Posted by: morgangoesabroad | December 8, 2010

Last Trip and the Start of the Countdown

I have gotten pretty lazy in the past few weeks about posting, so the first thing I need to catch up on is our last trip to Sevilla and Córdoba. We left the day after Thanksgiving and spent Friday in Córdoba exploring the city. We saw the Muslim palace and the mosque-turned-cathedral that is a great example of the moorish influences in Spain. Both Córdoba and Sevilla are in Andalucia, the southern Spanish province that Granada is also in, and Sevilla is actually the capital. Besides the two Spanish cities in Africa (Ceuta and Melia), Andalucia is the closest province to Africa and has the most Muslim influences. To me, that makes all of the architecture that much more interesting because the Christians tried to cover up Muslim influences during the Reconquista. The “mosque” in Córdoba has all of the characteristics of a traditional Mosque, except that it also has an alter, sanctuary and numerous idols and sculptures that are typical of a Christian Cathedral. The tower has also been converted into a bell tower and had an entire section rebuilt under order from the Catholic Monarchs. Córdoba is a relatively small city with lots of  little windy streets and charm. My favorite part was definitely the mosque and seeing the clashing of cultures.

Next stop was Sevilla, where unfortunately it rained for almost the entire weekend. We only got a few hours of sunshine on the last day, which sort of put a damper on things but I still really liked the city! And actually it is all over Spanish news this week that Sevilla is experiencing a huge amount of rainfall and horrible flooding. Andalucia is typically the warmer, dryer part of Spain so this weather is pretty abnormal. Sevilla was actually pretty uneventful because we were stuck inside a lot. There is a cool mosque there too and a bunch of historical buildings that I had just studied in my architecture class that were really interesting to see. My favorite part was definitely on the last morning  (when it was sunny) when we saw the beautiful arab palace and La Plaza España. Plaza España is an absolutely gorgeous and gigantic building with a big open plaza in the middle. It even has a little river that goes around the middle and you can rent row boats or take pony rides around it. Here’s a picture: After that it was back to Granada and 18 days until the U.S! I’m at the point now where although I love living here so much, I’m definitely ready to go back to school and my family and friends at home. We had a week of classes after Sevilla and then an entire week off for “winter break” (because life here is just so grueling…). A lot of my classmates went on one last Eurotrip to various places but my three girlfriends and I decided to stay here, or rather were forced to by the pathetic state of our bank accounts.  We still had quite the adventurous week though!

It started on Friday when I set out to track down the money my Dad had to wire me due to my bank being extremely stupid (Another thing I can’t wait to go home and do…switch banks!). It ended up being a sort of wild goose chase that led me all over Granada. At the same time, a heating pipe in our apartment burst and flooded almost the entire thing with about three inches of water. I came home to my host mom basically wading around in her crocs and the maintenance guy trying to get the leak under control. Water was gushing out so fast and it was so hot that our whole apartment turned into a sauna in a matter of minutes. A bunch of neighbors came to help and eventually they all got it under control and cleaned everything up and now you couldn’t even tell. Since we only have tile floors, there was zero damage except for a few water marks on the wood furniture. Que suerte!

Two days ago (Monday) we decided to get up into the mountains and go on a skiing adventure. It was a bad idea for a few reasons: One, I haven’t been skiing since I was 8…and those were the Blue Ridge mountains. Two, it hasn’t been very cold in the mountains lately and you can even see from Granada that there isn’t much snow. Three, not that I really own ski gear anyways, but the few snow clothes I do have are back in the States-but of course we went anyways. We took a 45 min bus ride up to the little ski town only to find out that all of the slopes were closed due to fog and bad weather (probably a blessing in disguise to be honest…). The only thing that was open was a bobsled ride that would never pass safety tests in the United States and a bunch of restaurants and souvenir shops. I’m still glad we went because although we didn’t get to ski, we got to eat in a restaurant called Cafe Morgan and finally see what was in those beautiful mountains that I stare up at all day.

Next planned activity is a spa date at the Arab baths on Thursday 🙂 Class starts up again tomorrow and I think I forgot how to be a real student…9 days left in Spain.

 

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