Its Monday, meaning classes have started again (is it weird that I feel like I'm here to explore rather than go to school?), but luckily this is only a 4-day week for us. We went on some really cool trips this past weekend (and now I have a cold...not so fun), and I'm even more excited for the trips we have in store for us. We got up early Saturday morning to go visit some ancient Roman ruins at Italica - it was very interesting and very well preserved considering it was over 2300 years old! The coolest part to me was all of the mosaics - they were on the floors of every room in the houses of wealthy families. They were all made with tiny pebbles and they were SO detailed - its crazy how the colors were still vibrant after thousands of years in the intense Spanish sun.
This is a mosaic showing the gods/goddesses for each day of the week. The only day of the week that doesn't have an assigned protector is Sunday, so each family could use the deity of their choice - this family chose Venus (the goddess of love) to represent Sunday. A lot of the mosaics had been removed and sent to museums for preservation purposes, but there were still plenty of beautiful ones to see.
After Italica we got back on the bus and traveled for an hour toWe got back from the beach around 6:30 p.m. then had time to rest before going out with friends. Each neighborhood in Spain has its own local plaza where people get together on weekends to hang out. Our goal was to meet some Spanish people at Plaza Alfalfa so that we could talk to them and practice our Spanish - we ended up meeting more people from the U.S and France, but we did meet some nice Spaniards that were studying at the Universidad de Sevilla.
The next morning we woke up and decided to explore some more, so we went down by the river to see Plaza de Americas. It was very pretty and had two really popular art museums, but everything is closed on Sunday so we'll definitely go back! There was also a little area where you could feed the pigeons and they would land on you...but we weren't too excited about that.
We also walked by the bull fighting ring since they were having a match that evening - I saw some of the pictures that my friends took who went to the game and I don't think I could stomach actually going to one. Everything just looked very bloody, and I didn't realized that each matador killed 2 bulls, and there were 3 matadors. The majority of the Spaniards I've talked to think that the fights are inhumane and don't like them, but just accept it as part of their culture - apparently they are going to be outlawed next year though.
The thing I'm most looking forward to is our trip to Lagos this weekend - we're leaving at 7:30 Friday morning (skipping class...oops?) for a 6 hour bus ride to Portugal. We're staying at a beautiful (and cheap) hostel right in the middle of downtown Lagos and its only a 5 minute walk to the beach. Next Monday is a holiday in Spain and we don't have class so we're taking the 4:30 p.m. bus back to Sevilla. I'm sure we'll be exhausted in class on Tuesday but it will definitely be worth it! The following weekend we're going on a 3 day trip to Cordoba and Granada which was planned through the UNC program - I've heard great things about both of those cities so I'm really excited! Then the weekend after that is our trip to Cadiz - we have a lot of fun things in store for us :)