Saturday, April 21, 2012

A lot has happened in the past couple weeks! After getting back from Paris my mom and dad came to visit! It was so great to see them because it's been over three months since the last time I have but I didn't realize just how acclimated I've become to Madrid (knowing the metro, understanding basic spanish, etc) that I started getting frustrated with the fact that I had to become a tour guide. I think I'd rather hang out with them at home than a foreign country but regardless I am SO happy they came. It makes me miss home so much but knowing that I will only have to wait three weeks to see them lessens the depression.
Anyways, this weekend the school planned a trip to Andalucia, which is where I'm writing from now! (right now we're in Granada) In the beginning of the semester we took an 11 day pre-seminar called Mare Nostrum in which we went to Girona, Barcelona, Tarragona and Valencia. This is a shortened version/reunion trip in which we've been to Cordoba, Sevilla and our last stop, Granada. This weekend has made me realize how amazing planned trips are. We have a bus driver (Nico), planned dinners, nice hotels, get to see amazing views and guided tours. It really takes the stress out of traveling.

In Cordoba we saw the mosque (mesquita), got yummy tortilla y queso bocadillos and ice cream cones.
inside the mosque
Sevilla was so beautiful. A huge river runs through it and there are a ton of restaurants and bars and shops are lined up all the way down. So much to look at. We went to the center of town and saw the cathedral. Then of course after round two of bocadillos for lunch we had to get ice cream. Maite, our group leader, just laughed. Yeah, this coming from the typical skinny spanish woman who can barely finish a croissant and coffee for breakfast and was so stuffed from a single scoop she couldn't drink all her beer. Theme of the weekend is eating. We established it early on and we're gonna stick to it. You only Andalucia once.
view from above
Granada has been by far the most beautiful. Its all windy roads and gorgeous views. The hotel in literally at the top of a mountain so you can see the whole city. It's amazing. We learned about how oil is made here (Granada is one of the top producers of olive oil), from when and how they pick the olives to how they used to make it and even got to have a tasting. No complaining from me.

tiled wall in la alhambra
We also went to the Alhambra and the view was once again amazing. The tiles and orange trees and fountains and carvings and views. It's hard to take it all in. Lots of photos. Lots of staring.

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