Week 7: A visitor

This week my amazing, sweet “god mother” Mama G came to visit me, which explains my sudden disappearance and failure to update my blog. Mama G flew thousands of miles just to see me, so I spent all of my time outside of class eating, touring the city, and spending time with her. Although it was exhausting–I would leave for class in the morning at 9 and then spend all day in the city and not get back until 11 that night–I had such a great time and it was definitely worth losing a little sleep!

*Also, disclaimer: This post is a little all over the place, partly due to exhaustion, and partly due to all of our fun activities running together. In fact, now that I think about it, the chaos that I imagine this post is probably is an accurate representation of how the week felt. I can’t even bring myself to re-read it, so if it becomes unbearable, just look at the pictures!

(view of the Cathedral from la Giralda)
(Cathedral from la Giralda)
(Sevilla from la Giralda)

Having Mrs. G come was perfect for the 7th week was perfect because right when I was getting comfortable and feeling like I had done all there was to do, Mrs. G came and turned Spain back into a new, exciting place rather than my home.

The first day we had together we immediately jumped into touring and saw the Cathedral. I had already seen the Cathedral before during the first two weeks with my history class, but it was a very different experience going voluntarily, and this time we climbed up La Giralda Tower, which checked off another thing on my bucket list!

The tower isn’t terribly tall–36 ramps and 17 stairs–but once at the top, you get to enjoy a panoramic view of Sevilla (it is against the law to construct anything higher than the tower). After conquering the tower we spent the day wandering around the centro, eating tapas and ice cream(obviously).

(Sevilla from la Giralda)
(Sevilla from la Giralda)

The next day Mrs. G and I more touristy things including visiting Alcazar, another sight I had seen before, but this time we lingered longer in the gardens. Although the palace is amazing, I wish I could go into the gardens more often because they are so beautiful and there is so much to see: peacocks, giant tress, grottos, herds of kittens, etc.

That night we went to see a Flamenco performance which was amazing, but very long. I have a limited attention span for things like that–and their performance was 2 hours long–so although I really enjoyed myself, by the end I was very ready to go!

(Tile/Ceramic shop in Triana)

Wednesday we visited a ceramics factory which is easily one of the coolest things I have done since coming to Sevilla, and I definitely never would have even thought to go without Mrs. G. The factory we visited is called “La Cartuja” and they have been making china since the 1800’s, and they still use artisan methods today. We had a tour through the entire factory, so I got to see the entire process from beginning to end. One of the most interesting steps is when they put on the decorations and print. The decoration is transferred from a paper that people have to place perfectly, without bumps or creases and lined up with the shape of the china, all by hand. I left with a new appreciation for the china-making process, and a new thing to add to my wish list–watch out Dad!

After visiting the factory, we went straight to Triana, which is a neighborhood in Sevilla known for it’s “azulejos” (tile) and ceramics.

(Azulejos in Triana)
(Azulejos and Ceramics)

Wednesday night was one of my favorite of the week because Mrs. G invited me and my girl friends here out to dinner. We all met up around 930, went to the restaurant and ordered way too much pizza, pasta and salad, and then we sat around talking until 1 in the morning when the store men started hinting that we had overstayed our welcome! All of my friends here are such different and great individuals, and together it is just the perfect mix.

(Me and Mrs. G in front of the Plaza de Espana)

Mrs. G and I had a sleepover at her hotel that night because the next morning we woke up bright and early to make a day trip to Granada. In Granada we encountered a bit of an obstacle because the hotel had forgotten to make the ticket reservations to see la Alhambra (the main sight and the reason for our trip to Granada) and they were all sold out for the whole month! While attempting to get the ticket situation worked out we went and had a great lunch at a restaurant that looked out onto the whole Alhambra and it’s gardens, and by the time we finished the tickets were sorted out and we were able to go tour the palace!

(La Alhambra from the restaurant)

(Coliseum outside of La Alhambra)

(Granada)

The palace was very similar to Alcazar in Sevilla; both having a very distinct arabic influence in the architecture and decorations. Also like Alcazar, the Alhambra had really beautiful gardens where we spent most of our time. After our tour we made the journey back to Sevilla, had dinner at our pizza and pasta place, and then went to bed early!

(view of Granada from inside la Alhambra)

(View from inside the gardens at Alhambra)

(Gardens at Alhambra)

Friday was our last day together because I had to leave for Morocco that afternoon and we just spent the morning walking around, talking, and enjoying the city. Although it was an exhausting week, it was so much fun and so refreshing after being in the city for 7 weeks.

(gardens at Alhambra)

(sunset on the way home form Granada)

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