The past few days have been...adventures. Before I begin, I must say that I spoke too quickly about beating jet lag. My poor roommate must have thought me crazy. I went to bed at 10:00 p.m. the night before leaving for Sevilla, and I woke up to her leaving the room. I assumed it was time for breakfast, so I got up and started getting ready. Two minutes later she returned and gave me a strange look. I asked her what time it was, and she said 11:00 p.m. I suppose that mistake is understandable if one does it once, but I did the same thing two hours later. *shakes head*
The next morning we stopped in Toledo before heading to Sevilla. I can't begin to describe the city; the landscape was rugged, and castles, churches, and homes from centuries past were still nestled in the hills and on top of cliffs. Inside the city stood the most venerated church in all of Spain, Catedral Primada Santa María de Toledo.
That night we arrived and met our host families. All of us looked as if we were going out on a first date/interview; I assume you are familiar with the pasty white face and the smile that you hope is authentic and friendly but in reality just makes you look more nervous? *nods* That was all of us. However, I couldn't have asked for a better host family. My Mamá is talkative, accommodating, and ridiculously sweet. Carlos, the father, is educated and often busy with work, but he has an easy smile and helps me with my vocabulary. Rosi, the daughter, is a student at the University as well, and she is lovely, although very busy.
Yesterday our group spent the day getting to know the city a little better. We toured the Cathedral here (the largest Gothic style Cathedral in the world and the third largest overall), and we saw El Plaza de España. You know in Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones, there is a huge plaza where they hold a fight? It was filmed there. I couldn't get a Panorama, so you have a video with me talking nonsense at the end of the post. Ignore me and enjoy the view.
By far the most humorous thing of this trip was the bike tour. In Sevilla, they have a running bike service where one can rent a bike and return it at a different location. There are bike paths on every street, and it's quite convenient. However, I don't think the services should ever be utilized in the way our group did. API decided to take us on a two hour bike tour of the city. Imagine 38 Americans in a single file line of bikes on streets busier than the Twin Cities'. We clogged the streets and undoubtedly provided free entertainment for countless people. For the first twenty minutes, I could hardly stand the stares, but then I realized that I was actually able to RIDE! Because of my knees, I haven't been able to ride a bike for more than 10 minutes the past 2 years. However, yesterday I rode for 2 hours; heck, I'd do the American bike parade again just to ride. What a blessing. Daddy, you'd be proud =)
Today we had orientation at our University. I honestly haven't been so excited to start school before; the building is incredible, and the challenge of taking classes in another language has me anticipating Monday. I'll post pictures of the University when I get a chance to take some.
Before I go, I got a chance to visit Real Alcalzares, or the Royal Palaces in Sevilla. Mom/Blond John--the gardens there are from my book, too =) Picture for you!