I have returned from spring break with many stories and adventures. I first want to highlight two break-throughs in my french experience. The first happened about a month ago, I got TEFOP’ed! TEFOP is my new blog acronym and the opposite of getting DYSE’d; it stands for “Tu es français ou pas?” which means “are you french or not?”. Instead of people asking me right off the bat if I speak English, I’m now having some people ask me if I’m French. It may be a small victory, but I’ll take it. The second break-through is me and my french friend Paulo getting on the cover of a magazine here in Dijon. Check it out!
Anyway, on to spring break. I spent the majority of the two weeks traveling with James, we went to Barcelona, Sevilla, Dusseldorf, Berlin, and La Spezia where we hiked the Cinque Terre with Greta, Hannah, and her friend from high school, Sam. This post will cover Spain and my next post will go ever Germany and Italy. I’m waiting on James for pictures since I don’t have a camera so I’ll probably end up doing a picture post as well.
Ok, Barcelona. After traveling on the train all day we arrived in Barcelona around 10PM. We made it to our hostel which was located in the middle of Place Real, right off the main street La Ramblas. Talking to someone we met at the hostel we found out that the Champions League semi-final between Barcelona and Chelsea was happening in Barcelona the next night. What timing! Big soccer games in Europe involve the whole city and we couldn’t wait to experience the ambiance. Since we only had one full day in Barcelona before going to Sevilla we spent the whole next day riding rented bikes around the city, checking out the beach, cathedrals, markets, and the numerous Gaudi sites. Throughout the day, we kept running into Chelsea fans that had made the trip from England for the match, word on the street was that there was a few thousand of them saying through the weekend. Tension was high and the match was only a few hours away.
As nighttime drew we settled down at the bar in our hostel to eat dinner (provided by the hostel) and watch the first half of the game. James and I met a girl from Quebec and ended up spending the rest of night speaking french with her and secretly giggling at her accent. After the first half was over we left the hostel to go another bar. To help ease relations between the Chelsea and Barcelona fans, certain bars were open specifically to Chelsea fans. We went to a bar that was mixed, and the second Torres scored his goal at the very end of the game to give Chelsea the win, a fight broke out at the front of the bar. The bouncer took a guy to the ground and the bartender hoped over the bar to a take a swing. It was pretty dramatic. The night ended with James and I trying to get into one of Barcelona’s most popular night clubs but getting rejected at the door because we didn’t have nice enough shoes. Overall, it was a bunch of fun.
Sevilla was next on our list, and immediately after arriving at the train station we felt like we had gone back in time. The buildings were old, and people were riding around in horse-drawn carriages dressed in traditional suits and dresses. Feria was in full swing and the city was alive. Feria is a week-long festival for all of the southern region of Spain that takes place in Sevilla every year. The fairground set up in the city is full of thousands of private and public tents, each with their own bar, kitchen, bathroom, tables, and dance floor. The festival also included a carnival with a ferris wheel and plenty of food vendors. Imagine the last state fair you went to and multiply the awesomeness factor by about 100 degrees Kelvin. Yeah it was that awesome.
Aside from spending countless hours at Feria for three nights in a row, James and I met up with my good friend Skyler from back home who is studying abroad in Sevilla, as well as our friend and fellow Logger, Andrew Anderson. Skyler showed us around, took us to eat tapas, watch a soccer game, and showed us Sevilla’s biggest cathedral. We also made it to a Flamenco concert which was amazing. Even though we were in a room with probably over 100 people, no microphones or amps were used, just one acoustic guitar, a singer, a dancer and lots of clapping. The music really blew me away.
That about wraps up Sevilla for the moment, Germany and Italy will follow.