jueves, 6 de agosto de 2009

Bye, bye Cheltenham...


Cheltenham Spa. When all the spanish people read the second word, we supposed that our town would be a marvellous resort with large pools, turkish bath, saunas and we could enjoy this facilities every afternoon after the course was finished. All of us were very disappointed becuase the noun "Spa" referred in that case a kind of stillwater very known and appreciated here in the last century.

Nevertheless, Cheltenham has been a city with enough life and resources for wasting two weeks. Pubs, Karaoke, restaurants, gardens and parks for running, bookshops, shopping in general took up our scarce free-time. Very closed to Glouscester (Glosta, like Brits said), it has been very interesting because larger than Chet allowed us to go there to visit historical centre or enjoy its summer activities.

Up to 100.000 inhabitants, Chet grew up as a city in the XVIIIth when someone discovered the healthy benefits of its stinking water. Sulfurose waters pumped up easy even any effort and people of the upper classes in that time got into drinking water for avoiding reumatical diseasses.
In the Victorian age, on nineteenth century, that habit encreased a lot. For that reason, the whole of the historical buildings of the city were built up at that moment. Large rows of semidetached houses, all equal in form and poor decoration, badly constructed with raw matherial like bricks or iron filled the historical centre. There aren't any important church, governmental building or abbey that put the city on the maps. All its magnificence remained in the water. Pumps and taps in every corner of the city.

In middle twentieth century, the city changed its pattern of development. Many officers and soldiers decided to end their lives in a quiet and good-weather city. Although seems to be incredible because every day in my time there was raining, pensioner in England thought that Chet would be a fantastic place. Populations increased by a large number of retired workers who followed the same path as officers did.

Today, Chet belongs to the University of Glouscester and Exeter and a part of their campus are very closed to the city. Moreover, surrounding the city, there are a large number of industrial and tertiary activities like, ie., a RAF-OTAN air base, a very important mobile phones relay aerial for the southwest of England and Wales and the built up of a hydraulic-retractable landing gear of Airbus aircrafts.

I could never forget this experience. My first attemp to live alone and completly in English in England. I'll try to repeat it next year. Yeah!!


martes, 4 de agosto de 2009

Deeper than I could imagine...


My last day in England was really... at Wales...!!!

Never mind. It was a fantastic and delighted experience. Wales' landscapes looks like Galicia or El Bierzo: green but not so much, mountainous but not so high, poor because we compare with inner England...Nevertheless, this is a nice country with a language so much incomprehensible than Vasque but people are very kind and proud of their heritance and habits...

Our visit to Wales was due to a tour on ( in or even over or into...) a deserted mine changed now into a National Museum of Wales Mining. In a terrible and hard landscape, on the top of a hill, surrounded by other no-life hills and crossed by grey clouds on a windy weather, the Blaenavon Mine is a extrange place. Nowadays, the rude miners are kindly guides and you can visit all dependences and buildings absolutly free.

The most impressive sight should be the inner mine. Yes, we were dropped into the mine using the real lift and we had to wear clothes and helmets with light as the real miners did. I think we went down more or lees 60 meters. The tunnels and galleries are more narrow than I can believe. To avoid problems with the methane gas, each few meters there are doors closing the galleries. That doors in the eighteenth century were looked after by childreen -age 6-7 years old- on complete darkness and alone. Well, the rats tried to bite him because they had food. What terrible suffering!!!.

Humidity, low temperatures and no sounds at all make mines like a grave. Our guide asked for us to switch off our lights and reminded in a complete darkness. Incredible.
Later on, we visit a tunnel in which no loger days the miners took coal off the ground. Heavy machines, continous conveyor belts, smelting charcoal dust on a high noise enviroment. Now, I can understand why miners were proud of themselves as workers and they led the trade unions movement against capitalism and industrial owners, even in the last century. Only a powerful state with a conservative government, led by Margaret Thatcher were able to end that movement and the mines too.

Today, South wales -of course not Cardiff as a large and rich city- remains as the poorest country or region by PIB of all Britain.

lunes, 27 de julio de 2009

Weekend: living in a bus

I'm so sorry about this rarely apperances on my blog. I can't write as much as I want because I haven't internet at home. Well, really my family have but I can't use it.

Ok, so on...

We are a large group of eighteen teachers who are involved in a marvellous course about CLIL system of learning and teaching languages. I'm very happy. I took the correct decision when I decided to came here, to Cheltenham.

It is not only a course in which I can surely improve my english but English teachers are offering me a large ammount of activities, exercises and tasks, very interesting and clearley useful for our classes. On the other way, I have known a outsatanding group of person who are very kindly and friendly with me. It's likely to make me easy to be here for a couple of weeks.

Looking to the last comment, it seems to be every day on a party. That's completely wrong. We are working every day from 9.00 o'clock to 16.30. English teachers work very hardly and smash us as much as possible. I was afraid of not being commesurate because I noticed my conversational english was not as good as I believed. Quickly its believes and feelings dissapeared so that the other spanish and foreigners guys always tried to help me when I got in troubles.

Ok. And tourism, what's going on?

Yes, of course I did and I hope I'll do. That's the reason for the main title I put on the blog entrance "Weekend: living in a bus". I went day before yesterday to Gloucester and to Tewkesbury abbey. Although the abbey remained to me interesting, Gloucester cathedral was impressive. I can't explain in English all the feelings that a teacher of Art History had when I was inside the building. Never has been in a English medieval cathedral. Outstanding, out of the normal sense. The mixture of normand romanesque style with the perpendicular gothic one create a very marvellous effect. If anybody are or will be in England try to visit Lincoln, Gloucester, York... to look at this shine places.

