Tourist Status

Hallie Bates
February 21, 2014

Although I’ve only been in Granada for about three weeks now, I can already feel myself falling in love with Spain. I can say with confidence, however, that I am definitely still in the awkward tourist phase. I trip over the cobblestones on the reg, am shameless with my camera, and have yet to master the art of getting anywhere on time. Progress in these areas will be made… eventually. For now, I have stories to tell.

About two weeks ago, we went on a beautiful hike through La Alpujarra, a region in Anadalucia sandwiched between the Sierra Nevada and the Mediterranean. Although the bus ride proved to be extremely nerve-wracking, with hair-pin turns and narrow mountain roads, the trip was definitely worth the tumble cycle my stomach experienced. We began our hike in a small town situated along a mountainside in the Poqueira Valley and ended it with tea and soccer with locals in another town further down in the valley. The area was punctuated by rolling goat pastures, white-washed towns, and amazing views of the towering Sierra Nevada above.

Beautiful square in an Alpujarra town

Horse spotted on the hike!

Overlook of the Poqueira Valley

The following weekend, we took a trip to Ronda and Seville, two of the most famous cities (for reasons I would soon understand) in Southern Spain. Despite the early bus departure (are you sensing a trend? I don’t like buses) and the 2 hours of sleep the night before, I was excited to explore a few new places. When we arrived in Ronda, I couldn’t believe my eyes. You know those places that humble you and make you feel infinitely small? Well, Ronda’s one of them. From a panoramic overlook, we could see the mountains rising high in the distance with fields below and the city sitting on the rugged and towering cliffs above.

View from the Puente Nuevo (“New Bridge”)

The city is separated into two sides by a large and wide gorge called El Tajo, which is bridged by the incredible Puente Nuevo, a tall bridge for which the city is widely known.

Bridge connecting the two sides of the city called “Puente Nuevo.”

Ronda is perched on top of the cliffs that form the deep El Tejo gorge

After a difficult goodbye (which was eased by the promise of bocadillos on the bus), we left Ronda and headed toward Sevilla.

In a few hours, we arrived in Sevilla. After dropping our bags at the hotel, a group of us embarked on a bicycle tour of the city. Weaving through traffic, pedestrians, and pigeons, we made our way through the narrow streets and squares, ultimately reaching the Plaza de España, which was the home of world’s fair in 1929.

Biking through the parks of Sevilla!

Plaza de Espana!

The next day, we toured the Seville Cathedral, which is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world. The thing was enormous, with cavernous rooms and amazing art and architecture. We climbed one of the spires to the top, and had an amazing view of Sevilla in the rain.

View from the way up to the top of the cathedral!

After getting caught in the rain and eating enough paella to last a lifetime, we headed back to the bus, weary and happy. Sevilla said goodbye with a beautiful sunset over the city.

Until next time!


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Hallie Bates

<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">My name is Hallie Bates, and I&#39;m currently a junior at Bowdoin College in beautiful Brunswick, Maine. I&#39;m an Anthropology major, Spanish minor, and am also pursuing a pre-health track in order to one day attend medical school. I love to run, and can&#39;t wait to explore the trails in Granada and the surrounding Sierra Nevada mountains. I&#39;m excited to get to know a new city from the inside out, and want to visit as many quirky coffee shops as possible, immersing myself in Spanish language, culture and cuisine.</span></p>

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