Typical Day in Sevilla

On my last day of class, I though it would be fitting to post about the daily routine in Sevilla…

When I was looking at studying abroad and even after I had decided to come to Spain I was so curious about what to expect.. so I hope this post (along with the rest of my blog) helps someone like me decide/encourage/prepare/get excited for the adventure ahead of them!  If you are debating study in Seville… DO IT!  I wish I had decided to study abroad sooner, take advantage of the opportunity! No other time in your life can you ask the bank to help you pay for a 4 month vacation! Not to say that school isn’t work, but it is a small price to pay for an experience like this one!


Typical breakfast of toast, muffins and a juice/milk drink

I start school mornings around 6:50 am.  I get up get dressed and head to the dining room for breakfast with my señora, Fina, around 7:10.  I am lucky that she eats with me since it is so early!! Breakfast usually consists of the best bread you’ll ever eat, toasted with olive oil, butter or jelly and something sweet like a muffin.  I finish getting ready and head to school around 8:00.  On the way, I like to grab some type of fruit to eat during our break between classes.  That is if any of the fruit stores are open, Sevilla is a slow starting city so sometimes I end up buying fruit at the market next to school later in the day.


The fruit store on the way to school


Bulletin board with activities

When I walk into school, Pepe and Regla greet me with a smile and I usually check out the postings of what activities are going on each week.  They range from kayaking on the river, to shopping trips to weekend trips to different cities.  Then I head to class.  I have Intensive Fourth Year Composition and Conversation at 8:30 until 11 and then we have a 30 minute break.  Next, I head to my Colloquium on Spanish Culture class until 2:00.  This class is awesome.  We spend almost everyday outside exploring the city and learning about the history.

Gazpacho, noodles and bread.. just the beginning of the lunch feast!

Gazpacho, noodles and bread.. just the beginning of the lunch feast!

After class I head home for lunch with Fina.  Lunch is the most important meal of the day here.  One of the other students explained it like this, “at breakfast you eat like a prince, at lunch like a king and at dinner like a beggar.”  A typical lunch usually consists of a hearty bean soup or noodle dish, salad or gazpacho, chicken or pork, bread, and fruit.

After lunch is my favorite part of the day, siesta!  Napping is such a part of the culture here and I love it.  I usually nap about an hour then wake up and work on some homework or study, go to whatever cultural activity there is that evening, catch up with friends and family and then shower.  If I find myself with extra time I love to wander around the area, look around new shops and buy random food.

Typical dinner, notice Fina's plate to the left compared to my 3!

Typical dinner, notice Fina’s plate to the left compared to my 3! This is stuffed eggplant, tomato salad, french fries and an egg

Dinner is served between 9 and 9:30.  For Fina, it is usually something light, a little meat, bread and fruit but she likes to make sure I am full so I usually have more.  This is definitely something I need to work on… saying no.  I love her food and her, so if she gives it to me I usually eat it.  During this time and lunch, I get to practice my spanish a lot.  Fina and I usually watch the news during both meals and that sparks a lot of conversation!


Fina’s Living room/ dining table

Another great video courtesy of SAIIE:

If you are reading this as a student thinking about coming here I hope this helps!! Also please comment and ask any questions you’d like, I know how it feels.  Just a few months ago I was in your shoes!  So go ahead and start your application!

The end is upon us…

I cannot believe that we are starting week 5!  This has been an amazing adventure, I am NOT ready for it to be over!  In 3 days all of the other students head back to the US, Jody and Philip arrive and my next adventure begins!


Museo de Bellas Artes

Last week felt like the week of museums. Between my Colloquium class and the cultural activities I visited 4, the bullfighting, fine arts, contemporary museums and the Hospital de los Venerables.  All of them were pretty cool and very different from each other   I especially liked the Museo de Bellas Artes.  Also, I am starting to find that I don’t really “get” modern art but I can’t say that the Contemporary art museum wasn’t intriguing..