The cimborrio o the main tower of Gloucester Cathedral

Raquel, Fina, Sonia y Ana before coming inside

The Cloister of the Cathedral

Yesterday, we went to Oxford. What damage has done Harry Potter's film for visiting this city in a quite sense!. Every college which got involved in the film was taken like a castle by a large number of crying and bad-mannered childreen, making large ang huge queques only to see a small piece of the whole college. Nevertheless, the city is marvellous, much more than the medium averange of the British cities. I recommend you sincerely if you have decided to come here.

Ok. See you soon.

Be careful in our destinations!


sábado, 18 de julio de 2009

PALE parties? Don't make me laugh!


Yesterday I spent my first day in London. On the morning, I was visiting the central London Authority Buildings, built by Sir Norman Foster. Absolutely marvellous!. I spent a lot of time seeing them all over points of view.

After that, I went to the Borough market, a delicious place which was recommended by my sister-in-law, Mary. Look at the pictures I'd left on this post. Colours, meals all over England and also the world, people trying to sale, crying and speaking loudly looking forward the attention of the pedestrians, marvellous well-cocked English pies, delicious turkish candies, ...What a fantastic experience walking on it!

But just I was going to visit the National Gallery, Mary called me and tell me that her english course comrades invited me to make a party. How could I deny such matter!!. I am used to making parties with PALE's people and I thought to myself: "Uf, what a boring plan, I didn't know anybody !!"


An absolutely crazy party at home of Mary's (my sister-in-law) kindly friends from Poland. Two italians female, an arabian saudi friend, three marvellous polish, a funny japanese who learnt us how could be said in japanese "bastard", a lovely italian male, a terrible but kindly and pretty mexicanian woman and, of course, both Mary and me. Beer, Vodka and sausages from Poland, heavy and tecno music, smoking a lot. From 8.00 pm to 2.00 am. Dereck, Marta's polish husband, was very surprise of my ability to drink wodka with only ice!!!. I enjoyed very much, people were very nice and kind with me although it was the first time they met to me!!!. Moreover, I spoke a lot in English because although there were italian and spanish people, all of them ever spoke in English for courtesy with other foreign people.

What could I ask for the first day in England???

viernes, 17 de julio de 2009

On board.

Ja,ja, ja...just on board.

That's incredible. I have just started my trip to England. I have taken my flight from Vigo because I was enjoying my holidays there. I can't take a direct flight and so that I had to flight first to Madrid.

There is no adjetive that could describe the new airport terminal of Madrid. Enormous, magnificent, functional, marvellous...what I said: no adjetive describes it. The T4 was built by Richard Rogers, famous british architect and was opened on 2004.

Nevertheless how little and poor seemed Heathrow T3 to me when I arrived yesterday. Brits are building two new terminals to connect with this one. At least, it will be a great architectural airport -of course, Heathrow is actually the most import european airpor for number of flights and passangers-.

I am living at brother in law's home in London. North Kensington, closed to Portobello and Landbroke Grove. It's no central London but I think it's a good destination to visit the city. Yesterday night was raining so hard that we could make anything interesting. Well, we visited Little Venice, a big channel used in the XiXth to transport raw matherials and manufactured ones to the north of the city. Beautiful. After this, we went to a thypical london pub near home to drink a couple of pints. Talking about work, life and love. Interesting a lot.

Today, I will visit the London Central Authority, also called City hall , built by Sir Norman Foster and closed to it the beautiful Borough market. By the afternoon, I'll try to go to the National Gallery. This is the only museum remainds me to visit in the city.

That's all folks by now, guys!!!

miércoles, 15 de julio de 2009

Alea iacta est !

In Spanish:

Me voy mañana. Impresionante. Tras meses de espera, ya estoy en marcha. Deseadme suerte. Mañana si tengo tiempo escribiré desde Londres. Cheltenham, allá voy.


lunes, 6 de julio de 2009


The Ten Commandments for the PALE's tripper:

1. Pick two suitcases up to travel because we'll need it for carrying all the things we'll buy in two weeks. One for our clothes and possesions, the other one for gifts and nonsenses.

2. Change money always in an amount quite upper than you thought before planning the trip. Where we put ten hundred you should have put two hundred. Don´t forget that chage rates in anglosaxon countries seems to be a rip-off.

3. PALE expects that every pale male and female will do with his/her duty. In fact, we are going to work and study, aren't we?

4. Remember we all leave down wife, boy/girlfriend, couple or something like that in Spain. Everybody knows that Pale people are smart, pretty, marvellous, handsome/attractive, by the way, irresistible. Forget it would be a problem when we'll turn back home.

5. Don't show we are more prepared than the european averange in our jobs. Please, weight up the enviroment and if we have to wear as slow and clumsy guys, do it.

6. Don't meet with other Spanish people. Well, you may only if he is 180 cms tall and muscular or she is 90 round the bust and 60 round the waist.

7. Speak a lot. Don't worry about pronunciation or grammar, English/US people never try to understand us.

8. Be careful with using usually "speaking in silver". Sometimes, English language is much difficult than we suppose it would be.

9. Make a lot of things, don´t reject any activity they promove during the course weeks. Over our hands fall on the myth of the daily Spanish bingue. We can't disappoint so much people.

10. Don't forget to the other Pale comrades: send an e-mail or and sms to tell them battles and stories about your experiences.