I brushed up on my Spanish the past week after visiting Seville, Ronda, Barcelona, and Florence.
My friend Kramer and I spent the first three days of our ten-day break in Seville. We flew out Friday morning, which required us to leave Thursday night for the Milan Airport because the Italian trains stop running at 1:00AM. Although it was a bit of an inconvenience waiting in the airport, it was our only option since the cheaper flights are usually early in the morning.
We touched down just after nine and made it to our hostel, “The Living Roof” about an hour later. They had a very friendly staff and it’s in a great location. The rooms were meager in size, but the shower was elegant and our room was situated on top of the roof. Technically, I guess you could say we had a penthouse suite. Overall, a good price for the amenities and I would recommend it, but I’m sure there are other fine accommodations in Seville.
Metropal Parasol Collage
My favorite day in Seville was on Saturday. I went on a “free” walking tour and my tour guide was awesome, his name was Rafael and he did a great job not only showing us the city, but keeping us entertained while still teaching the history of Seville. We first learned about the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See, better known as Seville Cathedra. It’s the largest gothic church in the world and the fourth largest cathedral in the world. As a student, it only costs three Euro to enter and the views inside as well from the top of the Giralda Tower is absolutely worth it. There are only 17 steps to get to the top of the tower because it consists of a series of 35 gently inclined ramps. The sultan ordered to build theses ramps instead of steps so the muezzin could ride a horse to the top in order to recite prayer five times a day. Other sites that I saw during my stay were the Torre del Oro, Metropal Parasol, Plaza de toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballería, Alcazar de Sevilla, and the Plaza de Espana. Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace and II: Attack of the Clones were both filmed at the Plaza de Espana and I walked over the bridge R2D2 wheeled over in the video below!
Plaza de Espana
“Photo Credit Wikipedia”
After three hours of walking around the city, Rafael, others, and myself went to a local tapas restaurant called Ochos Huevos. I had a grande beer, vegetables, and a Spanish style omelet. The food was cheap and filling. By that time, it was almost six and I had a ticket to the local flamenco show. Upon arrival, I ordered a glass of sangria and enjoyed a night of dance and music. Later that evening, I met back up with friends that I had met earlier from the bar crawl, which Rafael was sponsoring. It was a blast. I have never spoken that much Spanish in my entire life. The entire bar was littered with students from Mexico and Puerto Rico and I knew then that it was my destiny to speak as much Spanish as I could remember from my studies. I surprised myself on how much I recalled. I felt as if I had been transported back to my high school Spanish desk with Senor Valez and the verbs and nouns that I once knew magically surfaced from the prefrontal cortex of my brain. This one beautiful girl named Ana spoke to me in Spanish for most of the night. She was from Mexico and spoke excellent English; she was basically my personal tutor for the night. Really cool girl and I was lucky enough to share a kiss with her. I wish her all the best wherever she is.
On Monday, Kramer and I went to Ronda, which is a small city outside of Seville. The sights were absolutely stunning, seriously, drop dead gorgeous and defiantly worth a day trip if you’re staying in Granada or Seville and its only about a two-hour train ride. The pictures below only justify why I want to hike the Camino de Santiago once my abroad program ends.
Panoramic of Ronda Spain
Ronda Spain Collage
Check back tomorrow to read about my time in Barcelona and Florence.