It has been way too long since I have had a chance to sit down and write as well as share some photos with you all. It has been a whirlwind since my last post and during that time we traveled to Cordoba, had our first week of exams, had our first Bible study, traveled to Ronda and Aracena. I will do my best to highlight some of the many things that have happened over the past ten days!
Friday February 15 – Our program took a day trip to the beautiful city of Cordoba about an hour and a half from Sevilla. I had been eagerly awaiting this trip as “La Mezquita de Cordoba” is one of the landmarks I have been looking forward to the most during our time here. I was not disappointed to say the least! Many of us walked around in awe of beauty of the Mosque that later had a Cathedral built right in the center of it after the reconquest of the Christians. The Mosque is known for its red and white arches that seem to go on forever. The Cathedral and choir loft is by far one of the most beautiful that I have ever seen! I wish there were words to describe it! We enjoyed walking around the city and some ice cream during our free time before returning to Sevilla in the evening.
La Mezquita in the distance
Finally standing among the famous arches of La Mezquita!
The magnificent choir loft in the Cathedral section of La Mezquita
Some of the gardens surrounding La Mezquita
The rest of the weekend was full of resting and studying as our first exams were the following week and I was battling my first cold during our time abroad. Thankfully Rayas, a wonderful ice cream place in Sevilla opened that weekend and was a definite help in both my studies and time recovering from illness!
Thursday February 21 – This was a day full of rainy weather, but marked the end of exams and our first Bible Study get together. We had such a great time getting to know each other over a wonderful cup of cafe con leche. I am so thankful for a group of people that I can turn to for support and encouragement during this journey of being abroad.
Friday February 22 – This was definitely one of the best and worst days all combined in to one! We took a day trip to Ronda with our program. It rained almost the entire time that we were traveling and during our time in the city. We were absolutely drenched and so cold! Despite the poor weather, Ronda is by far one of the most beautiful cities we have seen. It is in the mountains and the drive there is full of beautiful Spanish countryside. Courtney and I enjoyed what was definitely the best cup of hot chocolate yet (it may have been because we were SO cold!) and looking back we can laugh at how funny the weather was and how absolutely soaked we were!
After spending the day in Ronda, we came home and dried out. That evening we went to have some tapas and one of the bars that we were able to attend, El Rinconcillo, is the oldest bar in Sevilla. We enjoyed some delicious croquetas and wine. And of course our last stop of the evening was Rayas to enjoy some more delicious ice cream!
Saturday was finally a day full of sun. We did some walking throughout the bus station and decided to buy bus tickets to a small city called Aracena for the following Sunday. Little did we know what a treat we were in for! Sunday we boarded the bus at 9 in the morning and drove for about an hour and a half to reach the city that was literally in the middle of nowhere! The bus ride was absolutely stunning, and Aracena is a small, typical Andalusian city with white-washed houses and buildings. They are known for “La gruta de las Maravillas” which is a huge cave in the city. They are also known for their Iberian ham, and yes we even went to a Ham Museum! During siesta time when many of the local businesses are closed, we climbed to the highest point of the city that is marked by a beautiful cathedral and stunning view of the countryside. This may have been one of the best days yet in Spain!
La Gruta de las Maravillas
Me, Liz and Hannah admiring the view from the Cathedral
… and this was the view!
This is a short week with only three days of classes, and then Courtney and I embark on our adventure to London and Dublin this weekend! I hope that everyone is doing well! Miss you and love to you all!!