Last Days in Spain

 This past weekend I went on my long weekend trip to Málaga and then to Sevilla. While in Málaga I decided to not go to the beach and instead opted to take a day trip with a friend to the British owned overseas territory of Gibraltar.  I’m really glad that I decided to do this.  It was interesting to see the mix of Spanish and British culture of not only the landscape but also of the people who call Gibraltar home.  For our first activity we decided to take the cable car to the top of the rock and see the beautiful landscape that Gibraltar had to offer.  When we got to the top we were unfortunate to run across the Gibraltar macaque monkeys that call the top of the rock home.  One immediately climbed on top of my shoulders for what I thought was a friendly hello.  Turns out the only reason the monkey wanted any part of me was so that he could steal some of my stuff.  By the time I realized what was happening, the monkey had stolen my aspirin and was attempting to eat it like candy.  Fortunately, the monkey wised up to the fact that It wasn’t a snack and promptly threw it all over the cliff.  From that moment on I knew that the monkeys were not to be trusted and I walked with caution for the rest of my time at the top.  Once we got down from the mountain, we went on a dolphin seeing tour around the Mediterranean which I found to be a cool experience.  We finished up the day by grabbing a pint and some fish and chips at one of the local pubs around Main St.  

   For Saturday and Sunday, we took a train to Sevilla and experienced some of the local culture that this wonderful town had to offer.  We visited the plaza de los toros, explored the gardens of the Alcazar where Game of Thrones was filmed, and we even experienced a Flamenco show which is a local specialty in Sevilla.  Overall our long weekend turned out to be a wonderful yet tiring experience.  I am very glad that my last weekend will be spent just chilling in Segovia as I will finally get some time to explore everything that the city has to offer.    

To say the time has flown by is a huge understatement. When I officially signed up, 9 weeks seemed like a long time. I’ve since been in Prague for 5 weeks, and it only feels like 2! I’ve been travelling on the weekends, visiting Germany, Poland, and Italy. Although they’ve all been beautiful in their own way, I’m so glad I’ve loved Prague the most.

Munich and Nuremberg in Germany were gorgeous, though I did prefer Munich more since it had more things to do. Italy was gorgeous but pricey. Rome was very touristy so I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would, but Florence was gorgeous and had a lot to do! Venice was also beautiful, and of course I took a gondola ride. The best advice I have for those visiting Italy would be to haggle with the street vendors or pretty much anyone who tries to sell you something, you can typically get a few euros off the price. In Poland, I stayed right by the Wawel Castle which was beautiful, walked around downtown, stumbled upon a Polish festival which was a lot of fun, and then did a tour of Auschwitz. I HIGHLY recommend anyone visiting Europe to walk through Auschwitz; it was incredibly emotional and very intense, but I learned so much more about the history than I ever learned in class.

Back in Prague, the numerous museums here have been fascinating—Medieval Torture museum, Museum of Communism, Franz Kafka museum. I have also gone to the Prague zoo and see a ballet of Franz Kafka’s The Trial. I had never seen a ballet before, and it was such a cool experience! Even though I’ve been here over a month, there is still so much to do—the activities never stop!

Update from Segovia

   Yesterday marked the half way point in my month long trip in Segovia Spain.  There have been bumps along the way, but overall I think that everything has gone pretty well.  I have met some really incredible people along the way and my roommate never fails to entertain with his bizarre but hilarious sense of humor. I couldn’t have asked for a better señora to stay with.  She cooks three wonderful meals a day, does the laundry, helps us with our Spanish, and most importantly she makes us feel like family in her home every second of the day.    Daily life in Segovia has proven to be a welcome change to the hustle and bustle of Louisville.  Nobody is ever in a rush here to do anything which I think  is very refreshing to see in society.  There aren’t any cars almost running me over to get anywhere and the locals seem extremely laid back.  They always haven’t been amiable to our group being that we are from the U.S, but generally speaking I have much respect for the lifestyle, culture, and personality of Segovia and the people who live here.    I have taken multiple excursions to places such as Toledo, Madrid, Salamanca, Avila, and just this past weekend spent two days in Barcelona.  Along the way I have seen marvels such as the Sagrada Familia, Picasso’s Guernica, The Prado, Universidad de Salamanca, Park Güell, Camp Nou, Puerto de Sol, the Mediterranean sea, and countless cathedrals for which each one gives me something new to admire.     The classes have proven to be more difficult than I originally thought they would be.  I think that this is a combination of them only being one month long and having professors with completely different styles than what I am accustomed to in the United States.  I definitely struggled to start out, but I have recovered very nicely in the last few days and I think that I will make out ok in my classes which is a huge relief.    This weekend I will travel the Málaga and then Sevilla for our long weekend trip.  I can’t wait and see what new adventures await and all the lasting memories I will make. Until then GO CARDS!!