Sunday, September 18, 2011

Encantada con España

Here's the thing about Spain- I love it.

I am so busy being in Spain, though, that I do not have time to sit with my thoughts. But to be fair, I've been doing little more than sitting with my thoughts (and the thoughts of people who think better, bigger thoughts than I do) for two years. Maybe it's time for a change.

Last week we went to Córdoba, which was beautiful- the Islamic influence is present in much of Andalusia but especially here.

 With my guapas... they make everything twelve times more fun.

During our group's free time, we were given a list of interesting places we could visit if we wished. This is what we chose to do instead. In our defense, this is the first patch of grass we have found in Spain; for some reason it is almost impossible to find.

The beautiful, beautiful cathedral; once a mosque, it was *ahem* reappropriated as a symbol of Christian power after the city was lost to the Catholic royals.

Each column, and there are over three thousand I think, is different. Our tour guide was really, really, really fixated on the columns. Out of a two hour tour, he probably spent 75 minutes discussing the columns. Not exaggerating.

 On OJ's last day with us, I took her to church closest to our apartment. This Thursday was a holiday in Granada commemorating the patron saint of the city, Nuestra Virgen de las Angustias (Our Virgen of the Anguishes); all day, people bring flowers to the virgin, and the bouquets are woven together to create a kind of floral patchwork quilt. It is so lovely.

OJ looking fab in front of the flowers.

On Saturday, our group went on an excursion to the Sacromonte, a neighborhood in Granada with Roma roots, and the ruins of some Arab baths from about a thousand years ago (!). 

I think by the end of this trip, there will be pictures of me with the Alhambra in the background taken from every possible angle.

Today is my 21st birthday. If I could have my family with me, then it would be perfect. It's pretty close though- I celebrated last night with the other members of my program. Behind us is the Alhambra, especially majestic at night.

The rest of my birthday has been spent napping, working on some homework, laughing with Micki over pictures from the past few days, and watching fútbol with my host father. After great consideration, I have decided to support Barcelona's team, NOT Real Madrid. My reasons for such a position are manifold. 

Overall, an excellent weekend. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Snapshot of Sevilla

A long overdue post, I know. However, my host family's internet connection is not always the most advanced, which has resulted in a lot of nights of Micki and I pacing around our tiny room because we can't access our Spanish/English databases (and probably more frequently, episodes of Project Runway and Jersey Shore. Don't judge).

Last weekend, I went to Sevilla with Micki and our friend OJ who has come to visit us in Spain for two weeks. I tried to upload more pictures, but as per usual, these were the only ones that seem to work for now. I will, rest assured, upload more as I am able. 

Sevilla is stunning. I have not seen anything more beautiful than the cathedral (the largest Gothic cathedral in the world) illuminated at night. 

 There's lots of really cool mosaics and tilework around the city. This one was (obviously) my favorite. I love a good memento mori.

 Sadly, I can't upload a photo of the three of us right now, but here's one with Micki and me. Please note the DOUBLE ankle brace contraption. Cute. Also, we may be too far away to tell, but Micki and I were both struck with a horrible cold. I remember wanting to crawl into my hostel bed and die during this picture; luckily we were able to rally with some superstrength medicine from one of Spain's ubiquitous farmacías.

The cathedral. It is overwhelmingly huge. 

Columbus' tomb. He must have been a short man because it is a small coffin. It was all I could do to contain myself in this corner of the cathedral, but I did not cause a scene.

Again, I am so sorry about the rest of the pictures- I will try to get them up soon.

Tonight, my friends have orchestrated a "Family Dinner" with most of the kids of our ILACA program at a Mexican restaurant in town. I am beside myself at the prospect of guacamole. Spanish food is great, but there is nothing I would not do for some frijoles and fajitas.