¡Córdoba y Cádiz!

 

Saturday was a crazy adventure! I went to both Córdoba and Cádiz to see the Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba, Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, and celebrations of Carnaval.

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Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba

img_6067.jpgThe Mezquita-Catedral was amazing. I had studied briefly the Mosque portion in my Art History class this past semester, and it was completely mind-blowing to see something in person that I had studied. The double archways were incredible, but what was especially mind-boggling was when I walked around the corner and saw a Cathedral smack dab in the middle of the Mosque.

As I looked up at the enormous Cathedral I felt a mix of wonder and horror. It was incredibly beautiful but I was just so saddened because of the obvious demonstration of power over another shown through religious presence. That being said though, I can appreciate the Cathedral-within-a-Mosque because without the decision to put the Cathedral inside, it is likely that the entire place would no longer exist.

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The view from the tower in the Alcázar

The Alcázar was also gorgeous. We explored the gardens filled with fountains that were home to so many coy fish. They would even swim to follow you around with hopes to be fed!

After our time in Córdoba came to an end we headed back to Seville, where I immediately got ready forCarnaval and hopped on a bus at 8pm. We arrived in Cádiz to an enormous celebration. There were people everywhere, dressed in every costume imaginable.

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Cádiz Carnaval!

The streets were completely full and, in some parts, it was even hard to move around. It was so cool! Never in my life have I experienced a celebration quite like this. Although it was a really late night, sometimes it is worth losing a few hours of sleep to experience something so unique that I may not have ever seen in my life otherwise!

 

Saturday was one of the longest days ever, but it was so worth it.

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First Weekend, It’s Official!

I’m finally here! Sevilla! I can hardly believe it.

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*Spoiler Altert*

Yesterday, though, truly blew me away. Yesterday being my first Saturday in Seville, SSA offered an optional tour/field trip to see la Plaza de España and el Parque de María Louisa.

I had no idea what to expect but I had nothing else planned, so that morning I set out with one of my amazing housemates to see the sights. We walked through the cobblestone streets. They packed with people from all over the world and lined with shops of every color selling everything. I felt as if I was in another world. Then finally we hit the plaza.

Oh. My. Goodness.

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Gals and a big ol’ fountain

I could barely breathe for a moment. I did not know what I was expecting but it most certainly was not the grandeur of this new place. An enormous fountain stood in the middle, canals ran all around the plaza, an the extremely detailed building formed a semi-circle around the fountain.

Exploring further, we arrived at el Parque de María Luisa, another place that I had not researched nor had any prior information on. It was amazing as well! There were birds everywhere, crazy kinds of trees I have never seen before, and so many fountains.

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Inside a gazebo at el Parque de María Luisa

Later that evening, I again went out to a new place before knowing anything; the Contemporary Art Museum of Seville! But as we were walking there, my new friend and I started to hear what seemed like live music from around the bend. We followed the crowd and the noise behind the museum and there, sprawled out before us, was a free music festival!

We discovered that it was a celebration for Groundhogs Day. Count me in!

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#treehuggin’

I have since realized that all of these experiences have one thing in common; they all came from the unknown. I did not know what the plaza, park, or museum were like, yet I still went and still had an absolutely amazing time at each of these places.

At times I really am afraid of the unknown. Going abroad in itself is terrifying, but this day showed me yet again not to fear. There is no point in worrying about the uncontrollable when you can be experiencing amazing things.

 

 

We Made it!

After 24 hours of a long journey we finally made it to Marbella, Spain!

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Before Takeoff!

By we I mean my grandparents and I. When they heard that I was going to study in Spain for a semester, they took this as the perfect opportunity to travel to Spain for their first time too!

So, we left for a few long flights.

Getting to the airport, through the gates, and onto the plane was no problem. The flight to Paris, although long, wasn’t bad either. But by the time we got to Málaga we were very sleepy and hungry.

Upon going to baggage claim, though, we didn’t see our luggage the first time around. Nor the second… or third. At first we thought it was just at a different station, but after a while we came to the same conclusion. Our luggage was gone!

For a moment I thought that was it, they were gone and the tiny life that I had packed away to use for the next months were gone for good. I felt like the worst thing that could have happened did, and I didn’t know what to do. But I didn’t give up hope!

I went to a wonderfully helpful desk-worker and started to use my rusty Spanish, asking how we could get the bags back and what they could do. Thank goodness for modern-day baggage tracking. They found the bags right away, apparently they hadn’t left our stop in Paris! He then told us that they would send our bags to us at our hotel! Woo-hoo! 27398272_1599362056826443_418296713_o

I realized then that, even when all seems lost, literally, just staying calm and looking for a solution with an open mind will help fix any problem.

Now I made it to Marbella, and what a beautiful sea it is!! I cant wait to “sea” what’s in store next.

~ Ivy

 

 

Happy New Year!

Starting a new journey can be terrifying. So while I rang in the new year just a few days ago, I made a few resolutions that I want to share with you.

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Oh and hello! This is me, Ivy. Welcome to my first blog post!

Now, before I really get into it, I think you deserve some background. I will be traveling to Europe for the first time (and for 5 months!) starting the 24th of January… that’s this month!!

I will be spending the next 3 months in Seville, Spain (Sevilla, if you want to say it the Spanish [cool] way) so that I can learn and grow in myself and my Spanish abilities. I am able to do this because of Spanish Studies Abroad, which is an incredible program that allows students from practically everywhere learn and grow in a new, natively Spanish speaking country.

So, with 2018 right here right now, and my adventures soon to begin, I thought I’d make a list of my adventure goals:

  1. Get out of my comfort zone.150324_flights-hero-image_1330x742
    This one shouldn’t be too hard considering I will be exactly 4,342 miles away from home. But I mean more than that. As an introvert, sometimes it is hard for me to get out of my shell, but I will get to know so many more amazing things about Spain and its people out of it. So, I will get out of my comfort zone.
  2. Use time wisely.201402-HD-when-to-buy-airline-tickets
    I want to push myself to do what I can but to not burn myself out. A lot of of people either do too much or too little, myself included. Because of this, I want to be more conscious of time and use it wisely so that I can enjoy my experiences to the fullest.
  3. Pack light.travel-preparations-on-wooden-table_4dd75450-df14-11e6-a538-54bd197a5a1b
    With traveling, sometimes it is hard to just say “No you don’t need to bring that” but I end up giving in to the, “But what if…?” Like no, you don’t need the fully functioning iron or six notebooks because you like to doodle. This adventure I will seriously cut down. Limiting myself to one or two bags will help with travel ability and not having to worry about keeping track of allllllll that stuff will feel great.
  4. Live in the moment, plan for the future.20160426154606-business-plan
    This adventure goal is meant to mean both stopping to smell the roses and also being prepared. It is important to plan before in order to experience during. I will be practicing this constantly in the coming months.
  5. Understand and be okay with not seeing everything.b467009ef1c4ca0bc2f673a9afbb2f5a
    Wanting to do everything can be so much fun, but you could fall prey to FOMO, or the fear of missing out. While I will be traveling to many places, I want to truly experience my surroundings. In order to do this and to really BE in everywhere I go, I have to let it start right here. Right where I am at that moment.

So here’s to new adventures, experiences, and years!

~ Ivy