I plan on traveling the world and I have to opportunity to do that very shortly. I am prepared to have the best time of my life and I'm excited to share it with those I love.

 

Wrap Up…

So, I never really finished blogging about my journey. After Barcelona I went to Madrid for a couple of days and met up with Courtney from my program. It was a lot of fun and we ended up doing a lot of free things. We went to the Prado and the Reina Sofia museums, which were free because we were students, and we walked around the Plaza Mayor and tried to find cool places to eat. One night though we ate at the hostel and we met a guy from Wyoming or Wisconsin, somewhere up north. Anyway, he just finished college and was traveling Europe for a month. We also met several people from Holland at the hostel as well. We shared pictures, stories about where we have been, the routs we were taking, and shared why we were traveling and how we got to Madrid. It was a lot of fun meeting all those cool people. 

After Madrid school finished up, said some goodbyes, and I came home. I’ve been back in the US for a while and since then I have taken a couple summer school classes and worked at Kanakuk for a month. Everything went really well and I’m already making new plans to travel. I’ll let you know where I decide to go next! 

THIS IS NOT THE END!! It’s more like, to be continued… 

Barcelona!

So, I know it’s been a while since I have updated but! Here’s the deal. I went to Barcelona a couple weeks ago and it was so much fun! I stayed in a really big and awesome hostel that I liked a lot and I met some really cool people. 

I stayed in Barcelona for about six days or so, I wasn’t so sure what I was going to do with all that time, but I’m glad I ended up staying that long. I was able to do everything that I wanted to do and I also had time to find things that weren’t on my list and just wander around the city. 

I went to all the cool places like La Sagrada Familia, park Guell, MNAC, the beach, Picasso Museum, the soccer stadium, the area where the 1992 Olympics were held, and some other places. My favorite place was the Plaza Espana area and La Rambla. Plaza Espana is where the MNAC is, it’s a museum of national Cataluna art, I was able to see many painting that we have been studying this year which was really cool. Also in that area is where my friend and I saw a magic fountain show. It was pretty cool, there were four shows, but we only stayed for the first one. There is music played with each show, the one we saw there was classical music, but I also heard from people that I met in the hostel that they also played pop music and songs from disney movies like Circle of Life, I wish I saw that one. But it was really cool, afterwards we walked around and found where the stadium for the 1992 Olympics were held. It was dark by the time we were leaving and we saw these guys on skateboards that glowed neon blue, it was really cool. 

La Rambla is a really long street that is very famous in Spain. There was a lot going on every time I went there (which was almost everyday!) They had a bunch of shops and restaurants that were very neat, they even had a McDonalds, Burger King, and a KFC…that was not very neat though. There is also this big market place there that I ate lunch in, I had pizza and fruit. They were selling everything though, it was very big, interesting, packed with people, and very yummy looking. 

The next place I went was Madrid. 

I WENT TO ROME!!!

This has been my favorite place by far! It was the best trip I have ever been on in my life, I loved it so much. 

I went with two girls from the ICS program and we left Thursday morning, like 6:50am, in the morning. It was actually really nice, besides not getting any sleep we had the whole day to do things. As soon as we got off the plane we went to a place a got pizza. I got cheese pizza and it was the best cheese pizza I’ve ever had. Then we went to the Vatican and spent about 4 hours or so in the museum. It was so big and we didn’t even get to everything. By the time we got to the end we were just walking through the rooms to say we saw them and were extremely tired by the end. It was so cool though, besides being the longest museum I’ve ever been in, it was also the most interesting. I got to see the School of Athens, the Sistine Chapel, and other works of art that I have studied in high school. 

After the Vatican museum we went to St. Peter’s Square and St. Peter’s Basilica. St. Peter’s Basilica is the most beautiful place I have ever been in my entire life. I loved every single minute I was there and I am going to go back there one day. I can’t even begin to describe it, it was so much more than I ever could have possible imagined. 

The next day it rained all day, and of course everything we did ended up being outside… We went to the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon (which is inside, but they were having mass so we couldn’t go in), and we went to the Plaza Navona. Once we were soaked, we went to a place to get pasta. It was the best pasta ever. I had the lasagna, it was very good. There is something about the sauce that is just so good! We went home a little earlier than we wanted to but we were so wet and our shoes were squishing. 

Saturday morning we got up and went back to the Trevi fountain, Pantheon, and Plaza Navona to spend a little extra time walking around the city. We went to the Plaza de Espagna and walked up the Spanish steps. Why are there Spanish steps in Italy? I have no idea, but they looked the same as any other steps I’ve walked up. We got on the metro and headed back to the airport. 

