Grant Gussman ´09 - Well, tonight´s going to be crazy. If you´ve been following these entries, you probably remember that the EuroCup (international soccer tournament) has been going on all month. Well, when I arrived in Spain, everyone was talking about it. Not being a soccer fan myself…especially in another continent… I asked around about Spain´s chances. And EVERYONE told me Spain had zero chance to win. Most people I talked to told me Spain probably wouldn´t even win a match in the preliminary rounds. Well… Spain went undefeated in those prelims. Only one other nation (Holland) matched that feat. After winning their group, Spain advanced, as one of the 8 best teams, to the single-elimination part of the tournament. In the first round, they had to play Italy. Italy, I learned, had been the defending world champions after winning the World Cup in 2006. Spain won. Then we had a rematch against Russia, who we played in the prelims. Spain won again. Now España is a perfect 5-0 in the tournament, and is one of only two teams still alive. So TONIGHT is the EuroCup final between Spain and Germany, and it´s already hard to walk through the streets without tripping over someone. There are people getting seats outside of bars and restaurants, and everywhere you look is a Spanish flag. I´m going to take some pictures tonight and try to have them up soon.
Until then, picture the most jam-packed, sold-out, insane sporting event you´ve ever seen. Now multiply it times 10, and paint it red and gold (national colors).
Speaking of pictures, I FINALLY have some to put up! I took myself on a sightseeing tour today, and here are some of the highlights:
This is the general hospital near the center of town. The backlight makes it difficult to see, but it´s an amazing place.
Here´s a shot of the Río Tormes, the river that runs all along the southern edge of the city.
This is a shot of the Santa Basilica Cathedral. There´s an old cathedral attached to a newer one, and this is the newer part. You can tour the Ieronimus, as it´s called.
A shot from high atop one of the church towers, overlooking the city.
From an enormous patio/landing in the middle of the cathedral, looking up at the highest towers. We actually studied the architecture here in my Spanish Culture class.
That´s all for now, but for anyone reading this who is my friend on Facebook, I uploaded all the pictures I took today into 2 new albums.