Ai Weiwei exhibit at CAAC

Modern art.. who knows

Modern art.. who knows

On Thursday, we met up to watch the Spain Tahiti game and eat tapas.  It was a really fun night and Spain won, 10-0, I couldn’t help but bad for Tahiti.  They are quite the team, from what I understand none of them are professional soccer players, so I have to give them credit for being out there. The game before, against Nigeria, they were able to score 1 goal… I was hoping to see that happen again. Maybe next year!

IMG_1232 - Version 2

Friday morning, we left for Lagos, Portugal.  Our weekend was filled with laying in the sun on the beautiful beaches.  It was definitely a nice break from the heat in Sevilla and the stress of school.  The beaches were gorgeous!  The first day we took a boat ride along the coast which is covered in caves and gorgeous rocks and then headed to the beach, Playa do Ana.  Day 2, we spent at Playa do Amado.  It is more of a surfing beach and is very secluded.  While we were driving,  I was sure we were going the opposite direction of the coast.  I even asked Sam if she knew where she was going… oops.  We were driving through country and fields, then we went around a couple curves and up a hill and there we were.  It was beautiful except the wind that covered us with sand early in the day but it got better as the day went on.  I am also proud to say that I did not get sunburnt, and thanks to Christina, I am the proud owner of sunscreen that doesn’t give me hives, WOO!

Playa do Ana


Playa do Amado

All of us at Playa do Amado

All of us at Playa do Amado

Mid day a couple of us headed up to the restaurant above the beach, leaving all of our things with Lauren and Sam.  They were awoken by a topless woman waving towards the water.  Who knew high tide came mid day?  Anyways she woke them just in time and our things were saved… thanks again guys! 🙂


On saturday, around sunset we visited the End of the World in Sagres, Portugal.  It is the most Western part of Europe and during the time of Christopher Columbus it was thought to literally be the end of the world.  Pretty neat.

Best find of the week?  A cute pair of high waisted shorts (see below) and Ketchup flavored potato chip… yum

notice the shorts

notice the shorts

Why not SAIIE?

Check this video out!

I hope that from reading my blog you realize that this program is amazing! Between living in a spanish home, in a city filled with history, being set up with Spaniards to practice spanish and the huge amounts of activities offered each week SAIIE really offers a once in a lifetime experience! The only thing I regret is not coming here sooner and staying longer! If you are thinking about studying in Sevilla DO IT!

And if you have any questions about anything, do not hesitate to comment and ask! 🙂

“But that’s the…

“But that’s the glory of foreign travel, as far as I am concerned. I don’t want to know what people are talking about. I can’t think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything. Suddenly you are five years old again. You can’t read anything, you have only the most rudimentary sense of how things work, you can’t even reliably cross a street without endangering your life. Your whole existence becomes a series of interesting guesses.”

Ruins, Bullrings and Foggy Mornings

For me, this past week revolved around school.  Between 2 tests, 2 papers and an oral presentation I was pretty busy!  So I apologize in advance for the dullness at the start of my week. But…

First things first..  JILLIAN MARIE RUNDE TURNED 21 THIS WEEK!!!!!!!!  You are my other half, I miss you so much!  I cannot wait to celebrate with you when I am back! Happy birthday love bug.  May you never get too old for shenanigans!

Photo on 2-8-13 at 7.42 PM #2

Monday and Tuesday were terribly boring.  Other than when I was at school, I spent both days writing papers and studying for midterms.  On the bright side, I tried the coffee here and I am impressed.  I loved it… even though it kept me up all night.  But that’s no surprise.


Kayaking in the Guadalquivir River

Christina, Lauren and I went kayaking on Wednesday.  This week was the first really hot week since we have been here, low 81 and high of 97 in the afternoons.  So it was pretty hot on the river but I was lucky to somehow get soaking wet and stay pretty cool.  I guess it helped too that I was in a boat with Muscles Mcgee…


Thanks to Christina for this beautiful pic of Ruins in Italica

Thursday, my history class spent the day in Italica.  Italica is a old roman city located about a half hour out of Sevilla.

Thursday night, Christina and I met up with our intercambios for tapas.  They both said they were bringing along friends and our groups ended up being more than 15 people!  We tried orange wine, not a fan, and piripis (basically a BLT plus some kind of cheese and no lettuce), which were delicious and bounced around from bar to bar.  It was a nice change to spend time away from the American filled bars of Calle alfalfa and Calle Betis!