We didn’t get to spend much time in Rome but we got to do most of the main stuff and did what we wanted to do. It rained the majority of the time but the crowds weren’t so big at the outside things like the Trevi Fountain. It was so much fun and we had a wonderful trip! 

Semana Santa

Semana Santa is Holy Week all over Spain. There is an entire week off before Easter Sunday. This celebration is extremely popular in Sevilla and people come from all over the world to watch parades from churches around the area with their floats go through the streets. I saw one in Santiago as well but there were way more here in Sevilla. It rained all week so most of them just went out around the block or didn’t go out at all. I was lucky enough that when I came back from my travels the weather was nicer and I went to el centro with Jodi and we got to see one. 

They are very long, about 30 minutes a piece, and they start at their church and go to the Cathedral, turn around and go back. Some of them go out in the morning and come back in the afternoon and others are out until 2am. There are multiple parts to the event. There are people that are dressed in robes, that to Americans, look like KKK out fits, but since these have been going on for longer than the U.S. has been a country, my bet is that the ones in Spain came first. The Jesus’ and Virgins started out as part of the Counter Reformation by the Catholic church to keep people from leaving. Jesus is used so people can experience the physical pain of Jesus’ sacrifice, while the Virgin always is crying to appeal to the emotional pain of Jesus’ sacrifice. The whole week is really amazing. 

I wish the weather would have been nicer so more floats would have gone out. I liked Semana Santa, and think it is something very special to Spain. It was a very cool experience and I’m glad I came here when I did. Spring semester was a good idea.  

Santiago de Compostela

After I got back from Portugal I went up north, above Portugal, to Santiago de Compostela. I am sure I’ve said this about other places since I have been abroad but this is one if not my absolute favorite places. It wasn’t a big city but there was still a lot going on and a lot to do. It reminded me very much of home and I liked that. 

While I was there I met some people that did the Santiago trail. The Santiago trail is a trail that starts in southern France and goes across the northern boarder of Spain and ends at Santiago. The Cathedral in Santiago is supposed to hold the bones of St. James the apostle. This is the third more important pilgrimage behind Rome and Jerusalem. There were people from all over the world that walked into the Santiago square, some were crying, some were hugging the people they met along the way, and there was this big group of about 30 people or so that came in holding hands, singing, and dancing. It was wonderful to see. A woman I met in the hostel said that it was the best thing she has ever done in her life. It makes me want to do it. Maybe someday. 

I went to service on Good Friday before we left to go back to Sevilla. I was sad to leave and would like to go back someday, hopefully after walking the trail. 

My next adventure is Rome this coming weekend. I will post next week with pictures! I’m really excited about this one! It’s going to be great!

Portugal

I went to Portugal last weekend with my roommates. We were looking forward to spending time on the beach and getting tan, but it rained the whole time so that didn’t happen. We still had a good time though. We were able to spend one day on the beach and the rest we went to the end of the western world before the America’s were discovered to Europe and we also were able to go shopping and look around the town. We stayed in a pretty nice place with a kitchen so we were able to cook dinner instead of going out. It’s the last stretch before going home and we are all on the verge of broke so we save money where we can. 

Portugal was very beautiful and I’m glad I went, I just wish the weather was nicer. It is definitely a place that I wouldn’t mind going back to. Every where we went was super touristy, but that’s alright, I have come to the conclusion that I will be spending most of my adult life by the beach. I loved being there. 

These next couple weeks will be super busy for me because I will be traveling every weekend until I come back to the States. I apologize for doing all this updating all at once but I have been forgetting to update recently. I will try to stay on top of it for the next 5 weeks. 

Cool…

So, I posted Ronda twice, but it’s staying there. 

Ronda

A couple weekends ago we went to Ronda as a school. It was a pretty place on top of a cliff with a beautiful valley below. Ronda is a very rich city and is known for having the oldest bullfighting ring called Plaza de Torro, they are all called that. We were able to go inside the ring and I didn’t really know what to expect but I thought it would be different. I was picturing something along the lines of the inside of a baseball field or a soccer stadium. It was much prettier than I thought it would be, although the seats didn’t really look that comfortable. 

One of the teachers at the school was really close to a famous American Bullfighter named John Fulton. She told us all about bullfighting, how it started, why it’s important to the Spanish culture, and everything that happens during a bullfight. I have a different perspective and more respect for bullfighting after learning more about it, but I will not be able to go see one. I have a history of passing out when it comes to things like that, better safe than sorry, at least in this case. 

I liked Ronda more than the other smaller towns we have visited and I have been learning a lot since I have been here in Spain. Coming here was a good decision.