Mucho Gusto, Sevilla
This is my first blog entry...ever... so bare with my as I figure out what I'm doing!
It is the beginning of my third week in Sevilla, España and wow it is more amazing than I could have even imagined. Ahh I have so much that I want to share about these last few weeks! It's weird, on one hand I feel like I've been here for months because I already feel so comfortable, but on the other hand, I know I still have so much to do and see. My host family could not be more perfect. I live with a fifteen-year-old girl named Lola, and her aunt, Sylvia, who we call Tita (girl power!!). I'm kind of obsessed with them... I think my friends are all tired of me going on and on about them, but whatever, they're awesome.
One thing that I have come to appreciate about this city is that we walk everywhere. Plus, I think I'm finally passed the "getting lost every time I leave the house" stage, which is a HUGE step for me considering I have zero sense of direction. Fingers crossed I didn't just jinx my streak of not getting lost. Lost or not, the walks are always scenic. Everyday on my way to school, I cross this bridge over the Guadalquivir River and the view is breathtaking. In the mornings, the rising sun flawlessly bounces off the buildings, and at night the moon creates this beautiful glowing reflection of the building in the river. Not only are the walks good for sight-seeing, but they're a great source of exercise, which creates a nice balance to my new favorite recreational activity: eating Spanish cuisine. So far I have tried bull's tail - amazing, Spanish tortilla - delicious, real Spanish churros with chocolate - unreal (my mouth just watered thinking about them), and plenty of other things that I can't remember the names of but what I'm trying to tell you is that this food is heavenly. The only thing that I was scared to try were these little fish that Tita made for me (I think they were sardines but I don't really know). But once I got over the fact that I thought they were watching me, they were so so good!
A really cool thing about this program is the free time they give us on the weekends to travel or do anything else our hearts desire. So, two weekends ago, some friends and I traveled by bus to Córdoba! It's a small, touristy city just north of Sevilla, and it is incredible! We stayed in a really cute hostel in the city and during the day toured the sights. First we saw La Mezquita, which is the Mosque-cathedral of Córdoba. I took around a thousand pictures of it but none could do this marvelous cathedral justice. Then, we saw yet another stunning sight, the Puente Romano aka the Roman Bridge. Next on the itinerary was the Alcázar de los Reyes, which was a giant castle with a jaw-dropping view of the entire city and a massively lush garden with fountains, beautiful flowers, palm trees, and of course fish, because what is a royal garden without fish? Back in Sevilla, we found other ways to spend our free time, including taking a Flamenco class! The instructor was this elegant woman who made the dance look beautiful, then of course when my classmates and I tried to re-enact it we butchered the whole thing. But after an hour or so, we could manage a few of the steps. Speaking for myself, I looked like Carlton Banks trying dancing to Tom Jones, but hey, I tried! Maybe after my four months here I'll be able to flamenco a little more gracefully!
As much as I am loving immersing myself in the Spanish culture, nothing could have felt more american than watching last nights Super Bowl XLIX. Being a Michigan girl, the Detroit Lions are my team, but considering they didn't quite make it to the Super Bowl this year..I decided to root for the Patriots (based on Tom Brady's good looks hehe). But none the less, I was a committed Pats fan for the night! The sports bar my friends and I went to watch the game was beyond packed, most of us couldn't even find a seat! Everyone was screaming, cheering, cursing the opponent and chanting for their favored team, and scarfing down nachos, chicken wings, onion rings, and french fries, it felt just like home <3 Katy Perry killed it at the half-time show, she rode a lion then flew through the stadium, she might have magical powers, I don't know, it was loco. As I'm sure you know, the Patriots won!!! Gooooo Patssssssssss! (Thank goodness I chose the winning team, total shot in the dark).
*Exhale* I think that's just about everything I wanted to catch up on! Hasta luego!!