About three weeks ago, I was sat at home like a deer in the headlights of what stood before me. I was going to be moving to a new city with nowhere to live, with no connections or any idea of what I was going to be doing at uni, knowing full well that my level of Spanish was nowhere near good enough to sort all this out. Flash forward a few weeks and I’m sitting on the roof of my new house in the sunshine, having just finished my second week of classes and having met lots of lovely people, some under very random and God orchestrated circumstances. I have come out the other side, slowly settling in, using my Spanish, and I’m okay! Hooray!
Sevilla is honestly stunning. I never thought that a city could capture my heart the way this one has. Every street has something new to tell with its loud red and yellow painted brick, plump oranges flowering out of every tree, and its intricate Moorish tiles that border windows and line doorways. And all of this is simply a foretaste to what is to be found at the Real Alcázar, which I had the joy of visiting with my sister, Jen, who came and stayed with me for my first few days here. We were both blown away by this royal palace – it’s like where all the beauty of Sevilla comes to congregate. Sevilla on wheels, if you will. No photos (nor words) can do it justice really, but I’ll insert some here anyway that I took on my phone (because I forgot my camera!).
Somewhere no less magnificent is Plaza de España. Bordered by the leafy maze of Parque María Luisa, this feast of architecture is a sight to behold. Whilst Jen and I were wondering around, past the horse and carriages and the mountain of tourists, we heard the click of flamenco shoes and the romantic strum of a Spanish guitar. We followed our ears over one of the bridges that takes you over the moat to the main building and we managed to catch a street flamenco performance. It was our first taste of what Sevilla is famous for, and it was magical. There is this tangible passion that pulses among the performers of flamenco – a conversation of music and movement that is just so captivating and infectious.
We also managed to catch an actual flamenco show at El Museo del Baile Flamenco which was equally, if not more, visually stunning. We watched on from the front row as a story was told through the swishing of skirts and the clacking of heels and by the end, I wanted to stamp my whole way home shouting ¡Olé! (Jen only allowed me a few metres).
We also enjoyed plenty of wine and tapas, and I have added many of the places to my list of ‘Favourite Tapas Spots’ that I am going to be continually curating whilst I’m here. One dish I won’t be re-sampling though is ‘Menudo Casero’; a tapas that we sampled whilst trying to be adventurous one night. Long story short, we only googled what it was AFTER I’d taken three unpleasant mouthfuls, and the fatty pork stew that I thought I was eating was in fact tripe, and the piece of darker meat that I thought was going to be chorizo, was actually pig hoof. Yes. I ate hoof. HOOF.
But despite our porky surprise, these past few weeks have been full of positives and answered prayers. That’s not to say it’s been a breeze. The homesickness has definitely hit hard. It’s a bizarre feeling because I love Sevilla, and in some ways I couldn’t dream of anywhere better to be. But I’m also dreaming of the day when I can go home.
But I have vowed to myself that I will NOT MOPE. Instead, I have been making a conscious effort to notice the good in everyday. Whether that’s taking myself to go and grab some tapas in the sun, or stopping to listen to the old man who is always playing the saxophone on my route home from uni. That way, everyday is positive in one way or another, and my mind is distracted, even if only temporarily, from how much I miss my family and friends back home.
So, yeah, that’s me! I have a feeling that I am not going to struggle for blog inspiration here, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled for more posts coming soon! I hope you are well, and that I’ve maybe given you an idea for a new place to put on your bucket list of cities to visit.