Hola everybody! I have officially spent one week in Sevilla and I am having a blast so far. Since I’ve arrived, I’ve been going nonstop visiting cool sites, going to class and spending time with my host family but I’ve been loving every second of it! Here’s a recap of week one:
- I flew into Madrid from Charlotte and then Madrid to Sevilla over two days with some of my classmates. The flights were pretty uneventful, but the time change meant the flight attendants were waking us up for breakfast when we should have been going to sleep! Needless to say I got 45 minutes of sleep during my traveling.
- Once we made it to Sevilla, we met up with the rest of the program and got to explore a little bit in the city. I was so jet lagged but so happy to be there and look around!
- The next day, my roommate Audrey and I went to our host family’s apartment to meet them and get settled. Our host family is amazing! They are so sweet and patient with us, considering our Spanish-speaking abilities are nowhere close to theirs (and I was rusty after not taking a Spanish class since December).
- We ventured to Italica the first weekend, which is the site of a bunch of Roman ruins in Sevilla (and a recent filming location for Game of Thrones, so I’m told). Afterwards we went to la playa for a beach day, but unfortunately the weather was cold and rainy so we didn’t get much beach time. We redeemed the weekend later by finding a nice outdoor bar where some of us shared our first round of sangria!
- Sunday, July 1 was Spain’s match against Russia in the World Cup. Our group went to a bar to watch the game with the locals, and it did not disappoint! Even though they lost, it was great to experience it with them.
- Monday was the first day of class! We have two classes every weekday from 9:30-12:45. I’m taking a Spanish Business class where we’re learning all sorts of vocabulary and grammar that relate to business, and a Spanish for Professional and Community Engagement class where we’re learning all about business in the Spanish-speaking world.
- Most days after class, we take naps (siestas) in the middle of the day before or after lunch. They have quickly become an essential part of my day! During this time, everyone takes a nap to rest and avoid the heat, and businesses close as well. It has made me question why American culture doesn’t include this!
- This past week we’ve explored the neighborhood we live in which has a huge mall called El Nervión. It has lots of cool stores that are all having huge summer sales called “rebajas” right now. With no sales tax and discounted prices, I may have to make some room in my suitcase 🙂 We’ve also taken advantage of the heladerías (gelato shops) and the pool we are lucky to have in our apartment complex.
- A group of us also went to El Parque de María Luisa and La Plaza España which is this huge park and plaza with gorgeous trees and flowers and beautiful monuments that I could probably stare at all day. I’ve been there twice already and I’m sure I’ll be back before I leave!
- Friday morning we left for Córdoba, where we spent a few hours touring El Puente Romano and La Mezquita-Catedral, which was incredibly interesting. The mezquita was originally used for Muslim worship but was later converted to include a Catholic church that both had incredible architecture and design. We also got to walk around the town a little bit and explore which led to lots of picture taking and buying some souvenirs (I got a cool ring and earrings that were handmade in the typical jewelry style of Córdoba).
- We spent the rest of the weekend in Granada, which was awesome as well! We went to Albaicín, which gave us the opportunity to see the entire city from higher up which was absolutely breathtaking! Later in the day we toured a palace and its grounds called El Alhambra, which also allowed us to see the entire city from the top of a tower and see the beautiful architecture and landscape of Granada. This morning we went to La Capilla Real in the center (el centro) of the city. It’s a huge cathedral that also serves as a mausoleum for King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. Very cool! We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring downtown Granada, where we bought more souvenirs and had tapas and gelato.
- Other cool things to note:
- My Spanish is getting better! I was stumbling a lot when I first got here and still am somewhat, but having to speak it with my host family all the time and in Sevilla has really helped me start become more comfortable speaking it. Hopefully by the time I leave I’ll feel like this has vastly improved!
- The food so far has been GREAT! My host mom is a wonderful cook and has served us meals such as paella, several delicious casseroles with potatoes, pasta, vegetables and meat, and has introduced me to Spanish Nutella (which dare I say is better than the original) called Nocilla. Now I have it for breakfast on my toast! There are also these delicious cookies that have chocolate cream in the middle of two buttery cookies that I have become obsessed with and will be filling my suitcase with to take home in August. (My admiration for chocolate clearly has not changed since being abroad). They also eat a lot of bread, which is great because bread is also one of my favorite foods!
- While it may seem like all I’m doing is eating here in Spain, I’ve also been walking A LOT and so I believe the two balance each other out. 16,000 steps in one day calls for a few chocolate cream cookies!
- I’ve also learned some interesting tidbits about conversational Spanish language that I didn’t know before, and also how different things are here in general (like they typically don’t eat eggs for breakfast, sadly). They also sell crustless bread! I don’t know why this is so mesmerizing to me, but it is!
If you’ve made it to the end of this post and you’re still reading, wow! Thank you for being interested in my travels this summer. I have several fun things coming up in the next few weeks and will be sure to document them all here. I am loving my time in Sevilla so far and can’t wait to continue sharing it all with you!
Hasta luego! (See you later)