This past weekend, I went to Sevilla with some friends from Tufts. As a Skidmore student, I have really enjoyed getting to know new people—I love my Tufts friends! Sevilla is in the Autonomous Community of Andalucía, which is in the south of Spain.
Because Andalucía is so close to North Africa, it was ruled by the Moors for the longest and it has beautiful Arab architecture. My favorite place we went was the Alcázar de Sevilla, a palace which was constructed starting in the 14th century. We sent almost all day exploring the Alcázar and its enormous gardens.
Although I don’t watch Game of Thrones, everyone else was very excited to see the rooms in the Alcázar where some scenes from the series were filmed. Game of Thrones was also partially filmed in Granada, where I will be going with the Tufts-Skidmore Spain program next week! Granada is also in Andalucía, not too far from Sevilla.
We also visited the Cathedral of Sevilla, which is the third biggest church in the world and the largest Gothic church. They also have a garden with citrus trees and fountains.
We also spent time walking around, admiring, and taking photos of La Plaza de España, which was built in 1928 for a world exposition. We ended up deciding on a carriage ride around old Sevilla, but there was also an option to rent a boat and row around the plaza. It was a little scary, because we were in a horse-drawn carriage driving next to cars on the highway, but our horse Pepa knew what she was doing and wasn’t nervous about all the cars darting around trying to pass us. We also felt regal, which is important.
Aside from just walking around the enjoying Sevilla, one of our favorite things in Sevilla was our hostel. We stayed in a historic neighborhood that gave us free/included breakfast and dinner, which was actually really good. We really loved getting to know everyone that was staying there. Most of the other guests were people around our age from Canada and Australia, but we also made friends from India, Guatemala, Singapore, Argentina, New Zealand, and Belgium. In addition to giving daily tours around Sevilla, our hostel also hosted nightly bar crawls. We had so much fun dancing and going to different bars with our new friends and hearing about their travels. We were the only study abroad students at the hostel—everyone else had just decided to quit their jobs or take a few months off and travel around Spain or Europe, which we all thought was really cool. We stayed with Hostel One, which I believe is a chain.
I’m happy to be back in Madrid and in class today, but I fell in love with Sevilla and was sad to leave. Sevilla is such a stunning city and being there feels really different from being in Madrid. I’m definitely a city person, but it was very relaxing having a break from the chaos of a big city like Madrid.