just an updated on life…
this weekend my program went to Gibraltar, Sevilla and Cordoba! we left at 9am on Friday and got back around 7pm yesterday. since today is Columbus day, which is actually celebrated here, we didn’t have class and so i’ve used the day to (attempt) to recover from the cold/cough i’ve acquired and plan the rest of my time here, although i wasn’t able to buy bus tickets i need for some of my trips because the sites kept failing. I’ve planned a trip to Malaga, which is another of the major cities in Andalucia for two weekends from now and i found a super nice looking B&B for cheap so i’m really excited for that! anyways, below are the highlights from each of the places i went to this weekend.
Literally a rock, Gibraltar is attached to Spain but is actually part of the UK. Used by the British as an air force base during World War Two, despite many efforts, the Spanish have been unable to get Gibraltar to rejoin Spain. The people of Gibraltar like being British and the land is still used as a UK air force base, so after we went through passport control, we had to walk across the landing strip to get to the rest of the town. Later we got stuck in traffic for about 10 minutes so that two British Airway flights could take off. Once we got into town, we had about an hour of free time so we walked around. I bought postcards and coffee flavored ice cream and explored the strange mixture of Spanish and British culture. What a place to live–I could speak both Spanish and English and have all the advantages of the sea and living and being a British citizen (like tea!). The only downfall that I could see from Gibraltar is that everything is pretty expensive because all of their goods have to be shipped in from the UK or Spain. Plus they use the Gibraltar pound or the sterling pound but most places will charge you in euros if that what you want. After wandering a bit, we had to meet up for our bus tour. We went to a viewpoint where we could see Africa across the ocean and then to St. Michael’s cave which is HUGE. Outside of the cave we saw a lot of the wild monkeys that Gibraltar is so famous for and I even saw baby ones! Then we drove up to another viewpoint where we could see the landing strip that we had walked over before. The views were so beautiful and I really liked seeing such a unique place.
We spent both of our nights in Sevilla, which is the capital of Andalucia. We had a bus tour on Saturday during which drove around Sevilla some before stopping at the Plaza de Espana, which was built in 1928 for the Ibero-American Expo in 1929. It is so beautiful! All around it we got to see the houses that the different participating countries had built for the expo. Then we to the Alcazar, which is the old royal Moorish palace, and to Sevilla’s cathedral, which is the 3rd largest in the world. Both were incredibly beautiful and the tour guide was informative. Afterwards, some of us went to lunch in a local cafe and then wandered around.
In Cordoba, we had a walking tour around the city center and then went to the Mosque-Cathedral, which was a stunning combination of two religion’s places of worship.