Sunday, October 3, 2010

Exploring Murcia

Murcia is located in southeastern Spain. For a city, it's rather small. (For me on the other hand, rather large.) I believe the population is around 400,o00. The Murcia I'm refering to is the city, although Murica is also the provence too (population near 1 million). I live in La Flota, which is one of the smaller barrios, or neighborhoods, t
hat surround the city center. On foot it takes me around 20 minutes to reach El Centro. Murcia is big enough to have a public transportation system in the form of buses. Buses and trains (and of course taxis, but are more expensive) connect Murcia to surrounding cities. Murcia does have its own airport but it is smaller and less beneficial. To get to Murcia, I had to fly into Alicante Airport, which is a neighboring city.

One thing I absolutely love about Spanish cities are the Plazas. I don't remember which plaza this is exactly. Usually in a plazas you find many people. There are benches where people can meet and chat, little restaurants with patios so people can sit outside, or you might find an heladera, or ice cream shop. The Spanish say that there is no reason that you can't find 15 minutes in a day to sit down, visit, and have a glass of wine with friends.

The University of MurciaThe University of Murcia has two campuses: one located in the city center and the other located in the outskirts in a neighborhood called Espinardo.

This is a picture of the Facultad de Derecho, or Law School, in the city ce
nter. I think its very European, as you can see this is a picture of the inside. It is typical Spanish architecture to build openings, or patios, inside buildings. I don't attend this school, I wish I did. The Espinardo campus is much newer (less than 20 years old, I believe), and thus pretty modern. I don't have any pictures of it. Most of the majors studied are located on the Espinardo campus. And its about 5 miles from the city so you have to take the bus.

TIP: Paying for the bus each time can get pretty expensive if you have to take it regularly. Plus, it's a hassle worrying if your always going to have change or not. Our buses don't usually except bills higher than a 5. So check and see if your city offers bus cards. I bought a card where I pay 15 euros for 33 trips.

The Beach
Murcia is located about 30 to 45 minutes from the beach, or well lots of beaches. Mar Menor is like a little private lagoon, or well thats the only way I know how to describe it. You'll have to look on a map to understand. I went two weekends ago, I believe it was my 3rd weekend in Spain, to Lo Pa
gan, with 2 American girls and 4 English girls. It was a smaller beach, mostly locals, and mostly older locals. The beaches here are seminude, which means going topless is an option. Although not many people do, and those usually shouldn't. :) The water was very chilly, but it was crystal clear. Apparently, it's normal to see jellyfish and sea slugs swimming around with you... well, hey, I guess it's better that you can see them.

TIP: You're going to the beach. Don't forget your towel or sunscreen. Let just say I now have a Hannah Montanah towel because it was either that or Digimon. And after one day at the beach, I felt like a lobster, and my tan lines are worse now than they were all summer.


Tapa is one of the first words that come to mind when someone mentions Spain. (The top 3 are: tapas, bull fighting, and siestas. Out of those siesta is my favorite and tapas comes in close
second. Tapas are similar to appetisers. At a restaurant, or bar de tapas, usually you order appetisers and everyone shares. I've found that if you have 7 people, you usually order 6 or 7 tapas. Trust me, when ordering tapas use your dictionary or translator. Just because it sounds pretty in Spanish doesn't mean it does in English. Also, there is no such thing as spliting checks here. When among friends, you split everything. So when you eat tapas, you get the check, you split it 7 ways (for above 7 people example), no matter who ate or drank what. The picture to the side is Zarangollo (eggs with zucchini). On the side are two different types of sausage. Both were rather yummy.

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