The past few weeks have been quite an adventure! I have had a few struggles with posting because our internet doesn’t always work at the apartment, but hopefully today it will cooperate!
I think I am finally getting adjusted to life in Sevilla. We just finished our THIRD week of classes – I can’t believe its been that many! I had one composition and two quizzes this week, which took up a lot of time for extra activities, but we have a scavenger hunt later today and then it is the weekend! Tomorrow I will be going to Ronda for a day trip with a professor. I am excited to explore another Spanish city, even for a day.
Over the past few weeks I have really gotten to see many different sides of Sevilla and city life. A bus tour, going out for “tapas” and drinks, seeing different monuments, and a Betis soccer game. I also got to spend a weekend at the beach in Lagos, Portugal!
Life in Sevilla is so different from anything I’ve ever experienced in the United States. In the morning I have classes or free time for homework and going to the gym. I have lunch every week day at 2:30 and then “siesta” for a bit after along with working on homework or an afternoon activity sightseeing around the city with the school. Dinner is at 9:30 and then I do homework or go out with friends. It is very typical on a weekend to begin dinner about 10-11 and then you go out to different bars or sit at a table outside the restaurant and enjoy a few drinks with friends. It is a completely different time frame than in the US.
One of my favorite nights so far in Sevilla was walking around and then sharing a few “tapas”, or appetizers. The tapas we ordered were amazing! Papas bravas – potatoes with a really great sauce on the side and a tomato and fresh mozzarella slices covered in a balsamic vinaigrette sauce. We also got flan – a creamy dessert. After dinner we went meandering around taking pictures and enjoying the different monuments and people watching.
At SAIIE, all students take an Art class that focuses on Monuments in Sevilla. We learn about the structures, architecture, decorations, and history of each part of Sevilla. We also get to tour some of the monuments and see the different aspects we learn about in reality. There is so much more history and art applied to each structure than I would have ever realized. It is a great opportunity and helps us open our eyes a little more and see the background of each monument.
Our group also went to a Betis fúbol match. Sevilla has two professional teams, Betis (green/white) and Sevilla (red/white). It was the first time in about 7 or 8 years that Betis has played in a European league, and the stadium was pretty crazy the entire game with chants, cheers, green, and white. It was great to get to watch a second professional match, but unfortunately the game ended 0-0. I don’t think I bring any good luck to the games I attend, but it was still fun!
Last weekend our school went to Lagos, Portugal to relax on some different beaches. It was about a 3 hour car ride from Sevilla and we stayed in little two bedroom vacation homes that were within walking distance from shops and restaurants. The first day we did an amazing boat tour and I got a lot of really cool pictures of rock structures and beautiful caves. As everyone says when the go to the ocean – the water was REALLY BLUE! After the tour we spent the rest of the day on the beach swimming, reading, and relaxing.
At night we walked to a restaurant with local cuisine and had quite the experience. Some of us ordered sea bass, which (typical for different countries) came as a WHOLE FISH. Not even kidding – tail, head, eyes, and all. It threw some of us for a loop and some didn’t feel comfortable eating their meal. (You try eating a fish that is staring back at you!!) It was definitely different, but I decided to go with their culture and I ate it – very carefully I might add because of the many, many little bones (of course I avoided the head/eyes/tail combination). It was the best fish I’ve ever had! I was pretty proud of myself for trying something new too.
The next day we drove about 30 minutes to a huge beach that had some amazing waves and a ton of surfers. I swam and played in the waves the entire day! It was by far the best beach trip of my life and I wish we never had to leave. After the beach we went to dinner and ate at a tourist-y place (nobody wanted another fish shock) and I had a really delicious pineapple chicken. The group then split up because the ladies wanted to do some shopping, and of course, the boys did not. It was a great time in Portugal and I fell in love with the beautiful views and the wonderful beaches.
Thanks for reading!
PS – The internet is pretty terrible and I can’t upload any pictures. I’ll try another day to get them uploaded to share with everyone.