Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sevilla and Cordoba

I traveled to Sevilla and Cordoba on a Semester at Sea trip on Thursday June 26th. We left at 10am and took a 2 hour bus ride north to Sevilla. We all slept on the bus, there were about 40 kids. We visited Plaza de Espana, the Alcazar, the largest gothic church in the world (we think- maybe it was just in Spain), and then we visited the Jewish Quarter.The Alcazar is where the King of Spain stays when he comes to Sevilla, he hasn’t stayed there in 7 years though because he usually just takes a flight back to Madrid.  Sevilla was a gorgeous city and there were fountains everywhere you look. They also have a lot of traffic circles in Spain, and Spanish drivers are crazy! Sometimes you won’t even see anything that looks like a road and then a car will come from out of nowhere. We also noticed that drivers seem to speed up when they see a pedestrian in the road- just an observation. I met a lot of really nice girls on the trip. I sat next to Angie on the bus ( I see her everywhere on the ship now). And then we met Danielle (my roommate for the night in Cordoba), Logan, Lauren, Jenna, Jena, Emma and a few other girls.

We took the bus 2 hours to Cordoba where we spent the night. I walked the town with the girls before dinner and we got Café con Leche which we had all been meaning to try. It is a really strong coffee and we put a lot of sugar in it. It was really good, we sat in the coffee shop for about an hour before dinner. Some of the girls I was with had blonde hair and many people stopped to look at them through the coffee shop window. It was very entertaining and men old and young were looking at them. We went back to the hotel for dinner and then got ready to explore. Cordoba does not have a very exciting night life but we ended up having a lot of fun. First we walked around the downtown market and I bought a pair of white linen pants for the boat and possibly for Egypt or Morocco. Most of the shops started to close down around 9pm so then we decided to go find some Tapas.  It was my roommate Danielle’s birthday so we went out and found Bar la Playa. There were about 12 girls that went out and we ordered random things off the menu so we could try things. We ended up ordering some kind of dip, warm brie and we got fried anchovies- with the heads on. We were not expecting the anchovies but a few of us took the chance and ate them. We cut their heads off first, but we were proud of ourselves for trying it.

The next morning we toured Cordoba on a bus and walking tour. We started in the Jewish Quarter, which was surrounded by a wall. We saw the only Synagogue in Cordoba even though there is not a single Jewish person in the city anymore. There are only about 50,000 Jews in all of Spain. The Jews call Spain Sefard which is where Sefardic Jews come from. We saw a statue of Mamahides who was a Doctor in Spain that was very famous. Then we went to another Alcazar in Cordoba and a Mosque that can hold 40,000 people. The Mosque was built using 1,000 pillars. Inside of the Mosque there was a Cathedral built in the middle. It was a normal sized church inside of the Mosque but you never would have known from the outside. We left the historic area and walked around on the side streets and then walked back to the hotel. Everyone was exhausted at that point. We had a 4 hour bus ride back to Cadiz where the ship was and everyone fell asleep as soon as we got on the bus.

I have posted pictures from Cadiz on the facebook link in my last post. I am waiting until we get to Italy on Wednesday to upload pictures of sevilla and Cordoba so that I can find a free internet café. I am doing a long trip in Italy- Rome, Pompeii, Capri, Sorento and Naples. We arrive in Civitavecchia on Wednesday and the ship continues to Naples on Friday but I am just going to meet the ship in Naples.

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