After our busy day in Morocco, Ana let us sleep in a little before we had to check out of our hotel. We stayed in a total of 4 hotels on the trip, all four-star and all nice. However, I do have a few things to say about hotels here in Europe: Enjoy a night of tossing and turning on the hardest bed ever, but at least the pillow is ultra-puff and gives you a neck ache. Tired of shower curtains? Why not toss them out? Tiny glass shower doors keep some of the water in the tub and off the floor. Need to use the toilet or the bidet AND order take-out? Worry no more, we've got a phone right there so all your bases are covered. Oh, the joys of travel. We laughed so hard when we first discovered the phone in the bathroom. Perhaps they anticipate food poisoning here and realize that the location makes the most sense if you need to call 911. Or whatever the emergency number is. 

Anyway, that morning we checked out and enjoyed a short bus ride to Sevilla, the capital of Andalucia and one of the oldest cities in Europe. It was very pretty and had three Starbucks, much to the joy of our wifi-hungry group. Before finding our next hotel, Ana took us to see the Catedral de Sevilla, which is very famous. Here is the location of the tomb of Christopher Columbus, and Ana assured us that this was the real deal. 

The torre (tower) was my favorite part of the cathedral although it was al very impressive. From the top you could look down on the courtyard and the rest of the building. The courtyard part once was a Moorish building which was taken over by the Christians and the cathedral was built. The view of it was was spectacular. We could see the city of Sevilla all the way around and took a few moments to enjoy it. Before long, we realized that we were rather tired and felt like we should head down and find something to eat. I had no appetite so settled for chips and salsa, which Ryan, Shannon, Justin and Josh split a large pizza. 

Ana took everyone to the hotel and assigned us rooms where we had about 45 minutes before another gran sorpresa (great surprise). She said that we had to be to the buses by five punto or we would miss it. I have decided that I love Ana's surprises. The Moroccan restaurant was a very cool experience and when she announces that she has a surprise, she is so excited that it makes us excited for whatever it is. We got on the buses which took us back to the cathedral area where a vast amount of horses and carriages were waiting. Ana grinned as she told us that we all (ALL 90!) got carriage rides around the city of Sevilla. I really don't know how she does it, but somehow Ana can arrange anything and everything for these study tours. 

People probably thought we were crazy, 90 college student in sets of five as a part of a huge parade of horses and carriages. We rode through the park which I enjoyed, and through the Plaza de España. After it was over, Shannon and I decided to buy postcards and sit in Starbucks and write them out. We enjoyed some quiet time writing and chatting, and then the rest of our group came and we all talked and used as much wifi as possible. The best part of my night was getting to talk to Mikey on Justin's calling app on his iPod. As the night wore on, however, I began feeling rather weak and nauseous, so when we got back to the hotel I went straight to bed. 

In short, I spent the entire day of Saturday in bed with food poisoning and an achy body. It was some of the worst I've felt but now that it's over I'm just glad I made it through. Christian took great care of all of us By the end of our trip there were only a few veggie eaters with no side effects of the meal. That day though, there were 6 or 7 in bed all day and by night there were 10 or more. I don't think we could have made it without Christian, Clara, and Toni. They bought everyone special sport drinks and medicine and food and kept telling us that everything would be ok. When I was little I used to wonder how grown-ups could be sick without their moms there to take care of them. Turns out we can. It's not easy and it's not preferable but it is doable. I did cry for my mom, but in the hands of the caring ESDES staff we were back on our feet before we knew it. 
Sheri Seibold
10/24/2012 07:12:38 am

This kind of puts carriage rides at the Plaza or even in Central Park in perspective.

Who needs post cards when all of your photos are post cards extraordinaire? Love the photos. Love the hilarious critique on Euro-Hotel living.

Auntie Judy
10/24/2012 11:34:57 pm

Just reading that you were sick when traveling made me feel kinda' sick for you. I would have been a blubbering mess had that been me. So glad you are up and going. Your blog is so fun, you are so cute and my old eyes just noticed that you are with some really cute young fella's over there. Absolutely perfect IMHO! I miss you lots.


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