Part of the group with our second round of Piripis


Orange wine at Taberna El Peregil

On friday, we took a day trip to Ronda.  It is a beautiful, quiet city surrounded by mountains.   We explored the old part of the city and enjoyed the beautiful views that surround it.  Later, we got to see the inside of the Plaza de Toros (bullring).


Thanks again Christina


Inside the Plaza de Torros


Logan (white hat) during her first race

Saturday was Logan’s Rowing competition.  She competed in 2 races, both of which her boat came in 2nd! WOO!  It was a fun, hot day.  It was nice to be at a regatta, it’s been a long time!  For dinner, we went to Plaza Alameda for tapas.  It is a kinda hippie area of town.. or I guess trendy might be a more accurate description.  Either way the food was great and the people were friendly, as always.


Out for tapas in Alameda


Church in Cadiz


Christina and I on the beach in Cadiz

This Sunday, Christina and I took a trip to Cadiz.  It was about 2 hours by train.  When we arrived it was beautiful.  The town is small and has gorgeous beaches, great fish and a beautiful church.  We visited the church and as we walked toward the beach Christina noticed some odd clouds. Of course I made a joke about it being a plague coming to get us but not 5 minutes passed and everywhere around us was covered in fog(see progression below)!  It took about 45 minutes to clear up and in the

mean time we had lunch.  We made our way down to the beach and spent a couple hours enjoying the sun and putting our feet in the ice cold water.

Before heading to Cadiz, everyone gave us a heads up that many people would be less than covered at the beach.  So I was not too surprised but I don’t know if I’d ever get used to topless moms and grandmas hanging out on the beach. It is kind of funny though, the people who anyone would want to see topless are not the ones letting it all hang out.  I do have to give credit to the ladies ballsy enough the let the girls out, but for now I think I’ll keep my top on.


a little foggy..


Extremely foggy.


No fog.

“Traveling is a…

“Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.”

Panoramic Views, Refreshing Drinks and a goodbye

As I am starting week 3, I am still just as in love with the city as when I arrived.  This week has breezed by which only scares me.  I am not ready for it to end but I know the end will come before I know it!  That just makes me want to keep exploring and experiencing this city!  This week was the first real week of class.  It is definitely a lot of work but I am trying to manage my time so I can still get out and enjoy the city.

Monday after school we visited las Setas or  “the mushroom.”  It is a piece of modern architecture in the middle of old Sevilla.  It is pretty cool looking, although it is a little out of place since it is so modern.  There is a great view of Sevilla from the top.


Top of Las setas with Sam, Christina, and Lauren


Las Setas at night (I stole this picture from google)

On Tuesday, we met our intercambios.  They are hispanoblantes that are taking english classes and want to practice English.  It is a pretty great set up, we practice a little Spanish, they practice English and we make friends along the way!  Christina and I were set up with Maria and Jorge.  Maria is a student and Jorge is an engineer.  They are both so nice and really speak English really well.  On Friday, we met up with them again.  We drank beer and wine along the river and just chatted for a while.Image



We went on a shopping trip with Mángeles, on Wednesday.  It was fun to explore the shops and we all found something that we liked!





Thursday we visited the cathedral and the alcazar palace.  Both are gorgeous.  The palace has gardens on top of gardens, each more beautiful than the next.  The cathedral is the 3rd largest in the world.  It has 3 distinctly different types of achetecture which make is continuously interesting.  The bell tower of the church, which used to be the Minaret of the mosque that stood there, provides a beautiful view of the city.  Both were magnificent.  It is crazy to think that people built those without the technology that we have today!


