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The infernal heat of Spain

July 10, 2009

Ok, I know I shouldn’t complain about too much sunshine after whining about our pathetic, cold Finnish summer. After all, I come from a country that some people think inhabits penguins and polar bears among us so some Mediterranean heat should be just what I need. WRONG. +40C  (104F) is just too much, especially when it’s accompanied with continuous burning sun without any clouds nor rain.

When we arrived to the airport our landlord was there to pick us with her car. Despite the language barrier we got along well and she took us to the apartment. Only that it was NOT the apartment I had seen in the pictures on the website, but since it was in good condition and seemed to have all the things promised we didn’t complain. And of course we are Finnish and can’t complain about anything because we are taught that is rude, so we tend to suffer in silence. It also turned out that the “air conditioning” consisted of one electric fan. One fan. In the whole apartment.

Our Andalucian home

Our Andalucian home

The town, Jerez de la Frontera, was very beautiful, old and not too touristic, with about 190 000 inhabitants. That also meant that English wasn’t spoken in most of the places and even if the people understood it they answered in Spanish. But we got along thanks to the dictionary and sign language 🙂 The Spanish people were like the total opposites of Finns; loud, social and spontaneous. And southern European traffic is a chapter to itself…

Fountain near our apartment (there were fountains everywhere)

Fountain near our apartment (there were fountains everywhere)

Sceneries of the town

Sceneries of the town

Since we had rented an apartment we did a lot of cooking by ourselves and only ate out a couple of times. The local cuisine consists mostly of fish and seafood since the town is located near the coastline, but we did some fish dishes also by ourselves. The food in the supermarkets was much cheaper than in Finland.

My huge pizza with shrimps (this one I had in Sevilla)

My huge pizza with shrimps (this one I had in Sevilla)

DH cooking

DH cooking

..And the final outcome, very yammy although the fries burned a little in the oven

..And the final outcome, very yammy although the fries burned a little in the oven

The weather didn’t cool off even during the nights. You could easily walk at night with the same summer clothes on you had during the day. I had to sleep with the fan turned to maximum and still was sweating like a pig. Also all the shops were closed during siesta at 2PM to 18PM because it was just too hot to be out at the afternoon hours, so we usually spent that time napping. You couldn’t really watch the telly because everything was in Spanish, even the American tv-shows. I can’t understand the European countries who dub all programs; people will never hear the real voices of the actors. But it’s kinda funny to watch Simpsons or Buffy the vampire slayer talking in Spanish 🙂

We visited the local zoo, which was great. I saw a lot of animals I’ve never seen live before, Helsinki zoo sucks and we don’t have any exciting animals here. Like the hippos!

Despite their gentle looks these guys kill a lot of people in Africa every year

Despite their gentle looks these guys kill a lot of people in Africa every year

One evening we went to see a flamenco show at a restuarant and planned to have dinner before that. The food was awful and we had maybe the laziest waiter ever and there was a huge cockroach running around the tables but the show was awesome. There were only 3 American tourists with us as the audience but the dancers gave us a very intensive performance.

The performers on stage

The performers on stage

Flamenco dancer

Flamenco dancer

Alley in the evening

Alley in the evening

We also visited Cadiz which was a small town in the coast an hour’s train trip away. It is said to be one of Europe’s oldest towns. We went to the beach there, but it was again so hot we could only stay for an hour (in the shadow). The sand was so burning hot you couldn’t stand on it without shoes on. But we got to swim in the Atlantic 🙂

A local cathedral and market place

A local cathedral and market place

Me in the local street

Me in the local street

The beach in Cadiz

The beach in Cadiz

We also visited Sevilla one day and it was filled with tourists. And it was also burning hot there so we only stayed a few hours before returning back with the blissful, airconditioned bus. The last days we spent mainly on shopping for things to bring to our relatives and ourselves. I bought a very pretty dress for only 10 euros and a few shirts from the sales I hope to wear even later during this pregnancy. Jeans would have been really cheap too but since I’m now starting to develop something you could maybe call a belly I thought it wasn’t a good idea to buy them. There would have been also a lot of baby clothes shops, but since the spaniards seem to prefer dressing their children in ruffles in either blue or pink we didn’t buy anything since we don’t know the sex and are not going to find out before birth.

Spain didn’t fall into my top 5 countries I’ve visited but it was mainly because of the heat. You couldn’t really enjoy yourself when you were constantly sweating. I think spring or autumn would be much nicer times to visit the country, but since the tickets we won had to be used in July we didn’t really have any other option.

When we arrived home (to the heavenly rain and coldness!) there were two letters waiting for me. Another had some really shitty news in it;  I’m not entitled to any unemployement benefits during the time I have done any freelancer work. That sucks so much. I have no money at the moment and had very little work during the spring. I’ve already applied for some work places but who’s gonna hirea a preggo woman? Another had better news in it; it was about the blood test they did with the NT-scan and the results came back with a very minor risk for the trisomy.

Nausea has vanished almost entirely. My face looks still like a pizza but not as bad as a couple of weeks ago. My boobs have grown bigger, I think that’s the symptom DH is loving the most… I get terrible heart burn attacks that almost paralyze me and my belly swells after eating anything. And I’m still shit scared every other second that is the baby still alive or not. I’m 13w2days today.

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3 comments

  1. eeeeeeeeeeeek!! HIPPOS!! I LOVE HIPPOS!!! 😀
    looks like fun!


  2. sorry it’s so hot.

    Beautiful pics as always.

    xoxo


  3. I love the pics. 🙂



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