We got into Madrid around 11am on the 12th of January. We met up with a few other students, and then took a bus to the hotel. The next few days were filled with tours of museums, palaces, and trying the local food, most of which is excellent! (don't be surprised if I come back 20lbs heavier, they put olive oil on EVERYTHING!) On Monday the 14th we left for Toledo, a cute little city with lots of old buildings. Then on the 16th we left for Seville, which was to be my home for the next 4 months...This city is absolutely everything I wanted when I first thought of coming to Spain. Orange trees line tiny little windy streets filled with cafes and bars, while palm trees frame the Catedral and the Alcazar. Horse buggys line up to give rides, and there is a little walkway right next to the Rio Gualdalquivirthat is called the Paseo de Cristobal Colon. On Sundays, parents bring their kids, dressed in the cutest little knicker type clothes and tights, to the Parque Maria Luisa, which is directly across the street from my apartment. There are a couple bars, bike and horse buggy rides, birds everywhere, and just a feeling of complete serenity as you walk through this park! I can't wait until my family comes in March and we can all hang out there on Sunday afternoon.
I live in a beautiful, large apartment with my Senora, named Sandra, and a roommate from Boston named Caitlin, who is so much fun! We each have our own room, which is nice, and a dog named Lopez. We also have a maid who comesMonday through Friday, and she is so sweet. She cooks great food too! I am really happy with my host family, although the one thing I wish is that we all would eat together. Loli (the maid), leaves the food out for us and then we eat whenever we want, but a lot of the students here eat every meal with their host families, which I would like because I would have more opportunities to speak Spanish at home.
School started last Wednesday. I study at the Universidad de Pablo de Olavide. It takes about 20 min to get there by bus, but is really nice because unlike the Universidad de Sevilla, we have a nice big campus. I am taking four classes, which are all with Americans, but 3 of the 4 are taught in Spanish (I just couldn't bring myself to take International Marketing in a foreign language!) Unfortunately, I do have to actually study every once in a while....
In a week my program is taking a trip to Granada, the city where the Alhambra is. Two weeks after that we're headed to Lisbon, Portugal for a weekend (let's see if I can use my Portuguese there, although its very different!) . A few days after that, we have a five day weekend from school, so I booked a trip to Paris to visit Antoine, the French boy that lived with us for 6 weeks a few summers ago. I'm super excited about that! Then, the week of March 14, I am going to Morrocco! Can you believe it? We just booked the trip last night, and the pictures that the agency was showing us were amazing. Literally, goosebumps were rising on my arms! We will be going to a few towns, and then we ride dune buggys into the Sahara, where we will also ride camels into the middle of the desert, where we will spend the night. I know, sounds incredible doesn't it? We will be getting back to Seville in the middle of Semana Santa, which is a big religious celebration during the week before Easter. That will be really fun to see.
The week after that is when my family is coming, and I am really looking forward to that. We may be headed to the beach, possibly Cadiz or Gibraltar, for the weekend they are here. A few weeks after that my girlfriends and I are looking into going to Italy for a few days, arriving back in Seville in time to celebrate the Feria de Abril, a huge festival in Sevilla with flamenco, vino and cerveza everywhere you turn. I am really excited about getting to see such an amazing festival while I am here!
I hang out mostly with three other American girls, we go out scoping the Spanish boy scene (ha! kidding...). They are great though...Sam is from Texas and has the cutest accent! Caroline is the one that I met in the airport, she is from Kansas City (woo Midwest!) and definitely looks the most "Spanish" out of all of us...(they are sooo stylish here...I just can't afford it!!). And of course my roommate Caitlin...she is from Boston like I said, and has red hair and freckles like me!! We have fun together, and I'm really glad I got a really cool, laid back roommate like her. They are the girls I am going to Morrocco and possibly Italy with..we should have a great time.
Well if you've made it this far, I'm proud of you! I promise the next blogs won't be as long...just had to fill everyone in. So this is my blog, read it...don't read it...whateve. It's just here for whoever's interested to see what I'm up to...as well as for me to never forget the things that are to come in the next few months!!! Hasta luego amigos...