Trip Start Jan 08, 2013
Trip End May 05, 2013

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Flag of Spain  , Andalusia,
Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Keeping with the theme of the trip, we woke up super early in the rain to get a plane to Seville. I don't know if I have mentioned this before but Ryanair has very strict baggage restrictions. It's always a big ordeal getting the bags to fit in their little box so that you don't have to pay 60 euros to check your bag. Megan had apples and hers and it got stuck in the box when there were about 50 people behind us in line, pretty funny if you were there to see it. Long story short they kept handing be things so that I could take them on and then there bags would fit. Just imagine four American girls with clothes everywhere, suitcases open and overflowing, fruit rolling around the gate, tying sweaters around necks. It was really a sight to see.

When we finally got to Seville, we checked into our hostel called Petit Palace. It was one of the nicest places we've stayed and it would definitely fit under the hotel category. It was super modern with a white and orange color scheme. Even the shower had body massagers! I took a much needed long, hot shower before taking on the city. We walked around without a destination in mind and stopped in some shops and just observed the city. The people were so friendly and nice and would offer assistance if we looked lost of confused. They didn't speak English though, so we had to remember as much as possible from high school Spanish. We met Megan's friend at las cetas, which is a modern structure in downtown Seville that you could go to the top of and get a great view of the city. Unfortunately, it was pouring down rain but we decided to go up anyways. The view was great, very similar to Florence. The most interesting part, similar to other European cities, was that it was very clear where the original city square was, and what was newly added. The cathedral and surrounding landmarks stuck out as a city of its own with much older characteristics, and then the modern city was built around it.

When it was finally dinner time around 9:30, we went to a local restaurant called Los colonials. This place was recommended to us by multiple people so we had high expectations. Our waiter was the most friendly man and he only spoke Spanish as well. He spoke clearly enough so we could understand the basics, but then went onto some elaborate rant about how delicious a dish was. We ordered some tapas, and then a main course. Most of us got the almond chicken because people said it was to do die for. It really was amazing. In Spain they eat eggs at all time of the day, and omelettes are really big for dinner. They aren't like our omelettes in America, but more of a mixture between eggs and potatoes, usually with meat. They loveeee meat here right at the end of the meal it started down pouring and we were able to get under an umbrella, but our food and wine and table were not as we watched at the classes filled with rain water. The waiter would escort us into the restaurant with his umbrella so that he didn't get wet. It was quite cute. After dinner we went to a bar that would resemble a sports bar in America. They had at least 20 flat screen tvs, all playing soccer channels. They had models of over 20 stadiums a hanging from the walls, and pictures of famous players everywhere. They even had flat screens in the bathroom so you would never miss a play! I think it would be safe to say that soccer here is bigger than football is in America. They live for it.

Day two we started off by waking down the river. We ended up at Plaza de Espana, which was beautiful. We still aren't exactly sure what the purpose of the building is, but it was a huge courtyard with bridges decorated in mosaics, and a large fountain right in the middle. We probably spent an hour just sitting there soaking up the sun and soaking in the environment. We then walked through the university of Seville, which had a completely different feel than American universities. So much more culture and history. We ended up at the cathedral, which is way bigger than I ever thought. Instead of being just a church like in Italy, it is a church enclosed in other rooms and walls that make the cathedral take up an entire block. This is where Christopher Columbus's remains are believed to be.

Allison has a friend studying abroad in Seville and she planned for us to go to dinner at this wine bar and then go to a Flamenco show! We went to a place right across from the cathedral where we ordered a bunch of tapas. The waiter was very very friendly to me and kept making if my name is Maria because that's what i look like. When I told him my name was Emily he began calling me Emilia Maria and then proceeded to ask me for my Facebook name. Too funny. The men are still somewhat aggressive in Spain, but not as upfront and creepy as in Italy. In Spain it's much more laughable. He brought us a free appetizer too! The Flamenco show was in a bar that had a lot of character. It had wooden benches everywhere and even a fireplace in the wall. Nothing in Spain is too fancy, but it has a lot of charm. We ordered the two local drinks: la agua de Sevilla, and tinto verano. Tinto verano was red wine with sparking juice in it, and I really have no idea what was in the other one but it tasted like a creamsicle. The flamenco show was different in the sense that I didn't feel like they were performing to show their fame or their talent. It was more like a performance out of duty and respect for this culture that they have to uphold.

Sadly it's time to leave Spain, but all in all Spain is a place I can definitely see myself coming back to!
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