Every port seems to fly by faster and faster as we move further on in our voyage. We just had six days in Spain that felt more like two. We docked in Cadiz, which is in the southwest end of Spain. It’s a smaller town and best known for where Columbus set sail for one of his voyages. The small town feel was perfect for getting a feel for Spanish culture.
The first morning we walked around town for a few hours to get a feel for the set up. We stopped at a clinic/hospital to set up an appointment for our global studies project. We were pretty proud of how well we were able to get around with our Spanish. We met a musician who came to Spain from Croatia to find work. It was interesting talking to locals who came to Spain to look for work and how many have to leave because the economy is horrible. Some go to South America if they only speak Spanish and if their English is good enough they try to move to Germany for work. We stopped and ate churros for breakfast (healthy I know). They come by the Euro and we only saw a sign saying you have to get between 1-8 so my roommate told them she wanted 5 and looked at her like she was crazy. We ended up getting three euros worth and it was enough to fill a plastic bag full. We walked to the Cathedral to go to Mass. The Cathedral is right on the beach and was gorgeous. The only Spanish that I know perfectly is Spanish prayers from high school. They came into good use. We ate lunch outside of the Cathedral and walked around until siesta when the town shut down.
We got on a bus at 3 to go to Sevilla for a bullfight with SAS. It was an indescribable experience. I came in knowing that the bulls would be killed in front of us but I never knew the extent of bullfights. We sat next to the teacher who was leading the trip and were able to share our thoughts on the events which was interesting. We talked about how in America it would be seen as animal cruelty and how it is hard to understand the difference in cultures. The one we went to was a match between two bullfighters and each faced 3 bulls. The first bull ended up pinning a man against the boards and attacked him for at least two minutes. In the end he wasn’t able to stand up he was so hurt and they had to carry him out. We watched all 6 bulls, which was hard. I’m struggling to understand the art form behind it all. The entire fight is focused on stabbing the bull and by the end each bull was struck at least 6 times. It was definitely a cultural experience. After the 50 of us from SAS went to a tapas bar to talk about our experience.
Paige and I stayed behind in Sevilla in an apartment. We arrived late but one of the staff stayed back to let us in and he showed us the rooftop bar, which was awesome. We were in a perfect location right across from the Cathedral. Two guys met up with us about an hour later and stayed with us. My roommate and another friend of ours met up with us on the second day after their other trips. The second and third day we spent in Sevilla. We went to the Festival of Nations market and shopped around. We did a lot of walking around. We visited the University of Sevilla, the Cathedral (which is the 3rd largest church in the world), and the Plaza de Espana. The Plaza de Espana is a beautiful building and is hard to describe. It was featured in a Star Wars movie and is breathtaking. They have water surrounding the building, which we took a rowboat on at sunset. One day we took a carriage ride and saw all of Sevilla. It was an interesting way to get around! The fourth day we traveled back to Cadiz by train. It was about an hour and a half ride with all of the stops. At night we met up with friends and went to a local restaurant to try Sangria! The owner ended up talking with us for over an hour. I’m still so surprised by how friendly all of the locals have been in each port we have stopped in.
The next two days I spent in Cadiz wandering around. Both days were pretty rainy but we still managed to get some shopping and sight seeing in. The last day we had an appointment at a clinic for an interview with a doctor. One of the lifelong learners is helping us a lot with our project so he came with. The doctor didn’t seem to know too much about disabilities, which we thought was surprising. We ended up not using him for an interview and are shifting the projects focus around. Before leaving Cadiz we made a quick stop in the grocery store for food. My mom would be proud that the one thing I bought was diet coke. Like mother like daughter. The rest of the night we spent studying and working on our papers that were due today.
There isn’t much new on the ship. Two students didn’t make it back to the ship in time so we left Cadiz without them. They are supposed to be meeting us in the Canary Islands but are pretty lucky that we only had one day between of classes. They spoke with us tonight if we miss the ship in one of these next ports we will have to make that awkward call to our parents telling them to pick us up from the airport because we would miss too much class. I’m excited for the Canary Islands tomorrow and can’t wait to see it all! And after the next two days we are moving on to Africa!