Somehow the first week of my trip has passed by in a blur! I want to do a separate post about each of the cities I’ve visited so far – Cordoba, Granada, Sevilla, and Lisbon – but for now I’ll just drop in with a quick hello.
My travels started last Sunday bright and early. I flew from SFO to JFK, where I met the rest of the group from Syracuse University (the program I’m studying with). I chatted with a few others on my travel seminar while waiting in the security line, though there were swarms of study abroad students in the airport and it was hard to tell who was actually on my trip. After a few more hours, made more interesting by X-Men and Friends, we landed in Madrid to a bright, blue-skied morning. No time to explore or settle though; from the airplane we were shepherded directly onto the long bus ride to the south.
We unloaded hours later in Cordoba, exhausted but glad to be done traveling. More on the city to come.
Some impressions so far:
– The countryside is incredible here! Everything is so green, and there are lots of fruit trees, small white houses, and rock walls. The views make the long bus rides worth it.
– Spanish women have a special talent: they can walk on cobblestones in crazy high heels.
– The Spanish don’t have any use for name games or ice breakers. I still don’t know the names of all 38 of the people in my seminar.
– Spanish food is not as good as I was expecting. There’s a definite lack of green vegetables, and quite a lot of fried tapas. It’s tasty, but gets old quickly. Sangria, on the other hand, is delicious.
– There are huge hams hanging from the wall of every restaurant and store we walk into. They look fake, but nope, they’re real (and they feel slimy when you poke them).
– A lot of the kids on my trip have way more stuff than I do. I brought a carry-on, a half-full checked bag, and a backpack. These kids brought multiple full checked bags, purses, sleeping bags, and more. How are they going to travel?
– My Spanish is terrible! I have a lot to catch up on.
To conclude, a few more pictures.
Here’s a photo of the whole Imperium Seminar. I’m in the second row in the blue scarf.
And here’s a photo of my friends and I on our very first night here. We wandered around town for a while only to discover that very little is open late on a chilly Monday night in Cordoba. We stopped into a little bar after exploring the streets. It was a struggle just to order, and the bartender rolled his eyes when he finally passed us our drinks and we mimed to him to take our picture. Typical Americans.