Just like that, I’m back in Charlotte after six amazing (and quick) weeks in Europe, and all I can say is Wow! We definitely tried to make the most out of our last week in Sevilla, and then I had a wonderful few days in Holland and the U.K.! Here are some highlights:
- Monday I got to meet up with one of my friends in my sorority who was studying in Salamanca, Spain this summer. She was visiting Sevilla with her family and it was so cool to see her and compare study abroad stories.
- Tuesday was the first day of the week where the temperature hit above 100 degrees (and would stay that way for the rest of the week). The temperatures during the week varied from 105-110 degrees at some points for the last few days that we were there, which meant a lot of staying inside and the occasional gelato to cool down!
- Wednesday was the last day of class! It went by so fast, but both of my classes this summer were very interesting to me and helpful with practicing my Spanish! The exams went very well also and overall, my classes were successful and enjoyable.
- Thursday we had our first exam, but after that a group of us went to this incredible cereal restaurant called Crunch Cereal Cafe. It’s an awesome cafe that has a ton of specialty and regular cereals, over 30 kinds of milk and other sweet treats. I got Cinnabon cereal with blue milk and it was delicious! I wish we would have found it earlier in the summer, because I would have definitely been a regular visitor!
- Thursday I also visited a super cool mural that had the phrase “Sevilla Tu Casa” painted on it, which means “Sevilla is your home” which was really appropriate for how much I’ve grown to love Sevilla these past few weeks as a second home! Pictures were taken, of course. My roommate and I also went out to dinner with our host family to celebrate our last few days together and we had yummy tapas!
- Friday was our second and final exam and our group goodbye dinner! They took us to a restaurant called Bar Pelayo and the food was amazing! It was nice to have dinner as a group one more time and be able to say goodbye to everyone. We all somehow kept forgetting that we go to the same school, so we’ll all be able to hang out in the fall! After dinner some of us went to a rooftop bar that had an awesome view of La Giralda and the Sevilla cathedral. We also had to say goodbye to our host family, which was really hard.
- Saturday I got up at 5:30 AM and took a train to Madrid, and flew out of there into Amsterdam where my family was waiting for me! My cousins picked me up from the airport and I got to spend the rest of the weekend with them! We had a delicious barbecue Saturday night and a nice walk around West-Graftdijk where they live. Sunday we went into Alkmaar for a boat ride on the canals around the town, a nice lunch and a climb up to the top of St. Laurence Cathedral. The view was so beautiful, we could see the entire town and surrounding towns as well! We also got to see a mural inside the cathedral that depicted the Final Judgment scene from the Bible. The visit was short but very sweet, and I feel so lucky that I got to see them for a weekend because it’s rare!
- Monday I flew to London and met up with my friend Dan! Dan studied at UNC this past year as part of an exchange program and quickly became one of my close friends. He was my official tour guide for this trip and he definitely didn’t disappoint. The first day we only had a few hours left in the day, but we visited Kings Cross (the Harry Potter geek in me was very happy), Tower of London, London Bridge and the Shard. We also walked along the Thames River and saw a lot of the city by doing that.
- Tuesday was the day for our official “See All of London in a Day” which wasn’t an understatement! We got an early start and ended up visiting Borough Market, Shakespeare’s Globe, Millennium Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye, Big Ben and Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus, Chinatown, M&M World London, Oxford Circus, Hyde Park and Kensington Palace! (I got tired from just writing that all out.) I also had fish and chips for lunch (authentic British cuisine) and tried Nando’s, a delicious chicken restaurant that is super popular in the U.K. We finished off the day with gelato and then I checked my step count for the day: I had walked over 32,000 steps and 14.9 miles! The best part was that the day flew by and we didn’t even notice we were walking that much because we got to see so many cool places. Touring a city in one day is definitely an interesting thing to say I’ve done, and it was so worth it! Dan was a wonderful tour guide and it was so good to see him for a few days.
- Wednesday I made the long journey home! I will miss Europe so much but it felt so great to hug my parents, see my dog and sleep in my own bed. Now I only have one week left of summer vacation before I go back to school for my junior year! (Crazy)
Here are some photo highlights from the last little bit of my time in Europe (fun fact: I took over 2,000 pictures during my trip!):
I can’t believe my time abroad is over already. It went by so fast but was truly one of the best experiences of my life! I tried new foods, became more independent, explored new places, made new friends, learned a lot and existed outside of my comfort zone. Studying abroad is something I would recommend to everyone and I cannot thank my parents enough for making this possible for me!
Also, a special thanks to everyone who has kept up with me these past few weeks by checking in with me, liking my posts or reading my blog! I really appreciate it 🙂 More blog posts to come about upcoming events and thoughts in my life, but for now: