Friday, October 8, 2010


I know I haven't blogged in a LONG time but I have been out of town! This past Tuesday we headed off on a school trip to a region of Spain called Adalucía which included Cordoba, Sevilla, and Granada. We left Madrid early on Tuesday morning at 8:30 and headed on our bus to Cordoba first on a 5 hour bus ride. Most of us slept along the way since we left so early and I played a little solitaire on my phone to pass the time. We arrived in Cordoba about 2:30pm and it was hot hot hot. Coming from Madrid where it has been in the 50s we were a little shocked. We had a little free time at first so we went andhad some helado since we had already eaten lunch in the bus. Cordoba was so pretty and I remembered some of it from when I went with my parents when I was younger, however, it was snowing then! We visited the Mezquita (mosque)/Cathedral. It was converted into a cathedral after the moors were kicked out so it was really interesting to see the differing architectures inside the one building. I loved the architecture because I studied a lot of it in an art history class my freshman year. Outside there is a gorgeous lemon tree garden with waterways where they used to wash their feet. I got in trouble with the guard when I picked one of the lemons haha opps!Here is a picture of Cordoba from across the river and then architecture inside the Mezquita:

After about four hours in Cordoba we hopped back in the bus and headed for Sevilla! We arrived around 7:30pm and I was feeling pretty car sick when we got there. Luckily, we stayed in a four star hotel which was really nice. We had the rest of the day off so we lounged around the hotel and got ready to go out. We ended up in a plaza where everyone "botellons" which means they buy bottles of wine or liquor and drink outside. I love the Spanish life. We ended up meeting about six guys from Wake Forest who were studying there and they showed us around. At one bar we got a playing card and you had to find your match and got a free drink and hat! They also had free sangria until midnight so we took advantage of that as well!
We woke up the next morning a little hun g over but ready to see Sevilla! We first headed to the Alcazar which had a really pretty garden and moorish and arabic details on the inside. We then headed to the gorgeous cathedral in the center of the city. It is the second biggest in the world after the Vatican. We all hiked up to the top of the tower (31 floors) to see the view. I have to say it was a little disappointing because it was hard to see over the fence they have up there so you don't fall off but it was a nice work out going all the way up and all the way down.
We were treated to a big lunch by the program at a nice restaurant by our hotel. We ate so much that we all went back to the hotel afterwards and took a long food coma. We woke up just in time to get ready and go to a Flamenco show that night! I loved it! It was in a really private setting and there were only about 50 people in the audience so it was a really cool experience. It lasted about an hour and then we all grabbed dinner and walked around before heading in to the hotel for an early night.

We had to wake up the next morning and be packed and ready to go by 8:50am. We all jumped back on the bus to head to Granada, our last stop. By now it's Thursday if you are following along. The bus ride there was another four hours so we slept and watched "It's Complicated" with Meryl Streep, one of my favorite movies. The time flew by pretty fast because we were in Granada around 3:30. After checking in to another four star hotel, we headed out to explore and find some lunch. I definitely think Granada is one of my favorite cities in Spain. It has the prettiest views and the streets are small and its easy to get lost exploring. We met back with the group to go to yes, another church. This one was pretty exciting because it is where the catholic king and queen are buried, Isabella and Ferdenand along with their children, Manuel, Juana "La Loca", and her husband Felipe "El hermoso." We have been learning a lot about their family and the history of Spain so it was really interesting to see where they were buried. It made it all surreal. Our teacher then took us on a 20 minute up-hill hike to the most gorgeous view I've seen. It was a view of the Alhambra and the surrounding mountains and houses. It was so pretty because the sun was beginning to set behind it. The hike was definitely worth it this time haha. We then wandered around the gypsy market and saw a lot of cool things from all the Indian influences including a lot of hooka places and shops. We had dinner in the hotel with the group (a buffet...surprise in Spain) and then bought some boxes, yes I said boxes Dad, of wine. This is what happens when you are on a budget in Spain. I hate to say it, but it wasn't that bad. However the next morning was definitely a rough one. We had to wake up early to go to the Alhambra and check out of our hotel.

We got to the Alhambra around 10 and got ready for the three hour tour. This was my third time seeing the Alhambra so it wasn't the most exciting thing I have seen so far but I definitely enjoyed it! We were all exhausted afterwards and not looking forward to our 6 hour bus ride back to Madrid. We slept most of the way, stopped for lunch, watched "The Reader" with Kate Winslet (so good) and talked about our upcoming trip to Portugal!!! We are actually leaving in three hours for ANOTHER bus ride. We are leaving at 11:30pm so we will sleep the whole time in the bus for 8 hours...not going to be too much fun. However I am so excited to go to Lagos and Lisbon! I will update you on Tuesday when I get home!


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