I have to apologize first off for the delay in my posts. I always intend to start them...and then something comes up!! So I have a lot of catching up to do!
My last post I wrote about Lisbon and Granada. Well two weeks after that my friend Lauren and I went to Paris to visit the boy that lived with us a few years ago, Antoine. Let me tell you something...those French sure know how to be amazing hosts!! Antoine, his best friend Laura, and his mother Michele showed us absolutely everything there was to see in Paris! We saved a lot of time and money by having them drive us around, and they offered to pay for so much. Lauren and I are very grate ful for their hospitality! We saw all the tourist things obviously, Eiffel tower, Notre Dame, and we got to go to Versailles as well. It was awesome getting to see all those famous places that at one time I never thought I would get to see! Paris is amazing...I loved it!
Two weeks after getting back from Paris I went on a trip to Morocco! That was a trip unlike any other...we took the ferry from Spain to Tangiers, and headed down to Fez after that. After spending a night there we started off to the desert, where we took four by fours to get to our hotel. The next morning we rode camels for about two hours into the middle of the Sahara! It was sooo peaceful and beautiful. We spent the night there in an "oasis", a large circle of tents right under a huge dune! We hiked up to the top of this huuuge sand dune to watch the sunset...it was so pretty. Literally like out of a movie!! We had a lot of fun dancing and singing with the Berbers in the middle of the desert...the next day we took the camels back into the towns (it was not nearly as fun the next day...try riding a camel for two hours and see how your legs feel!!!). We left then to go back to Fez to stay for two nights...On the Monday that we were there we went to the Medina...and area of over 9000 windy little streets just like something out of Aladdin! It was a huge market with basically anything you could ever want. I practiced my bargaining skills (i'm not that great) and came out with some fun things. Scarves, a handmade Moroccan rug, and some medicine for my dads back from a pharmacy (where they sold all sorts of spices, lotions and perfumes!) were some of the things I came back with! It was definitely a reality check being there...there is lots of poverty but these people are so friendly. Literally all of them would say to us "Welcome to my country". All of them speak Arabic and French, and most also speak Spanish and English as well. It was amazing having a conversation with the Berbers that live in the desert. One little boy and I talked for about half an hour in Spanish, because he didn't know much English and my Arabic isn't all that great. (ha!). My parents would have loooved the food, but I was actually not to crazy about it. Lots of sweet flavors...but it was interesting. It was a very eye opening trip. Not somewhere that I am dying to go back to again, but I'm so happy I went.
We got back from Morocco on Wednesday night, and then I went out to check out Semana Santa on Thursday. As I mentioned before, it is a very big religious celebration here. It was interesting to see how involved all of the Spaniards get. I'm not Catholic so some of the parades were a little intense for me, but I'm glad I got to go see it.
The next day, Friday, I actually flew to France to surprise my family! They had no idea I was coming. I had been talking to Solene so her family knew, and they did a great job of keeping it from my family! I met up with Antoine in the airport, and then Solene walked in with my parents. They were not expecting me at all! It was fun getting to surprise them and hanging out with them and Solenes family for the next few days. (even though I had to hike up a mountain in the Alps...not my favorite thing to do!) We all came back to Sevilla on Tuesday. I think they had a lot of fun here, we saw a lot of the touristy things and got to eat lots of Spanish food! I'm so happy that they could come to see Sevilla...
Two days after they left my friends and I left for Italy...but that is another whole blog entry...so I'm gonna end this one here. Lets just say there was lots of wine, pasta, and Pope blessing involved...(are you intrigued???) I promise I'll get that one up within the next few days...for now I have to go out and celebrate Feria de Abril!!!