House Hunters International
Trip Start Dec 17, 2010
22Trip End Apr 26, 2011
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The train ride was so beautiful. The whole way we were traveling along the coast. We passed several little towns with gigantic villas on the hills. Iīm pretty sure this is where I want to retire. I wonder how much one would cost. There were tons of condos too, so itīs not a completely impractical dream.
We were shown around Altea by some locals, so that was really helpful. Altea has a rock beach, but it was too cold for anybody to be out anyways. It was really pretty though.
The whole city is white washed and built into the side of a hill. Exactly the Mediterranean village Iīve been imaging since I read Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. At the top of the hill was a church with a famous tiled dome.
We finished eating way before the people in the restaurant, so we went back down to the beach to explore some more. We stopped for some local Jijona icecream and my friends entertained me with some stories about their host family. Iīm starting to feel more and more like I won the host mom lottery. These girls had a story that sounded like a reality tv show. By the end of the stories, I was surprised to discover that over 2 hours had passed and we needed to catch the train home. We left just in time, because by the time we got back to Alicante, it had gotten really cold.
Now for some notes on Carnaval. Letīs add another to my list of adjectives from my last post: disgusting. Saturday night was basically as wild as I had imagined it would be. In several parts of the city, you couldnīt walk, you just had to move with the crowds. I hesitate to compare it to anything, because Iīve never experienced anything like that. It was like halloween if halloween were for adults, and everybody trick-or-treated all night and they got alcohol instead of candy. The most frequent coversation I heard all day Sunday was"fun yesterday?", "yes","what did you do?","no clue."
Personally, I remember everything from that night. My friend, Felicia, and I made cave women costumes. My host mom lent me some jewelry and made me put on lipstick. Then I started to put on eyeliner and she said "cave women didnīt wear eyeliner." I then met up with Felicia at her house to get ready. Her host mom was having a party and gave us some food. Then we went out.
We started out in a park near the port with "botellón." Botellón is best translated as "pregame" in English. Basically people just drinking away from the bars. Drinking in the streets is legal for Carnaval. After a few hours, it got too cold and we had finished our drinks so we went to the bars to dance for a while. Walking anywhere in the city took about 3x longer than it normally would just because of all of the people. A lot of the streets were closed and they set up a catwalk in the middle of the main street for people to show off their costumes. My enchantment with the night kind of faded quickly, so I went home early.
On Sunday morning I woke up at 7:30 and walked around a little bit. A few people were still out partying. The main street looked like a total war zone. I saw a river of pee! I had to hopscotch vomit with almost every step. I could have cried. I went back to sleep for a little bit and woke up at 11 and was walking to catch the train to Altea and everything was back to normal! I couldnīt believe it. I donīt know how many people must have been there or what they did to make this happen, but Iīm pretty impressed. Obviously, they have done this before. In the program for Carnaval that lists all of the events, Sunday was officially called "Domingo de Resaca" - hangover Sunday.
As I said, I spent my hangover Sunday in Altea. I got a bunch of homework done. I had one of the best dinners Iīve had so far, some kind of meat with some kind of sauce, and I finally got a good nightīs sleep.
This morning, I think my host mom and I did some sort of exorcism. Aparently a candle of some type went out, meaning that bad spirits had entered the house. There was holy water involved and then we had to leave the windows open.
Overall an eventful and interesting weekend. I donīt think there are too many Carnaval-related festivities left, even though it technically lasts until March 13. Iīm glad Iīve experienced it once, and Iīm definitely not dying to do it again. Check out pictures on facebook if you want to see some of the costumes. I canīt believe this is already one of my last weekends in Alicante. Madrid on Friday!