Highlights from last week/this week:
-completed week 1 of class
-hung out with some Spaniards and a random Portuguese guy by the river on Thursday night
-finally had churros WITH chocolate…life is complete
-played tour guide for Dan, a friend of my dad’s, for 2 days (more below on that)
-tried some new tapas
-took a day trip to Aracena (more on that below as well)
Dan, a friend of my dad’s was traveling through Spain this last week. When he found out last fall I would be in Sevilla this semester, he planned to add Sevilla to his trip and let me show him the city for a weekend. He came in Friday morning on the bus, we found him a hostel closeby and set out to tour the Cathedral. Walked around the Cathedral for a bit and climbed up 31 ramps to the top of the Giralda. The Cathedral was amazing! Its the 3rd largest in the world and houses the tomb of Christopher Columbus. The altar piece is also phenomenal to see, one artist spent 30 years of his life working on it. After his death, other artists picked up where he left off and finished it a few decades later. We climbed to the top of the Giralda and the view was amazing as expected. It was POURING rain but I was able to point out a few landmarks to Dan. We stopped for some coffee after the Cathedral and decided to cut the day short since it was raining and we were both cold and wet. We met up for dinner again at 7 along with my friend Erin, headed to the train office so he could pick up his ticket back to Barcelona, and headed for Triana to check out some tapas bars. We found a great little place, Bar Oliva, on San Jacinto. It was so tiny and full of Spanish people. There was a family sitting behind us and the kids were mesmerized by us…they were staring at us throughout the meal. We tried Gambas Rebozadas (Shrimp cooked like the chicken in Sweet & Sour Chicken), Huevos a la Flamenca (Egg w/Ham & Tomatoes), Solomilla con Chimpiñon (Sirloin w/Mushrooms), Pez Espada (Swordfish), Croquetas de Jamón, (Ham Croquettes) & Espinacas con Garbanzos (Spinach with Chickpeas). Everything was fantastic! We chatted/drank/ate and headed to another tapas bar, tried albondigas de atún (tuna meatballs) papas con allioli, and a salmon dish with potatoes. More tinto and chatting and then headed to a little cafetería that Erin frequents with her host family for dessert. It was a lovely night.

Main Altar, La Catedral

Christopher Columbus’ Tomb, La Catedral

View from La Giralda
Saturday (2.13) the weather was much nicer. It was a bit chilly but we made it work. Started the morning at the Plaza de Toros (Bull Ring), took a tour, went through the little museum. I hope I make it to a bull fight before I leave. From there we walked to my University and I showed Dan where I have class everyday, we also finally found Plaza de España (I’d been looking for it for about a week). Had lunch at a little cafe, walked to a souvenir shop where I briefly left my debit card, and then headed to the Alcázar. AMAZING! My camera died so I will definitely go back and get some good pictures but it was gorgeous. I’m really falling in love with all the architecture in this part of Spain. We stayed for a few hours, walked through the old Jewish neighborhood in Sevilla, stopped in a cafe to get some cervezas, then split up until we met for dinner at 9. Dan wanted a “sit-down” restaurant so I did my best to research but of course the place I found was closed. We ended up at another random place which turned out really nice. Had swordfish, squid, and pork chops…all very good although I’m not sure I could eat squid veru often. Erin left to go meet another friend and Dan and I set out for a dessert place. Finally found one and had some lovely views of people dressed for Carnival. Another lovely night.

Remnants of Tapas
My friend Marina from Mizzou is studying in Barcelona this semester and was also in Sevilla this last weekend. She called me on Saturday night and we went out with our friend Jill from Mizzou who is also here in Sevilla this semester. We had a few drinks on our beloved Calle Betis. It was great to see her for a bit, its such a cool thing to meet up with people from home when you’re so far away. I’m excited to hang out a bit more with her in Barcelona when I visit in a few months.
Saturday night, or Sunday morning if you will, I got home about 3:00 am, slept for about 3 hours, then got up again to meet Dan at his hostel at 7:15 am. I decided it would be easiest to walk him to the train station instead of trying to give him directions since its about a 35-40 minute walk and not through the easiest part of town to navigate. I was happy to do it and make everything a bit easier for him. We got to the bus station about 8, had a quick cup of coffee, I got a pic of him in his backpacking regalia (which was super cute btw), we saw a whole crowd of people dressed up who were returning from Carnival in Cádiz. The morning after Carnival reminded me of the morning after Halloween on a college campus x 10. I’m glad I was up so early to experience it all. I headed for the University to meet everyone for our day trip to Aracena, 45 minutes later, I was at Puerta de Derecha and loading the bus.
Sunday in Aracena was great! We started out touring a few mines close to Aracena. It was pretty, got to wear hard hats which was fun, took a few pics. Aracena was such a lovely town and not overloaded with the typical touristy stuff/tourists. The streets were quaint and quiet and all the houses were painted white. During our free time, a few of us climbed the top of La Castilla and got some lovely views of the city. Definitely something you can’t capture on film. Went through a cave in Aracena as well but alas, no photos. It was a chill day, our group was small which made it more fun and everything was pretty relaxed. I was totally exhausted by the end from the lack of sleep and the fact that we walked up and down so many hills/through the cave all day.

View of Aracena from La Castilla

That was my weekend in a nutshell (or not, I tend to write a LOT : /). This week at class, nothing too exciting. I really love Past and Present of the Spanish Language, I knew I would. I wish I knew Latin though, it would definitely help me. I still haven’t found a book for my History class, I’ve been to SIX bookstores in this city and nada. No central university bookstore to help me out, I guess I’ll have to keep looking. Oh and it’s been raining ALL WEEK, not good for a girl who didn’t pack rain boots and walks an average of 2 hrs a day. I’m learning to live with less.
Tomorrow I’m headed to Madrid for the weekend. More pictures of that coming.