Study Abroad Blog: Grace Geiger '10 in Spain


Bueno Días,I’m back! It was a long, beautiful, sometimes painful trip, but I survived. I’m going to attempt to re-cap a bit but 12 days is a long trip and I’m sure many scintillating details will be left out so this doesn’t become a novel-like blog entry…

Friday, we did a bit of grocery shopping, clothes shopping, and I tried to track down my friend Claire who I know was staying in the Barrio Alto. We finally found her in her hostel after hours and hours of walking and worrying, and Katie and I had a interesting “Portuguese” meal. My dinner was literally a piece of beef, a sunny side egg face up on the beef, french fries (unsalted, of course) and lettuce. Interesting.

Saturday we took the train/tram to Cascais (sounds like CasCas) which is a small beach town down the coast. It was so pretty! Cute little down, lots of white buildings, bright blue water. We soaked up the sun and had Indian food. It was awesome. That night we meet up with Claire in the Barrio Alto for a great little dinner (healthy too!!!) of salads, pasta, and Claire got octopus. Go claire. We went out to get a few drinks (not for Katie the Kidney of course) at this little american style jazz bar, which was great, but the drinks were not delicious. Gin Fizz?? Gross. More like cherry cough syrup.

Sunday, we did the beach thing again accompanied by Claire and her friends from Walla Walla. It was nice, but not quite as warm. Then, Sunday night, Katie and I saved a buck and made late night tomatoey cheesy pasta in the hostel kitchen. Also, we ate salad. That was amazing. We did sooo much walking in Lisbon up and down Barrio Alto, so we were beat.

Monday was the scary bus day. We were horrified when they told us we had to put our food in the storage area, but it turned out we got a rest stop, so it was alright. The Best part of the eight hour bus ride by far was watching “Speed,” starring Keanu Reeves in english. It changed my life.

Sevilla was a mad house when we got there, with the processiones and all the semana santa hub-bub, but we found our hostel and grabbed some tapas at Carmela (The best spinach garbanzos ever). While wandering around, all of the sudden Katie and I found ourselves trapped by people on all sides. We looked down the street and heading towards us was a procession of black hooded men, carrying candles and crosses, and banging drums. Pretty scary. We took lots of pictures. So that was out first Semana Santa experience.

Tuesday, wow. I can hardly remember. We went to the Alcazar, which is the old Muslim palace. This might have been my favorite part of Sevilla. The gardens were stunning with the palm trees, the fountains, and the muslim/arabic style architecture. And, it it all smelled like oranges. After the Alcazar, we rested a bit, then went to see Plaza Espana and found the symbol of Valladolid. Most excellent. That night, we tracked down Katie’s friend Molly and her friend for a tapa and some sangria.

Wednesday was Córdoba day. We got up really early to catch our train. Córdoba was very cute, Katie bought shoes. But, over all, mostly only centered on the cathedral/mosque asa source of tourism. But, the cathedral was well worth it, and even thought Katie was tired, it was a nice day…

Friday was miserable. I woke up feeling like the Swamp monster, filled with mucus and very unhappy. The train was long and we were tired and finding our hostel was a drag. Plus, I took some cold medicine which knocked me out. I just barely shoved some soup down my throat then colasped in the hostel.

Saturday, we got up really early, AGAIN, to go try and score Alhambra tickets. I felt even worse than the day before, and this was Katie’s last day of kidney infection antibiotics, so you can imagine. After waiting in line for a good two to three hours, we just barely got tickets for 5:30. We decided, against all odds, to try and see a little more of Granada before 5:30. So, we went to this great lookout point and saw some of the caves on the top of the hill. It was all really cool, but I felt like death personified and Katie’s back hurt, blah blah. Finally, we went to the Alhambra, and even tho we both wanted to die and were miserable, it was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. Completely spectacular. Katie and I stumbled/half crawled back to the scary “funky backpackers” (soooo sketchy), ate some chinese, stalked up on Activia and OJ and fell in our beds.

Sunday, was the climax to a week gone progressively worse. Katie had chills all night and a fevor. I was just praying we could make it back to Valla on all 3 trains before she had to be hospitalized. We just barely, barely, got back in a enough time for her to be picked up and taken to the hospital by her host mom.

So!! It was tons of fun, but really sickly and a bit scary at the end.

I need to rest and do homework and recover. Only three more weeks left in Spain. Time is a fickle mistress.


This blog was cut for length. To read the complete entry, more of Grace’s blog vist: