Uno, dos, tres…Flamenco!
Studying Spanish in Seville was the experience of a lifetime! What an unbelievable city with stunning landscapes, glorious weather, and a new adventure around every corner. I just returned from Seville and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a true Spanish cultural experience!
My sightseeing journey around Seville began with the impressive Cathedral, which is the third largest in the world (after St. Peter’s in Vatican City and St. Paul’s in London)! I didn’t want to settle for a picture from below so I decided to climb the ramp to the bell tower, La Giralda, to capture the essence of this architectural brilliance. From here, I got a breathtaking view of the city and of the Cathedral. Looking below I could see the magnificent Gothic-style buttresses surrounding the tranquil Patio of Orange Trees (El Patio de los Naranjos). Capturing the view of the citrusy, sunny glow shining upon the courtyard was well worth the climb and the sound of the huge bells unexpectedly ringing in my ears!
After class, a typical day for me would involve feasting on some delicious tapas at one of many tapas bars in Barrio Santa Cruz. Then I would hang out with some friends and walk around the Plaza de España, which is a beautifully-constructed span of palace-like buildings surrounding an enchanting moat, beautiful bridges, a large fountain, and intricately designed ceramic tile murals that represent the different provinces of Spain. In the heat of Seville, it is incredibly relaxing to hear the crashing of the water in the fountain as the sun shimmers upon the copper-colored bricks in the buildings around the square.
After having seen these very popular sights in Seville, I figured I should try something different. In that quest I found a peculiar sight in La Plaza de America…tons of people feeding tons of snowy white pigeons right out of their hands! You can buy bird seed there and watch the pigeons flock to you in seconds. It is not unusual to see 15 pigeons flapping their wings above your head, perching on your shoulder, or pecking their beaks right against your palm! I was also able to snap some terrific photos of the gardens that surround this area in El Parque de Maria Luisa.
I also made it a weekly routine to go see a traditional flamenco show at one of many venues around the city. The most amazing performance I saw was at La Casa de la Memoria in Barrio Santa Cruz. I personally fell in love with the soulful sounding song that guided the fast-fingered acoustic guitar player, the loud rhythmic stomping of the flamenco dancers, and their poetically flowing arms. Come to think of it, the whole experience makes me want to take flamenco classes!
I could not have envisioned a better environment in which to learn about Spanish culture and the Spanish language than at the school in Seville. It’s located right in the centre of Seville, in a beautiful, fully re-refurbished, historic building. There’s a beautiful patio in the centre of the school, with marble columns around it. But, even though the building is historic and must be quite old, the faculties are definitely 21st century, with air-conditioning throughout, large Internet café, school, library, roof-top terrace with magnificent views over Seville – and GREAT teachers!
The whole experience has definitely inspired me to continue studying Spanish after my return to the US and one day to continue my travels through Spain!