Well, because it’s just too early to start studying for the final, and I did very well on the midterm, it’s time to party. Which we did at an Italian restaurant on Friday with 7 pitchers of sangría.
Over the weekend, the whole program bussed to Córdoba and Sevilla, two cities with some of the richest histories and highest temperatures in Spain. Let’s just say the bus rides were only mildly enjoyable.
On Saturday, we visited the Mezquita of Córdoba, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since ancient times, this building has been used and repurposed many times over the years, depending on who was in power, to serve as a mosque and cathedral, sometimes at the same time. The architecture is a blend of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque styles, not quite matching but still blending together to create a beautiful picture. For many years, there was a university within this building, where Muslims, Christians, Jews, women, and children were welcome to study and learn. A prime example demonstrating how people of different religions, backgrounds, and beliefs can coexist peacefully together. It’s very possible, so I’m really not sure why it’s not happening today. You’d think we would have figured it out by now.
Sunday was, for lack of a better term, a perfect day. We started off by visiting the Real Alcázar de Sevilla, also known as Dorne for my Game of Thrones fans out there. Needless to say, Jason, Adelmar, and I were freaking out.
After our quick fangirl moment, the gang headed to Gusto Sevilla, a restaurant deserving of its own paragraph on this post. We munched on Sevillan wine, vegetarian paella, chickpea meatballs with curry sauce, fresh burrata, seasonal vegetables with vegan aioli, and fresh tuna wrapped in seaweed tempura with wasabi mayonnaise. Don’t you worry, we’ve all been going to the gym.
In the afternoon, we went to our last class tour of a cathedral. I really think I’ve been in more cathedrals during this trip alone than in all of my 19 years of living. Regardless, the Catedral de Sevilla, which is the largest Gothic Style Cathedral in the world, is stunning. I even did the Sign of the Cross with some Holy Water when I walked in. I’m sure my grandmothers – who read this blog religiously – will be very proud.
Before getting on the bus, we took a quick taxi to the Plaza de España, which is a semi-circular brick building in Maria Luisa Park with a small canal following the curve of the structure. In this canal, tourists, like ourselves, can rent small rowboats. Which we did. It’s been a long time since I laughed that hard for that long.
This week, we’re back in class before another three day weekend, during which we’ll be taking a trip to Málaga. Recently, a few locals have told me that my conversational Spanish isn’t horrible. I’m not sure if they were just being nice, but maybe I should just never come home after all. I’ll keep you updated.