Let me start by saying this: if you’re looking for an unbiased review of last night’s Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band concert at the Estadio Olímpico in Sevilla, go somewhere else. He could have played twenty minutes and done only songs from Human Touch and I would’ve still thought it was a great show. As it is, the three-hour concert featured old hits and new favourites. The show began just after 9pm with “Badlands,” (click to watch a video) and then two of the highlights from Springsteen’s latest album, “We Take Care of Our Own” and the title track, “Wrecking Ball.” The stage was simple, apart from the different levels to accommodate the numerous members of the E Street Band, and the effects mostly took the form of spotlights and the platforms in the crowd Springsteen often ran to for parts of songs.
(I’ve been on a bit of a Vonnegut kick lately, attempting to read everything of his that I haven’t already. Right now I’m on Breakfast of Champions, although the quote which titles this post is from my favourite novel of his, Cat’s Cradle)
Well, it’s been a very busy couple of weeks. Last weekend I went to Barcelona (see below for pictures!), and met up with my mom and aunt, who were coming to visit for the week. Then we all headed back to Sevilla where we spent pretty much all day of every day, apart from when I had classes, sight-seeing. The week also brought Feria, Sevilla’s spring fair. Unfortunately, over the weekend it was time to buckle down and start preparing for finals, so I haven’t had much time for blogging here. However, I have:
I realized that in the chaos of Semana Santa, I never said anything about my trip the weekend prior to Granada! This one was organized by my school, and I’m glad because Granada is an incredibly important city in Andalucia, both historically and culturally. (It also had my favourite bar to date, a really cool little jazz bar where my friends and I, looking for a relaxed night out, drank Irish coffee and listened to a piano player in a room surrounded by bookshelves and photos of old Hollywood.)
01. Granada Cathedral
02. There was a lot of cool graffiti near our hotel
03. Walking up to the Albaicín to get a view of the Alhambra. The streets are winding and narrow and the climb is very steep, but the view is worth it!
04. Bars in Granada still practice giving tapas with your drinks. It gives you less choice in what you’re eating but makes your experience very cheap—and let’s face it, everything tastes good.
05. Here I am in the Alhambra, the palace and fortress of the Emirato de Granada, constructed during the 14th century.
06. Inside the Alhambra.
07. View of the Albaicín from the Alhambra by day…
08. …and by night
This past weekend, while half of the students in my program were in Granada (I’m going this upcoming weekend!), and my roommate was in Paris, I took off on my own for the north: to Bilbao and San Sebastián. After deciding that Vueling is definitely my favourite low-cost airline (they let you have a carry-on and a purse! Anyone who has ever flown Ryanair knows what a big deal this is), I took a bus to San Sebastián and I immediately fell in love with the city! The walk from the bus station to the hostel was along a river and crossed a bridge just before it reached the ocean. The hostel I stayed in, Olga’s Place (highly recommended!) was just a block from the ocean. After I checked in, I decided to take a walk along the beach. La Playa de la Concha stretches in a curve around the edge of the city. Even though it was foggy and not particularly warm (a nice change from the heat in Sevilla, I must admit), that didn’t stop people from going to the beach. I saw so many people walking, playing with their dogs, even kayaking and surfing in the (freezing) water.
One of the things I love most about studying abroad is the chance to travel. Last spring when I was in London, not only did I get to visit some of the best places in England (Liverpool!) but I got to see a lot of other amazing locations in Europe (some of my favourites were Firenze, København, and Edinburgh). This semester, I’m trying to do a little more of my traveling in Spain, rather than galavanting all over Europe, because I’m trying to learn the language, but I do have a couple trips outside of the country planned, and even staying within Spain there’s plenty to do and see.
Last week, for our third required visit during the intensive period (the first three weeks of classes), we went to the city of Itálica, a Roman ruin from the third century, B.C. It was the birthplace of the emperor Trajan, and it has the remains of public buildings, residences, and a 25,000-seat ampitheatre. I visited Rome last year during spring break, so I’ve seen Roman ruins before, but these were still quite interesting.
(click to enlarge photos or check some photos out on tumblr)