Adventures and Mis-adventures

October in Spain has been incredibly busy for me. I’ve been traveling through Spain and exploring Sevilla. I’ve made new friends, tried new foods and walked a whole lot. I’ve also been going to classes and trying to stay on track for graduation in the Spring.

In Sevilla, I got to visit the very giant wooden structure in the center of city. It’s officially called Metropol Parasol but locals call it Las Setas or the mushrooms. It certainly looks like mushrooms. It has a very cool view of the city and it the largest wooden structure in the world. When it was first built, the people hated it because it stuck out so much in Sevilla, which is very traditional and this is so modern. However, it has been a very cool talking point and tourist attraction that has revitalized the surrounding neighborhood.

I kicked off the month by visiting the beautiful coastal city of Málaga. It’s Picasso’s home town and we visited the Picasso museum there. It’s a very cool collection because it came from donations from his family and his personal collection so it’s very unique and has many experimental pieces. We visited the cathedral there which is notorious for being the only intentionally incomplete cathedral. The money to finish it was sent to support the American Revolution and when the money was returned, they decided to spend it on roads, instead. This meant they can avoid paying taxes on it. Because of it’s lopsided appearance they call it La Manquita or the one armed lady. We also spent some time at the beach and stuck our feet in the Mediterranean Sea.

Later on the day, my friends and I visited the Sevilla Aquarium at midnight which was a very cool experience. We saw sea turtles and fish of all kinds. We even found Nemo
and Dory there.

During this month, Sevilla has been hosting the Festival de Nacciones. It’s a very cool event with crafts, gifts, little shops and interesting food from all over the world. I got to try lots of different foods. Among the group, we sampled empanadas from Brazil, different Argentinian sausages, kangaroo and zebra, Mexican tacos, crepes, Margaritas and very fancy Cuban Mojitos. They also have performances which seem to only feature tributes to dead singers. We watched a very dedicated although not terribly authentic, Freddie Mercury and Micheal Jackson. Amy Winehouse performed the weekend before.

Last weekend, I went to Barcelona with a few friends to see the famous and amazing city and primarily Gaudí’s La Sagrada Familia Cathedral. It’s been under construction for more than 100 years and is still a few more decades away from being finished. Finished or not though, it is amazingly beautiful. I’ve visited a lot of cathedrals here and in Italy but this one was very different. We sat in the pews staring up for close to an hour even after we walked around and around. The weekend was very cool but we hit a few bumps along the way. We planned to stay in Air BNB (last time I use that site) we rented but at the last minute, we lost it and had to frantically find a hotel at the last minute. We soldiered on spent a great day in the Park Güell, also featuring works by Gaudí and mazing city views from the mountains and the Cataluña National Arte Museum. A highlight of the day was the incredible light and water show at the Magic Foundation of Montjuïc. The last day we visited the Olympic Stadium and the Botanical Gardens which also have beautiful views of the city. I was sad to leave but ready to return to my new “home” when I arrived at the airport. Unfortunately, I got a little confused by the European 24 Hr time system and arrived 12 hours too late for my flight. Whoops! Luckily, my wonderful mom and sister got me on another flight that night but it wasn’t an easy task due to problems with the airline’s credit card system.

As much fun as I have been having here in Spain, I’ve also had my fair share of challenges, maybe more than my fair share. There’s been issues with course schedules, communication and then there are the things that are completely my fault. I’ve learned a lot, about being a responsible adult, a good student and a better traveler. Next up is more traveling, hopefully with less challenges. I’m headed to Lisbon, Portugal tomorrow and Morocco next week!


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