Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Extremadura - Guadalupe

2/4/11 to 3/4/11

When we arrived in Guadalupe our bus was already at our hotel with our luggage.  The hotel we stayed at was a ‘lodge’ connected to a monastery that was built in the 14th century.  The building was a labyrinth of hallways and courtyards and all of our rooms had spectacular views of the town, countryside, or cathedral.  The dinner in the hotel, however, was not up to par with our surroundings.  We knew that we shouldn’t complain about included meals from API, but up until now everything had always been delicious.  While the food wasn’t terrible, it wasn’t anything special from the region, dessert consisted of canned fruit cocktail in a fancy dish, and the service was definitely lacking.

Cathedral in Guadalupe

View from one of our hotel rooms.
Courtyard in the hotel.

City of Guadalupe.

We had heard from the API group at the other university in Sevilla who went on the same excursion the week before that there was a fun karaoke bar near the hotel, so after dinner we had to go investigate.  Unfortunately, the previous group had been in Guadalupe on a Friday night and we were there on Saturday and there was no karaoke on Saturdays.  But the night was not lost. Kepa and a few of his friends decided to join us at the bar and a couple of them along with a few Spanish girls from Guadalupe taught us some flamenco and salsa moves.  We also got Kepa out on the dance floor! The establishment was a mix of discoteca with lights and music but was also playing the Barcelona soccer game.  We were all shocked to see a family with kids who looked to be about 4 years old walk into the bar around 11:30.  I found it quite comical how the dad was getting his groove on and trying to persuade his kids to do the same while they just sat on the couches trying not to fall asleep.

Before leaving Guadalupe the next morning we took a tour of the monastery.  It initially belonged to the Jeronimo order of monks but is now a Franciscan monastery.  At the end of the tour we were taken to a room behind the altar of the church where the statue of the Virgen de Guadalupe is visible to the public.  The statue of the Virgen de Guadalupe is black and many people make pilgrimages to Guadalupe to see her.

La Virgen de Guadalupe.

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