Hola amigos. Soy Katelyn y estoy en España y me encanta.
For those who don’t speak Spanish, I basically said I’m in Spain and I love it! I’ve already had so many adventures it’s crazy. I didn’t fly straight here, actually me and my travel buddy/roommate flew out a couple days early and went to London and Rome! Both cities were absolutely beautiful and vastly different. I’ll insert photos at the bottom of each experience.
So London is a large and fairly busy city. There are many historic views and so many stories to be told. We took a Hop On Hop Off bus around the city because it was so large. They had like a little speaker that told you the history of the place. We also went on the London Eye which was kind of nerve wracking. It goes so high up, but it was a beautiful view. The architecture was amazing and there were so many beautiful apartment houses.
Funny story about those Hop On Hop Off buses, they are SO confusing! Itzel and I sat on one for at least 2 hours just driving around and seeing the same things even after switching buses! It was slightly ridiculous, but we enjoyed the views anyways. Anyone who knows me knows I’m obsessed with history, so seeing sights where famous people (and by famous I mean Kings and Queens) stand absolutely blows my mind.
Rome was probably my favorite, although it was HOT. And when I say hot I don’t mean like 96 and dry, no I mean 105 degrees, humid like crazy, and sweating from every pore on my body. Rome was stunning, my inner Catholic and history geek was freaking out inside when I stepped foot in one of the worlds oldest cities. We were told the story of Julius Caesar and then stepped inside the same market he would’ve shopped at. I learned about the different marbles and where each came from! We walked down the same street that the ancients would’ve walked down in the same city built years ago. We visited the Vatican although we couldn’t enter because we weren’t dressed appropriately wish I expected. To enter you need a skirt with length to your knees and your shoulders covered, but of course in 105 degree weather we were both in tank top and shorts. Which weren’t appropriate for entering. Yet still on the outside it was gorgeous enough. We stayed in a nice hostel with 2 other Aussie’s, they never told us their names but they were extremely nice and really helpful.
After Rome we flew to Madrid and stayed for only one night just to catch a train down to where we needed to go. So in case you don’t know I’m doing a study abroad program in Cádiz, Spain. It’s part of Andalusia and it in the southern most part of Spain. My host house is right by the beach and also right by the University! The city is absolutely beautiful and historic and I love it. There’s a quaint little bar on the beach where I like to go and get a Piña Colada and watch the waves roll. I’m probably going to go there as soon as I’m done publishing this post! 🙂 The food here is probably the biggest culture shock I’ve had, it’s mainly starches and fried fish. They eat a lot of potatoes and pasta with fried fish or chicken. The main dish is called the Spanish Tortilla, which is potatoes mixed with scrambled eggs made into an omelete type thing. It’s really yummy, but has a LOT of salt in it. Also, you have to drink so much water here, I know that’s a daily thing but here due to sweating and the salty foods you definitely need to up the water intake. Also, the meal times are way different too. Breakfast is at 8:30, lunch it at 2-2:30, and dinner is at 8:30-9pm. Nightlife here is pretty intense, everyone stays out until midnight or later and you can always hear them. We don’t have air conditioning in our house expect for the living room, so at night when it gets really hot we open the window to allow air flow, but instead we allow noise flow. I’ve become accustomed to it by now, but in the beginning it was slightly annoying. During our first two weekends we went and traveled Spain by going to Granada and Sevilla. Both were so beautiful and historic.
Granada: Granada is one of the most historic cities in Spain, it was first conquered by Muslims and they built the Alhambra after figuring out how staying low in the valley didn’t help their ability to fight off intruders. Muslims built an amazingly beautiful palace and place to live made with so much history and religion. I stepped in the same room that Queen Isabel sent Christopher Columbus to find India (when he actually found America). Later on in years the Catholics found Granada and conquered the Alhambra. They tore down most of the mosque to put up their own church and palace. Many people find that appalling and I heard a lot of mean things said about my religion, I will not deny it was an awful thing to do, but I will not deny that that’s what they did back then. The only way to get what you wanted was to conquer it. But that’s enough political and religious talk, I’m still in awe that I walked the same hallways as so many famous Spanish Kings and Queens. We also went in and explored their Cathedral in the center of Granada and I was amazing by the architecture and beauty of the place. All designed by one man, which blows my mind. The next weekend we went to Sevilla which was just as beautiful and just as hot.
Sevilla: Sevilla is also one of Spain’s oldest cities rich with just as much history. Due to President Obama visiting Sevilla a lot of things were closed, (even though he ended up not showing, thanks Obama…) we still found ways to have fun. We visited Plaza de España and the Mosque (which is in Córdoba). Plaza de España was huge and gorgeous, there were little benches and each bench was dedicated to a major city in Spain, they even had one for Cádiz! It was gorgeous. There were a lot of movies filmed there one including Star Wars. It was huge, it had a little body of water in front of it where you could take boats. After that we took a break to eat some lunch then went and walked around the city a bit more. We headed back to the hotel for the night and woke up to take a bus to Córdoba. Córdoba has a little historic city that is beautiful and interesting. It was conquered by romans first, until the Muslims took over and built a huge mosque to honor their God. When the Catholics conquered Córdoba they took the mosque and built in the middle of it a huge Cathedral. It was never quite finished because the King at the time said he did not want to tear down any more of the mosque, but what they did build was beautiful. The mosque itself was breathtaking, but I’m a bit biased. That weekend really kicked my dehydrated butt! I was sick the week before with a fever and major dehydration but I was not about to miss a trip to Sevilla and Córdoba. 🙂
Overall… Spain is one of my favorite places. I loved London and Rome, but there is so much rich history here in Spain that it makes me want to double minor in not only Spanish but history too!