Another week gone, another weekend trekking. I think I’ve traveled to nearly every big city in Andalusia.
Last weekend our program took us to Cádiz on Saturday (20 March). We headed out bright and early as always and braced for a dreary day in the coastal city. We took a tour of the old part of the city and climbed one of the towers of the Cathedral. The views of the city and Atlantic Ocean were spectacular as to be expected despite the cloudiness. We listened to our guide as we passed through the old plazas and along the coast for a few hours. We had lunch on the beach and the rest of the day we were free to do what we wanted. We played in the sand and waded for a bit, walked out to the end of the pier, and through the city for the rest of the day. The city had a very cool feeling, it definitely felt like a coastal city but still retained its Andalusian-ness.
View From a Tower
Catedral de Cádiz
Cartwheels on the Beach
Sunday (21 March), a few friends and I headed to another coastal city, Málaga. Our bus left at 7 am in the morning and the bus station is about a 45 minute walk from where we live. We met up in what we thought was plenty of time but none of us knew exactly where the bus platforms were. About 6:55 we got to the general area and decided to split up to search it out. I found the platforms and our bus right as the driver was pulling out. I waved him down and he grumpily let me on the bus, all the while yelling at me in Spanish that he couldn’t wait, he needed to go. He was not happy with me at all when I told him there were 2 more girls coming…dos más chicas!!! He’s screaming at me in Spanish, I’m yelling back in English because I can’t think in Spanish, and trying to tell my friend over the phone that they need to RUN because he is NOT waiting around for anything. They barely made it, I honestly thought he would just leave. By this point it was 7:05-ish…5 minutes after we were supposed to leave. Only 5 minutes!! I understand they’re on a schedule but he still made time for the typical Spanish 15 minute descanso (break) mid-way through the trip for coffee. Every other time that I’ve taken a bus in this country, we’ve left at least 10-15 minutes after the scheduled time. We learned our lesson.
We spent the day exploring Málaga, the Alcazaba and Castilla, Pablo Picasso’s birthplace, and the beautiful gardens in the city…all the while in the light rain. The weather could have been worse I suppose. We also found a Cheers restaurant (like the TV show) in the middle of Málaga across from the Cathedral…how random is that?? The city reminded me of what Cuba might look like or maybe Hawaii, there were palm trees everywhere and the gardens were lush and green. It had a jungle-y feel. It was a good day-trip, we made it back to Sevilla about 11 pm and back home about 11:30.
View of the Alcazaba From the Castilla
I decided to do some outside volunteering while I’m here for the rest of the semester. I’m doing basically what I’ve been doing at school the last few semesters. I got assigned a lady who wants to practice her English and I met with her the first time this week. She works for a non-profit in Sevilla that provides assistance to the Gitanos (Gypsies). Most of them live in shantytowns and can’t afford much. She works as a nurse for the children, providing them with basic healthcare. She is such a cool lady and we had a great time talking. I’ve been thinking seriously about teaching English as a second language, not for a career but maybe for a while after college. I really enjoyed talking to her and helping her understand the English language a little better. We talked in Spanish and English for about 2-3 hours just like we had known each other forever. I’m excited for the rest of our meetings in the next few months.
I’m almost done with mid-terms, 1 more left. Last week I took my language mid-term and this week, Modern Spanish History and Past and Present of the Spanish language. I think I could have done better but we’ll see. Next week we don’t have classes because of Semana Santa (Holy Week). I’m headed to Lisbon this weekend and then possibly some travel throughout Spain later in the week. I also want to experience Semana Santa in Sevilla for a few days. Sevilla is famous throughout Spain for its celebrations and processions throughout the week. Tourists from all over the world come here to experience it so I figure since I’m here already, I should too.
More updates soon.