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Hello again everyone.
Well, the time has come and gone. I have officially returned to the United States.
I can not lie and say that I am 100% glad to be back home. I still do miss Spain, my host family and all the wonderful people that I met there. However, a friend reminded me this week that the people we meet in life never truly leave us and that we will, one day, meet again. I sincerely hope this to be true.
Anyways, before we left on Saturday morning, I managed to accomplish a couple of tasks: 1) I managed to pass and graduate (I guess?) from my school in Spain!
Here I am with my diploma to prove it!
I also finally managed to climb up the Giralda, the giant tower next to the cathedral in Seville.
I also managed to get to the movie theater on Friday night after packing to go and experience a movie entirely dubbed in Spanish. I went to go see “Piratas del Caribe 4: En Mareas Misteriosas.” What an experience that was! I was shocked to discover that I could understand a good 50-60% of the dialogue in the movie, including the phrase “La fuente de la juventud.” Whatever happens, though, don’t fully spoil it for me, as, like I said, I only understood about half of the movie and would like to see it again in English.
Then, it came time to say goodbye to the city that holds a special place in my heart. At 5:00 on Saturday morning, I said goodbye to my host mother, and traveled off to the Seville airport to return to the United States. It was hard enough having to leave my host family and this wonderful country. What made it even worse was the fact that our planes in Madrid and Chicago were both delayed for quite some time. And, BTW, I also had the displeasure of having flown into Chicago O’Hare Airport. The people there were incredibly rude and made my experience there an absolute pesadilla (nightmare). But, eventually, we all managed to fly back into Rochester a little past midnight on Sunday.
So that’s it. My last post. If there are more pics and videos, I will do my level best to post as many pics and videos that I still have left (I did take about 1000 photos).
I truly hate goodbyes and just saying/thinking the very word makes my lower lip begin to tremble. So, for now, let me say, “Hasta la vista.” I’ve taken a lot of criticism for saying that, but the literal meaning of the phrase is “Until the sight,” referring to the next time that people meet again.
I have been truly blessed to have been able to experience this journey and to have experienced it with some really great and wonderful fellow students. I truly recommend to anyone interested in studying abroad to go for it!
So, hasta la vista.
P.S. My professors gave me a new nickname that I kinda like. Patricio “El Sabio,” or “The Wise.” I like it!
This is a late entry from our recent trip to Carmona, a city with quite an interesting history. We went to the Royal Alcazar, which, similar to the one here in Seville, was used by Moorish Caliphates as a residential area.
After that, we headed off to an ancient Roman amphitheater and a necropolis, where I climbed a ladder down into the ancient catacombs!
Lastly, we went to a nearby cathedral where people who are searching for true love light candles in front of an altar for Mary.
Okay. That’s all from Carmona! Stay tuned as I try to post as much as I can before we leave on Saturday morning. Not looking forward to leaving this wonderful place just yet.
Sorry for the lateness of this post, so I’ll skip the chatter and give you some of the pics I took at the Museo de Bellas Artes in Seville. The art museum is, according to local Spaniards, the second best art museum in the county, behind the Museo del Prado in Madrid.
Most of the paintings here in Bellas Artes are from the Baroque era, which is characterized by various religious images and the “search for the light.”
See if you can spot either of these themes in these works.
Hello again, everyone!
I’m so bad at posting these blogs regularly. However, after returning home from classes, sometimes, I just have to hit the sack and get sufficient shut-eye.
Anyways, a lot’s happened in the past few days. I just came back from the beach at Chiclana and I’m feeling a little sunburned.
Although I can’t fit what I’ve seen/visited in this blog alone, I will be posting subsequent blogs in regards to the many places that we went to last week.
I’ll be sure to post a few pics from the beach we went to, in the hopes that they will be sufficient until I manage to write up the blogs that I forgot to write….Ooops.
Anyways, hope everyone’s doing really well!
Well, not much to update this week. Homework still officially sucks, but otherwise things are a-0kay over here.
In our afternoon class, we managed to learn two different variations of the Sevillanas dance. That is to say that we managed to learn about two weeks worth of dance lessons in the span of about two hours. While I might have had some difficulty, overall, I had an excellent time.
I’ll be sure to post a few pics (and maybe a video if the website will allow me) from this afternoon’s class.
Hello again all!
Well, the title of this most recent article comes from the fact that we have to do a project where we interview Spaniards about various aspects about the country. I mentioned to a friend of mine that I would like to interview someone else’s host mother (because I don’t want to ask two people from my own family as that might seem a little biased). Anyways, my friend responded by saying that people will already be asking their own host mom’s and that “You don’t want to steal someone else’s host mother.”
Anyways, things couldn’t be better over here. I just came back from a weekend “getaway” in Granada, a city with an incredible history. This area in Spain was the last area where the Moors (ancient Muslim empire) ruled before Los reyes Catolicos (the Catholic Kings-Fernando II and Isabel I) took back control of the country from the Moors. Here, as well, the last Moor king handed Fernando and Isabel the keys to the city of Granada.
Granada is about a three hour ride from Seville. Luckily we had an air-conditioned bus with enough leg room.
When we arrived in Granada early on Saturday afternoon, we arrived just in time to see a religious festival. I’m not entirely sure what it was, but I will be sure to post a few photos of the event.
After that, we went to a nearby market where street vendors were selling handmade tapestries, clothes, etc. I bought a nice looking sky-blue tapestry with an orange elephant. Que bonita!
Today, we went to the Alhambra, one of the ancient Moorish palaces that was used by the Sultan as a place to relax and to greet guests.
One of the key elements of Muslim architecture is that no images/faces of Allah (God) or Muhammad are permitted. However, Arabic writing is often found in the architecture telling either verses from the Qur’an or describing the history of the architect.
Another image often found in the architecture is the one illustrated below:
This is a fountain in the Alhambra. The circle/the fountain represents the circle of life (Lion King reference, anyone?) and creation. The narrow strip towards the end represents the passage from life to death and the pool/pond represents the afterlife/eternity. When walking around the Alhambra today, I saw this exact same pattern represented a few times.
So, that’s it for now! I’ll leave you with a few more photos of the Alhambra. Tomorrow, with the afternoon free, I’ll be revisiting the Alcazar, doing some shopping and going to see a Spanish movie. (I secretly hope it’s in English, but I doubt it).