Day 7/8


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Day 7

Sunday morning I woke up feeling slightly better than the day before. I wasn't in pain but I had absolutely no energy, and by the time I got to the hotel breakfast I was so tired I had to sit down and didn't have any appetite. Rachel and I managed to pack up our stuff and drag our bags down to the bus, and somehow by the time we got to the next tour site, my energy had shot up. Still not very high, but I was able to walk around and enjoy the tour. 

We stopped at the Real Alcázares, which had very similar stylings of the Alhambra but it was smaller. The gardens were very impressive though, and the grounds were still huge. Justin and I shared a little talking tour guide box that you plug earbuds into and it guides you on your tour. Neither of us were feeling super fantastic but we enjoyed seeing the palace and chatting.

The Real Alcázares was originally a moorish fort and looks almost identical in style to the Alhambra. I don't know a lot about it's history but the intricacies were beautiful and the grounds and gardens were very impressive. There was a labyrinth of shrubs on our map which Justin thought would be cool so we hunted it down. It was fun to walk through and we talked about how both Austin and Logan would enjoy it, and how we always miss them when we're off at school. It's a funny thing about siblings. You go through the time when you just have had enough, but we miss them so much when we're away from home. 

After walking around for about an hour, we decided to find the rest of our group and eat something before leaving. I was starting to feel better and was starving after two days without much food. We found everyone at Starbucks and some of us headed to get, yes, more Kebabs. Before long we were back on the bus headed to Córdoba, our last stop before we made the long drive home.

The walking tour that night of Córdoba was optional since many more had fallen the victim of Morocco salad. I felt ok so I joined in. We walked around the town which was very old and very different than Sevilla and Granada. All the cities here feel so different from one another, and it's so interesting to me. If you put me on a random street in NYC or Chicago, I don't think I would have any clue with one I was in. But if you dropped me down in Granada I think I would know it. It's hard to describe, especially since all the cities here are old and all of them have cathedrals and windy little streets. 

Anyway, as we walked we saw a plaza with a horse that has significance in Don Quixote, as well as many gift shops and little allies with flowers. We had some time to find places to eat but the only place close by was . . . big shocker . . . A KEBAB SHOP. They are very tasty but enough is enough, so I ordered a large plate of fries for two euros and treated myself to a Coke. I don't usually drink Coke in the states but here I have been craving it since Dr. Pepper is nonexistent. Maybe they'll have it in Paris next week! The funny thing is that here it's made with real cane sugar and I just can't get used to the taste! Everyone tells me it's so much better for me but I guess I like my good old fashioned high fructose corn syrup. Like at Union, I drink a lot of juice here and almost no soda so I'm sure it's all better for me anyway.
Day 8

By the time the last day of our trip rolled around, it felt like we'd been gone for a month. Everything we did and saw was incredible, but of course we were all tired from so much traveling with so many people. They plan was to drive back to Sagunto, about a 6 hour bus ride, but first we stopped at the Mezquita, the famous mosque of Córdoba. Its primary feature is the candyland-like arches striped in red and white.

Like the other cathedrals and mosques we've seen, this also has a central courtyard with trees. Of course, it's not just a mosque. Since all major cities change hands throughout history, the Mezquita has a catholic church right in the middle, the result of the reconquista in the 1200s. The styles do not match at all, and it's funny to me now that they actually thought this would be a good idea, just to drop a frilly church down in the center. 

We went on a speed tour of the Mezquita and then stood in line for the bathrooms for a good half our. They use a phrase here "todo el mundo" which is basically "all of the world" but they use it for all of us. So before we left Ana said that "todo el mundo" had to use the bathroom before we left. That took a while. 

The bus ride back went surprisingly quickly. I tried to sleep but didn't succeed. The last two hours Christian put in The Proposal dubbed in Spanish and the whole bus watched. It was so great because I understood everything they were saying, and it was very well dubbed with no super-annoying voices.

We got back to school around 8 tired and ready to eat and sleep. I've spent the last four days recovering and trying to get ready for our next adventure which starts tomorrow! I wish Fall Break could be put off one more week to spread out the trips we take. This is a close call. Anyway, hopefully my next post will be from a mystery location that I'm SO excited to visit!!
Sheri Seibold
10/26/2012 09:04:10 am

Wow! Ornate, ornate, ornate, and a cool labyrinth, beautiful palms and lovely cities with such history. Kind of puts 200 year old USA in perspective.

Can't wait to hear about the next cities you visit, but I know they will be memorable.

Love you so much, mom


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