May 25, 2008 - Posted by Erin in Food and wine, Travels in Spain

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This week brought many new adventures – most of which included me getting drenched in more rain. Yep, it’s still raining here. I simply don’t get it! Having to walk everywhere in the rain after having my own car since learning how to drive has been a hard pill to swallow for sure. So I spent my week trekking from class to class getting to know new students and learning which shoes I should and shouldn’t wear when I have to walk for miles (eh hem, kilometers) in the rain. On Thursday we had the opportunity to go to another cata de vinos (wine tasting) which of course was amazing! I still can’t get over the fact that we are able to try six fabulous wines every two weeks for free (with aperitivos too!). Then last night we went to a concert of a friend of Jacob’s in Madrid which was followed by a delicious impromptu dinner at Carolina and Jose’s house.

Today brought the biggest excursion of the week. I have been lucky enough to have visited most of the charming cities within an hour’s drive of Madrid, but Ávila was one that I had not yet had the opportunity to see. Despite the bad weather, Jacob and I headed out to Ávila this morning. The first thing we saw when we arrived was la muralla (the wall) that surrounds the city. With its many towers you can’t help but imagine what kind of fortress the city must have been hundreds of years ago. Once inside the city we walked around a bit, visiting the cathedral, the charming balcony lined streets, and we even had the chance to see a small parade (something religious – not sure exactly what the specific celebration was though).

After a quick walk around the city we headed to lunch at a restaurant, El Molino de la Losa, which one of my students actually recommended. This was definitely the highlight of the trip! The restaurant was in an old mill from the 15th century – once inside the restaurant we were actually able to see the water running underneath. One of the speciality dishes of Ávila is the chuletón (basically steak….more meat, what a shocker!). Obviously a bit much for me, so Jacob took the “bull by the horns” 😉 and ordered it. Quite delicious! I opted for a salad…

A couple of chocolate desserts later, we left the restaurant and headed back inside the city walls. This time we actually walked on top of the wall that surrounds the city, which provided stunning views in every direction.

On our way home we made a quick stop to drop off the chuletón bone to Mateo, Jose and Carolina’s dog (it’s Mateo’s third birthday today!). Now we are back in Madrid where of course the sun has been conveniently shining and mocking us after a day of walking in the rain!

Please send some sun and warmth my way! Missing you all from Madrid!

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