Hi, and welcome to my ~travel~ blog! Today marks my second week in Sevilla, España. It’s hard to believe I have only been here for two weeks. I have experienced so much in such a short amount of time. To name a few experiences: I’ve gotten to know an entirely new family, I’ve made new friends, I’ve tried various authentic Spanish foods, I’ve attended a Sevilla v Bilbao fútbol game, I’ve toured historic sites, and most importantly, I’ve been immersed in the Spanish culture through language. This city has already made such a huge impression on me. Instead of sharing every detail of my first few weeks in Seville, here is a brief overview of some of my first impressions:
Sevilla, España is BEAUTIFUL. On a casual stroll through the city you’ll get lost in endless cobblestone alleyways lined with intricately designed buildings and tapas bars galore. You might cross paths with historic sites like La Plaza de España, La Catedral, or La Parque de Maria Luisa (all pictured below). And you can’t miss the naturally growing orange trees literally lining every street (although you can’t eat the oranges from the trees because they are only used in the making of marmalades and juices). Sevilla’s beauty is truly indescribable and even pictures can’t do it justice; it’s truly something you have to see for yourself.
Some generalizations about Sevillanos: They walk everywhere, are conscientious about the environment, take siestas, drink lots of coffee, stay out really late (4-6 am!), and generally adopt more relaxed lifestyles than typical on-the-go Americans. On another note, I LOVE my Spanish host family. They are animated, curious, and full of life. My host family consists of a madre-Rosa, and two hermanas: Marcarena (21), and Rocio (17).We eat every meal together, homemade I might add, and always seem to have something to talk about. I learn something new everyday about the culture and Sevillian way of life through our meal-time talks. Needless to say, my Spanish language skills have already improved through conversation with my host family and also through daily interaction with other Sevillanos.
Most importantly, the FOOD: Spaniards generally eat 3 meals a day- a light breakfast around 9-10 am, lunch (the biggest meal of the day) at 3 pm, and a light dinner around 10pm. Spain is also well known for “tapas” which are basically small, appetizer-like meals consumed between lunch and dinner. There are a multitude of similarities and differences between Spanish and American cuisine. Some similarities: bread, cheese, and meat are Spanish staples. Differences: vegetables are not regularly consumed, seafood is extremely fresh, and pork is very popular. I have really enjoyed most dishes, but I will admit that some have been a bit out of my comfort zone. To name a few of my meals- fish with potatoes, pork sausages with papas fritas, tomatoes topped with tuna, tortillas españolas, lentil soup, and seafood paella (my favorite so far) among various other dishes.
There is so much more that I could say about my time here thus far but alas, my experience is actually quite hard to put into words. It has truly been an incredible first two weeks and I’m excited to see where the next 4.5 months will take me.