Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Finally, break!

Today is my first real day of our Holy Week (Semana Santa) break. We get about 11 days off, so Saturday I'm going to Budapest for a few days and then I'll go to Vienna probably via bus. I'm pretty excited! Yes, I'm traveling alone, but I think it will be nice. There are so many things I want to do and see that even if I don't meet anyone in hostels or along the way (highly doubtful) I'll be so busy I doubt I'll get lonely at any point. I'm going to try and go to the Opera in Vienna via the cheap "standing tickets" available hours before a show and see as many museums as my budget will allow!

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I've spent the last month budgeting for this trip. I think I did a pretty good job for only deciding where to go and buying tickets a month ago. My flight is roundtrip Madrid-Budapest, so I'll have to backtrack a bit from Vienna, but the plane tickets to and from Vienna were so expensive! I paid 150 euros for the roundtrip to and from Budapest. I'm staying in hostels the whole week, and the cheap prices in Budapest help make up for the pricey rates in Vienna: 12 euro a night in Hungary vs 26 in Austria!! I've also been trying to save money in general by not eating out so much or shopping. I think I did pretty well on that front.

Unfortunately, many of my private classes canceled on me this month so I lost a lot of money. This week I lost 80 euro due to class cancellations! I can only say I'm lucky that this isn't a normal occurrence. And thankfully I did add a few more hours of classes this month to make more money, so in the end it probably evened out.

But for the here and now, since most of my friends have already left town I'm busying myself watching Valladolid's Holy Week celebrations. Easter is a huge deal here, and all week there have been processions around town. These are basically somber parades with people dressed in robes with point hoods carrying a large, incredibly ornate "float" with Jesus or Mary on top.

Many of the processions have been canceled this week because it's been raining nonstop here. Today, Jueves Santo, is one of the busiest days of the week. In the newspaper there were about 9 processions listed, some starting after midnight! I went to one this morning that was really neat. There was even a choir that sang in various plazas along the procession route.

Singing to the Virgin
Waiting for a procession to start. Excuse the paleness.

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