Monday, March 28, 2011

Irish Step Dancing, Mezquitas, and Food babies: St. Patrick's Day Weekend

My program to Sevilla is very different than other programs I've encountered. Because we are a program through a school, and not a separate company, we are significantly smaller (14 as compared to 80-150 in other programs). What I've also noticed, is that other programs go to several excursions, such as weekend trips to surrounding cities. Our program director, Miguel says that our orientation (Granada and Marbella) was our excursion, but we did do one final trip as a group of us, a day trip to Cordoba.
We were all excited for this trip until we heard the two most important facts:
1) We left at 9:30 in the morning
2) We left at 9:30 in the morning, AFTER ST.PATRICK'S DAY.
This facts were not good.
Americans, and American college students specifically find any excuse to drink, and an Irish Catholic holiday is one of those days. The night before (a Wednesday might I add, apparently I'm a weekday drinker, who knew) we ran into our friend Toba (Russel Brand and Borat) who told us about an Irish pub very close to us, so all 14 of us, for the first time all semester got ready and went out together. O'Neals is a pub right by our house, which is great because normally all of the good bars are a solid 20 minute walk away. The bar was filled with abroad students decked out in green, and Spanish people trying to figure out why this holiday was important.
We didn't stay very long, just enough for me to have my pint of Guiness and to convince people that my friend Amanda, who irish step-danced for the entire bar was actually from Dublin.

The next morning, we all rolled into the lobby a little woozy and as ready as we could be to go to Cordoba, a city about 2 hours away from us. It's most famous for their Mosque, which has huge candy-cane striped arches, and has a Cathedral inside it from when Ferdinand and Isabel took over Spain.
Once again, Luis was our tourguide, and the girls on our program giggled through his very informative tour. My favorite part of the day was lunch, partially because of the AMAZING food we had, and partially because we found out more about Luis and Rocio, the people who have helped us most on the trip. Rocio, who gave us tours on Friday mornings has 2 doctorates, one in theatre and in art history, she also has written many books and hosts her own series of lectures online. This is the woman who I've been calling "tour lady" for 5 weeks, I feel silly. Luis, whom I've spoken about many times has his post-grad degree in art history and has written one of the best books on Velasquez. This poor man is brilliant and has to deal with 14 giggling girls every week, what a trooper.

The dinner was delicious, and I ate my weight in croquetas, Salmorejo (thick cold veggie soup topped with jamón) and a monkfish/shrimp kabob. I didn't eat again until the next night's dinner.

I cannot believe how this is flying by, this next month is going to be crazy

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