Don´t get me wrong, I love my mother dearly, but when I have a half hour to make it through security and hop on a plane I´m not too keen on photo-ops. I would like to point out that my mom was never one to document until she got an iphone (thanks a lot Steve Jobs). On the bright side she managed to get some real great shots for the family photo album.
It’s been nearly a month since I arrived in Sevilla, so a play-by-play isn’t going to work. I guess I’ll start with logistics and background of life here and then fill in the blanks with MSU-approved highlights.
Sevilla’s population is approximately 700,000 excluding the metro area. Compared to Montana, the number is alarming, but from my experience thus far everything is comfortable and within walking distance. I live in an apartment with a host family about a fifteen minute walk from the historic city center. The family is lovely, but other than sleeping and eating I don’t spend much time at home because there are too many great things to see and do.
Aside from their eating patterns, the Spanish lifestyle is one I took to real quick: roll out of bed long after the sun, head to class for an hour and a half, grab coffee with friends, go home for lunch, take a siesta, head back to class for a few hours, wander around, eat dinner, go out again, get to bed somewhere between 4 and 7. It is a truly wonderful life. I haven’t experienced too much of culture shock, but there are some definite differences that I get a kick out of. For example, you can blow your smoke in pedestrians faces and not clean up after your dog, but somehow eating or drinking while walking is socially unacceptable. The most difficult adaptation has been surviving through the solid 7 hours between lunch and dinner. Since I am yet to figure out how Spaniards get through it without eating, I created a secret snack cupboard in my room for the meantime. I use the word secret lightly because I am fairly sure the maid is on to me. Maybe later this week I’ll bust out some Harriet the Spy techniques to find out for certain.
Classes run Monday through Thursday which leaves long weekends free for travel. Last weekend I went to Madrid with 3 other girls from my program. Not wanting to spend the whole weekend dying of museum-fatigue we selected the Museo Nacional del Prado and Parque del Buen Reitro as the big monuments to hit up and left the rest of our trip up for exploration. The Prado is famous for its extensive collection including the works of Goya, Velázquez and El Greco. It was definitely a must-see, but two jam packed hours of martyrs with slashed breasts and Jesus depicted in severe pain were enough for me. Parque del Buen Reitro was beautifully refreshing after the Prado. I believe it was created for Queen Isabella I, added onto by her predecessors and somehow now open to the public. Regardless of its history, its a great place to retreat away from the bustling atmosphere of Madrid.Yesterday, I returned from a 36 hour stint in Bologna. I’m not going to lie, until about a week ago before I booked my flight, when I heard “Bologna” I thought of Oscar Meyer, not Italy, but when I found out Iron & Wine was performing there I created a “Places to Visit in Europe” list and placed it at the top. I met up with some au pair friends which was fun and spent the day exploring the city. Plus it was Italy so yeah I ate some amazing pizza and gelato, but seeing Sam Beam perform live was absolutely incredible. Seriously, I’m still in awe of how great a show it was. Yesterday I was in Italy and today I’m back in Spain. Europe and its accessibility is amazing, I’m never leaving.