Well, I’m back in the United States, and I’m looking back on the amazing time I had in Europe. This past semester in Sevilla has been my second study-abroad experience; last spring I studied with the Ithaca College London Centre in England. At the end of my semester there, I knew I was going to miss Europe when I went home, but I was also nearly positive that I would be studying abroad again this spring, so I didn’t worry too much about all the countries I wanted to visit that I had yet to see. However, this semester (with the CC-CS program in Sevilla) was different. Although I’m sure I will return to Europe someday, with my senior year coming up and who-knows-what on the horizon after that, I have no idea when I will find myself on the other side of the pond again. I tried to make the most I could out of the thousands of amazing things Europe has to offer and now that I’m home, I’ve been reflecting on my favourite places I’ve visited in the continent (in chronological order of when I visited).
Top Five Cities I’ve Visited in Europe:
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:
So check them out. I’ve also given some thought to some posts I’d like to make here in the future, which means in the next month or so you can look for:
- My favourite cities in Europe
- A review of Stephen King’s latest (as soon as I get my hands on it)
- A review of Bruce Springsteen’s concert in Sevilla (countdown: 10 days!)
- A wrap-up post of my time in Sevilla
- Hopefully some film reviews when I get home
- And more…
In the meantime, check out my trip to Barcelona!
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.