Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Where in the world have I been in these past few weeks, you might ask?
Where in the world haven't I been.
I have been so caught up in traveling with my constantly expanding backpack, eating the best food I have ever put in my mouth, meeting wonderful friends- old and new, and drowning myself in coffee and sangria that I haven't had a spare moment to write.
Let me do a little recap, for now, to get everyone up to speed. And as this blog continues, the fun little stories will pop up when the occasion calls for it.
On March 15th, with a heavy heart, I left the ever-inspiring city of Tangier, but my spirits were lifted as soon as I landed in Rome to spend the week in Italy one of my best friends from college. She is a huge Greek and Roman history geek, so we nerded out together while strolling through the city and seeing all of the ruins and monuments.
I could have spent weeks exploring Rome, but Melissa had to get back to studying in Siena, so I followed her there and spent the rest of the week wandering along tiny streets and sun-speckled pathways, gawking at the beauty Tuscany has to offer and eating a lot of pasta. Italy was quickly living up to and exceeding my expectations.
Because I had fallen so hard for Siena (and my friend and I couldn't bear to say goodbye quite yet), I extended my stay there a bit and ended up giving myself just one night in Florence. Yeah, that was insane, but now I have another reason to go back to Italy.
I saw the sights, passed out in my hostel for 4 hours of sleep and woke up early to catch a flight to Sevilla, where I was meeting yet another college friend. It's fun when all of your friends are studying abroad :)
My friend Lena and I were welcomed to Sevilla by walking directly into the middle of a huge procession filled with candles, glittering golden float-like things called pasos carried by at least 30 men, and people wearing multi-colored hooded cloaks. Welcome to Semana Santa. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. The city was in a state of beautiful, traditional chaos. Everyone was drinking on the streets, eating tapas all day, staying up all night to walk in 7 hour long processions, and the air constantly smelled like orange blossoms and incense.
That week was a hard act to follow, which is probably why once we reached Madrid for the weekend, we were slightly unimpressed by the grey, imperialistic buildings and cold big-city attitude. We enjoyed the Prado, paella, some churros con chocolate, and went to bed early (very un-Spanish of us).
Luckily I felt much better after we finally landed back in my favorite city for one more visit. Lying on the beach in sunny sunny Barcelona restored and recharged me. It was weird- even though I had only spent 5 days there in January, it felt so familiar. I knew some of the streets, I recognized the buildings, and even though I barely speak any Spanish, I could make my way around without getting too lost or confused.
All of that? That was just 2 weeks.
I'm in a lovely little paradise. A remote part of the world where even when there is crisis and visible economic turmoil, the sun still shines, the sea is still the most stunning shade of blue you will ever see in your life, and the people still smile at you. Hello, Cyprus.