Thursday, May 12, 2011

Sevilla at last

I'm finally here. 30 hours of no sleep, 4 modes of transportation, 2 extremely crazy seat-mates, and a whole lot of adventuring brought me to Sevilla at last. Seat-mate #1 was awkwardly watching self-help videos about depression and lost love on his iPad on the way to Atlanta. Seat-mate #2 was a self-proclaimed "40 year old with extreme ADHD"...that was quite possibly the longest 9 hours of my life. I finally found some fellow UNC students at the Madrid baggage claim and we decided to brave the metro rather than paying for a taxi to get us to the train station (only 2 euros!) - it was uneventful yet very complicated with 3 different metro switches. We finally reached the Atocha train station and I decided to change the time of my ticket to an hour later so I could stay with my friends. The train was very comfortable and took us on a beautiful ride through southern Spain. When we reached Santa Justa train station in Sevilla, we had a short bus ride to the Hotel - all of Spain's public transportation has been creepily clean, it puts NYC subways to shame!

It seems unreal that I could wake up in Carrboro like any other morning, then all of the sudden arrive in the most beautiful place on earth. I know that I've studied Spain for years and seen all of the pictures in my textbooks, but there is something so amazing about finally being able to see it all in person. Our hotel for the night before we meet our host families (the Hotel Alcazar) is located in the old Jewish quarters in the most historic and beautiful part of Sevilla. Right across the street is the Real Alcazar de Sevilla, the huge 14th century palace surrounded by gorgeous gardens. We've already done a little bit of exploring around the old city (while snacking on yummy pastries), but I can't wait to look around more tomorrow!

View from our hotel!

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