I am back in Spain for another year. I will continue to do updates like I did all last year.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Fiesta de La Virgen de Pilar

This past Saturday marked the start of the fiesta and I wrote a little about that but today, Tuesday was the main event. The history of the Virgin is that she appeared on a pillar to St. James who was sleeping on the banks of the Ebro River in 40 AD. Little known fact is that this is the first church dedicated to the Virgin Mary and Pope John Paul II has visited the basillica twice and named La Virgen de Pilar the mother of all Hispanic people since her feast day coincides with El Dia de La Raza or Columbus Day.  Today's festivities were marked by traditional dress of the Spanish people as well as the many people from Latin America, Central America and South America who came to pay tribute to La Virgen.  Here is a picture of the Basillica from the river (more pictres are to come):

This is the view of the basillica from the bridge going over the river.
The celebration lasts 9 days.  Today, Sunday there is a huge finale with fireworks and other typical celebratory events.

I started this blog last weekend but did not publish it because I do not have internet at my apartment.  I share my apartment with two teachers from the high school.  They are very nice and cooked for me the first two days I was there.  I went to school on Wednesday as usual and then went and unpacked all of my items from my huge suitcases.  Thursday, I went shopping for hangers and food and other items that I realized I forgot to pack. 

On Friday we had our first meeting (this is where I am supposed to tell interesting phrases or idioms common in English to the teachers).  They are all very nice and I feel that I am useless to them because their levels are so high.  But, I found some interesting topics to talk about that they did not know, but for the future I must do research!  If my readers have any idioms or phrases that are funny/helpful/interesting please post them in the comments section for my next meeting.  After the meeting my tutor, who is the director of the department offered to take me into Zaragoza to help me find some winter apparel since it is already extremely cold here.  We went to her house which was so beautiful with a style that we lack in the United States.  I love the apartments here because they use bright colors for the walls and they have many interesting pieces of artwork.  All of the apartments I have been to have been interesting to look at, unlike at home where everything is a shade of beige, tope or off-white!  Okay, back to my story....her home was lovely and her family were so nice to me.  I feel like I am a bother most of the time, but they all say what a joy it is that I am here.  On Friday night, we went walking in the city center and ate a delicious dinner.  The sights at night are so beautiful because they are all lit up with different colors etc.  With better internet I will post more impressive pictures.
On Saturday another teacher who lives in Zaragoza came to eat the delicious lunch at her house.  The three of us then went to watch a movie in Spanish which was good for my practice.  It was getting close to 8:30 (the last bus) so we went rushing to the station only to see the bus drive away.  Armen was so nice and we went to a birthday party for one of his friends where we ate tapas and I practiced my Spanish listening skills even more.  Today, we went and got breakfast and sightseeing materials in the Plaza de Pilar and later went to the famous Arab castle, but the name escapes me now.
Overall, I am having a great time and the teachers from the school are helping me so that I do not feel lonely.  They are really going out of their way for me.  I have been insisting that they come to stay with me in New Jersey very soon so I can reciprocate their kindness.

1 comment:

  1. This website has over 3,000 English idiomatic expressions - http://www.usingenglish.com/reference/idioms/

    I hope you can get some internet time to look at it.