¡Viva España!

a semester abroad

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finally “home”

After about a week and half of living out of a suitcase, I’m back in Madrid!!! It was really cool traveling to different cities in Spain and I saw/ did a lot that I probably wouldn’t have done on my own… 

Granada was interesting. During the day there were so many people hustling and bustling about but at night it was absolutely dead which was a bummer for sure. I don’t understand where all the people went after it got dark. Granted, we were there on a Monday and Tuesday but even on Sunday night in Valencia, people were still out! Anyways, on our second day in Granada we went to visit the Alhambra and Generalife gardens… this place was absolutely amazing! It’s a military fortress turned royal palace, and it was breathtaking… especially the gardens! It was kind of hard to soak up and appreciate all of the beauty because it was so incredibly hot. I know I keep complaining about this, but it is a serious issue, we’re constantly on walking tours so I feel like I am constantly just frying in the sun. 

Generalife

After our tour, we were beat! After we returned to the hotel we showered and slept. Later that night we found a little restaurant that had a pretty good deal for dinner, 2 courses, a dessert, and drink all for 12euro! I got paella, calamares, y helado… vino to drink obviously! It was really yummy, their paella was definitely my favorite one so far! We all wanted to go do something after dinner because the next day we would be traveling to Sevilla. It literally took forevvverrrr to find something but we ran into a few other people from school and hit up a bar. There were some locals and some music, nothing too outrageous… After, some people wanted to hit up a club but some of my friends and I decided just to head back to the hotel, we were done with walking all over the place!

Our next stop was in Sevilla…. our first day there we had a short class that was held in a local park/museum and the rest of the day was “tiempo libre” so there was a lot of sleeping, some shopping and exploring. Later that night a professor showed us the way to a bar. When we got there, it was filled with locals watching a flamenco show and it was verrrry hot and muggy inside. It was a little different than we all had expected… I was a little disappointed that we couldn’t actually see the show (we sat in the back). I loveee flamenco, it’s so wonderfully passionate… Some people in our group met these other Americans and we all decided to follow them to some other bar/club. We were guided through a bunch of weird deserted alley ways and I thought to myself… “what a fabulous beginning to a horror film…” We finally arrived at this little plaza area where a bunch of young people (and a random group of cougars dressed in white and shades of coral/pink) were drinking. We made our way to a few different bars with cool deals (i.e. 2 euro for a shot and a beer, 1 euro shots, etc etc etc). That night ended up being a lot of fun but after some cops showed up to clear the alleys, we took a cab back to our hotel.

The next day we had tours and such… HOLY MAJEEZERS it was HOT! If you want to get a taste of hell, just stop by Sevilla… It was 41° C at one point, yikers. We toured a cathedral and some park, standard touristy attractions. At the cathedral we saw the tomb of Christopher Columbus and walked up a tower that had some saw some pretty cool views of the city 

Sevilla, Spain.

Our last night in Sevilla, I went with a couple friends to a bar across the street for a drink… they had pitchers of “tinto de verano” (me and Heather’s FAVORITE) for only 2euro. It was a really low key night but it was really nice just hanging out and chatting. 

Today we embarked for a quick trip to Córdoba. We visited the mosque there which was really unique because there was a cathedral built inside of it! During this past week and half during class/ our tours we are always discussing the rich mixture of 3 cultures: christianity, judaism, and muslim. The usual story is that Muslims were there first and then Christians take over, think they are better, and destroy everything to build their own stuff. This was different because instead of knocking down this breathtaking place of worship, the built another one inside so that the people of 2 religions worshiped in the same location just on different days. 

Inside the Mosque

Mosque

Cathedral inside of the Mosque.

After we left Córdoba it was another 5 or so hours back to Madrid. I cannot tell you enough how much I hate buses now… someone calculated how much time we spent traveling in them and in the past 9 days it’s been around 40 hours… yuck!

I am so happy to be back and finally get 2 free meals a day again, haha. The travel seminar was great though, it definitely bonded us all and now it’s kind of sad not being with everyone in the same building….

Otras cosas

1. I finally took a picture of our tiny elevator at our host mom’s house. Every 2 apartments shares an elevator, theyre soooo itty bitty!!!!

outside

inside

2. the people of andalucía (southern spain) are definitely the pretty ones… but they do dress kind of weird.

3. “boli” means ‘pen’ (normally I would say “pluma”… “boli” is short for “boligrafo”, thanks 8th grade spanish)

4. try to avoid traveling in large groups… locals will stare you down even though you aren’t doing anything… sort of weird.

¡Es todo!

Besos, 

Hil xox

Filed under granda sevilla cordoba spain travel europe madrid home generalife alhambra