Stained glass inside the Cathedral


View of the bull ring from the Giralda


Out with Luke, Sam, Adrian (notice my nice red complexion)

After dinner, we went out and enjoyed a little of the night life in Seville.  It is so different here, cheap drinks and no real bar time leads to long nights, but I love it… and I have plenty of time to sleep on the weekends! We spent Friday at the beach (see previous post) and were out again on friday night.  It was Luke’s last night in Sevilla so we were celebrating “the end of an era” and saying goodbye to Luke. 😦

On Saturday, Logan, Christina and I went tapas hopping.  It was so fun!  We got to explore more of the city and we took our time drinking, chatting, eating a couple things at each restaurant and laughing until we cried (Christina).  I love getting to taste new things and try new restaurants.  The way that people eat here may be one of my favorite parts of the whole Spanish culture!  There such a  focus on enjoying the food along with the people around you, and it is something I can really appreciate!  I always feel so relaxed at meal times.. but maybe that’s the wine.

**Disclaimer: For those of you who are (luckily) not from places with a warm climate: Cockroach aren’t always a sign of dirty conditions.  They are inevitable in many places, any Floridian would agree!  And here in Spain the warmth fosters a cockroach population.

During our tapas hopping, we got to see a little guy run across the restaurant. Where did he stop?  Right under my chair, of course!  He was just hanging out loving the piece of meat the table before us had dropped. After he ate he just sat, and sat, and sat.  We had the brilliant idea to throw a carrot at him, after I did he went running and now not only us but the rest of the restaurant (which happened to be filled with only women) screamed.  A waiter quickly came over and squished it then explained to the not so happy patrons that with the warm weather and the patios doors open then come in sometimes… we couldn’t stop laughing, along with one of the tables next to us but the rest weren’t so happy.

Memory… you have done me wrong.

We spent today at the Matalascañas beach.   We took a bus there round trip for 14€.  It was about a 2 hour bus ride, which of course I slept through.  It was a little bit chilly and pretty windy but once we were in the sun it was a gorgeous day.  Right off the edge of the beach in the shallow water is an ancient upside down tower called Torre la Higuera.  I think it was a defense tower in the 16th century, so that’s pretty neat.



Along with all the awesomeness comes my stupidity… which I believe can really be blamed on my memory.  It’s been a long time sine I’ve been burnt this bad…

I am allergic to most sunscreens, including the one I brought with me.  Nothing too crazy I just get itchy hives.  When heading for the beach today I knew that sunscreen was a good idea, but did I put it on?  Nope.  I decided that hives are worse than sunburn.  HA.  After being in the sun for 3 hours, I knew I was in trouble.  By the time the bus brought us home, I was already starting to turn red. That brings us to now.  I am nice and burnt.  Maybe red is stylish in Spain… but probably not.


With Lauren and Sam at the beach

“Don’t be afrai…

“Don’t be afraid that something happens to you. Be afraid that nothing happens to you. Nothing noteworthy or exciting or breathtaking. I’m more afraid of a life where nothing extraordinary ever happens. I am more afraid of putting my dreams on a shelf and later realizing that I am too jaded or too tired to live them.”

Breaking Stuff Already…

So those who know me know that I have a terrible NEED to lock doors.  Normally this isn’t a problem.  Once I locked my friend out of her own house while I was inside but that’s about as bad as it’s gotten… until I came here.

After getting home from the bars Thursday night,  I let myself into the building and then into my apartment.  Once I was inside I wanted to lock the deadbolt, because for me the normal lock was not sufficient, so I put my key in and locked the deadbolt.  Normal, easy, done.. NO.  My key would not come out!  After attempting to get it out, I gave up figuring after a couple drinks and it being so late it was better to go to bed and in the morning I would easily retrieve the key. HAHA nope!

After trying a couple times, I requested Fina’s help.  She could not get it out either. I thought I had trapped us both inside but thankfully there is a secret kitchen door.  Fina disappeared and then reappeared and opened the door from the outside. Neither of us or my senora’s daughter could get it out even with WD40 and when I got home from school it was still there.

Way to make a great first impression right?  I could see that Fina, who is as I’ve said before is too sweet and so kind, was really worried about the whole situation.

Thankfully the apartment building’s handyman got it out somehow… and no locksmith was needed. So basically I am ridiculous and dont even know how to properly use keys.  Pues,  bienvenido a España.


The terribly tricky door


My Señora’s beautiful living room/ dining area