Lesson of this weekend: We should never cease to explore, learn, or get lost in the beauty of what surrounds us.
This weekend I took a trip to Seville (pronounced “Suh-vee-yuh” by the Spanish) and Cordoba with my program. We visited many beautiful cathedrals, mosques, buildings, and most of all, we experienced first hand what the south of Spain was like.
The Placa Espana was absolutely breathtaking…I wan’t to take my fiance there.
The mushroom in Seville gave me the best view of the sunset in Spain.
The cathedral made me feel like I was alive during the 10th Century.
Saw the tomb/coffin of Christopher Columbus
The Flamenco show was fun! The dancers were so talented.
The tapas were delicious.
Here are a few slideshows of the sites I went to. Each picture has a description, so you can learn about that part of the trip by checking out the slideshows.
Before coming to Seville and Cordoba, I had some thoughts about the South of Spain:
1. People and culture is relaxed. People take siestas very seriously.
2. It is culture rich and that going there for two days would probably teach me more about the Spanish culture than my (thus far ) 1 month in Barcelona.
3. People are friendly [to tourists].
After going to Seville and Cordoba, I realized a few things about the South of Spain:
1. People do in fact take siestas very seriously. If you walk down the streets between 3 and 5, there will be no one but you. Every one is sleeping! My friend, Sarah, who is studying abroad in Seville and showed me around. She told me that it is more dangerous to run during siesta hours than it is to run at night, since there are more people out at night than during siesta hours. That was a huge testament to my initial thoughts.
2. In fact, I did learn more about Spanish culture in my two days in Seville than I did in my month in Barcelona. In Seville, the tapas tasted very authentic, as opposed to some in Barcelona. Tapas are small dishes, like the size of hor d’oeuvres. They were originated in Andalucia (the region that Seville and Cordoba are in), and since many people came to Spain looking to try tapas, tapas restaurants started to show around Barcelona. Nowadays, you can’t walk half a mile in Barcelona without running into a sign for tapas. In my time in Seville and Cordoba, I tried some tapas: patatas dos salsas (potatoes with aioli and salsa ketchup) and salmoreja (gazpacho-like, but more creamy and used for dipping bread into). Compared to the tapas I had in Barcelona, these were awesome. Another fun fact: In Andalucia, particularly Grenada, one order of a cerveza (beer) or vino (wine) will get you a free tapa…I’ll have to try that one out when I go to Grenada to see the world famous Alhambra mosque.
3. When comparing people from cities to people from towns, most people will agree that people in towns are nicer or more friendly. That wasn’t totally the case in Seville. While there were people who were nice to my friends and I, there were a few others that looked like they wanted nothing to do with us. For example, me and my two friends who are studying in Seville asked a man for directions and he wouldn’t even look at us in the eye. He reluctantly gave directions…though I’m pretty sure they were not right. Also, these two random girls at a restaurant were trying to start a fight with me and two others for no reason. In Barcelona though, I haven’t had this issue in the whole month that I’ve been here. I wonder if there are underlying factors, whether political, economic, social, or cultural, between Andalucia and Catalunya that contributed to the outcome of my experiences.
Of course these are all small examples, but it was interesting seeing whether my initial thoughts were right or not. I think I would need more than 2 days to understand the south of Spain, but so far, this is all that I have gathered.
Overall, it was great exploring another part of this great country, eating great tapas, and visiting some of the most famous places in Spain.
This is a paragraph, not included in the first publishing of this post, that I wrote for a photo contest about Placa de Espana. Enjoy.