day excursion. We took a twenty minute metro bus ride to the actual bus station.

Traveling in between small towns is incredibly inexpensive. I paid 2.50 euros, with my student ID, for an hour bus ride to a small town called Requena. The ride through the countryside was really cool, complete with mountains on either side of the highway. Some of us slept, I was actually hungry so I picked at my picnic lunch the cafeteria had made us.

There aren’t more than 20,000 people that live in Requena. We got off the bus and took about a five minute to a wine distillery called Coviñas. It was really cool, we had a guide talk about the whole process of distilling and bottling the wine. He took us into two huge warehouses where they store the wine, for at least one year in the barrel and at least one year in the bottle. After we walked through the complex they took us to a room and allowed us to taste two different glasses. They were both excellent.

We started off toward the town square as soon as the tour had ended. In the spring every year, towns all have a weekend called Carnaval. Everyone returns home for the weekend and there are a lot of fun activities planned. By chance, we stumbled on a huge marketplace and Carnaval celebration. All of the kids were dressed up in costumes and acting crazy, the looked like they were having a lot of fun.

As the celebration was going on, I went through the marketplace and began to browse. I locked eyes with a sweater buried pretty deep and had to have it. It was love at first sight. I was determined to pay any price for it and was even more excited when the man said it cost three euros. I wore my purchase away from the stand, ecstatic to have gotten my first European sweater.

As the Carnaval was finishing up, a few of us grabbed a café in a little restaurant right in the middle of the town square. It reminded me a lot of the Sun Also Rises because Jake (the main character) always would describe a huge fiesta with a packed café and we were in the exact same situation. In about an hour, the town square had died down and we all decided to walk around the historic part of town.

It was awesome; it was set up on a hill right about the town square. They had tiny streets, white buildings and the bluest sky to complement it. We wandered around, taking pictures for a good forty-five minutes. Everyone was remarking how happy they were that they had woken up for such a great day.

The train back to Valencia didn’t leave for another hour so the whole group went to another café and had a drink. The train ride was great, it took about the same length of time as the bus did, but I was way more interested in the train. Most people slept but I had my eyes glued on the window the whole time looking at everything there was to see.

Our train let us out at a metro station and we had to take a quick metro train back to our part of town. Everyone was really tired and most people took a nap, but I didn’t. I met up with everyone at 8:00 for dinner. I couldn’t find much in the lunch that I liked, so I chowed down at dinner. It was a hamburger and fries that is nothing compared to an American burger, but I think I liked it so much because I reminisced about how much we miss American food.

There was a big mask party that most of the people were going to but I was too exhausted to go to a party from 1-7 in the morning. Instead a few of us went to a neighborhood over by school to check out a concert at a small pub. It was a really cool spot. The pub couldn’t hold more than twenty-five people. We crammed in and listened to Emma Goes Wild. The lead singer had an awesome voice.

After Emma Goes Wild played for a while, they opened up for an open mic night. We heard four other people play two songs a piece but they were nothing compared to the first group we had heard. We left around 11:00 and got a cab home. The whole ride back, all we talked about was how excited we were for a goodnight sleep.

When we got back, no one had left for the party yet, so I hung out and talked with them until they left at 1:00. I went to bed and feel asleep very quickly after that.

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