Tuesday we went to the Cathedral in Sevilla in my Arts and Monuments class, literally around the corner from the school. I knew this was a beautiful Cathedral but I had no idea it is actually the largest Gothic Cathedral in the WORLD and the 3rd largest Cathedral overall. The culture and the history that exists in this city never ceases to amaze me. The inside of the Cathedral shows a blend of Muslim and Christian styles and there is still evidence that the Cathedral once was a mosque. The Cathedral also contains an amazing view of the city from the top of the Giralda (once the Muslim minuret), that is also an unmistakable landmark in the Sevilla skyline. The trip to the top took walking up 35 ramps but the view was remarkable.
Tuesday afternoon all the SAIIE students all went ice skating in Parque Maria Luisa. I LOVE ice skating especially when it's on an outdoor rink and it's only 55 degrees outside. Wednesday I had my second day of my internship and I can tell I am going to learn so much from Paula, the woman who works with me. I worked on helping them with a database and she also gave me a number of free political seminars to attend around the city (definitely going to add to the holistic experience). Thursday my intercambio, Mamen, invited Mallory and I to see her house (right around the corner from the school) and eat dessert (of course). We talked with her and her boyfriend for two hours and it's amazing how much I was able to improve my daily conversation in such a short period. I can feel free to speak freely and Mamen will correct me when needed which I have learned is the best way to gain fluency! She and her boyfriend are both extremely sweet and have promised to take us to a real local flamenco show!
I woke up early Friday morning and we all got on the bus to drive to Cordoba! We walked over a bridge to get into the old city and it was the most stunning skyline I've seen thus far. The mosque of Cordoba, converted to a Cathedral, sits right on the river. We toured the mosque in the morning and later in the afternoon we were free to wander the sunny streets, eat gelato, and drink sangria. The city still has a very historic feel with the small cobblestone streets and flower boxes on the walls and it is definitely my favorite place we have visited thus far.
Mallory and I were up again early on Saturday to meet up with Megan and take the bus to wine country, Jerez! We took a wine tour of Tio Pepe, a massive winery in the middle of Jerez and it lasted three hours. We were able to see the Sherry bodegas, brandy distilleries, and of course try four different kinds of Sherry. It was an awesome tour and we learned so much about the process behind making Sherry.
Trying the wines at Tio Pepe
One of the Sherry bodegas at Tio Pepe
Walking into beautiful Cordoba
Inside the Mosque/Cathedral in Cordoba
View of Sevilla from the Cathedral :)Overall, it was an EXCELLENT week. And now I have to go study for exams...