Remembering Spain — A Semester in Photos

Katie Moore
January 6, 2022

Getting home after studying abroad felt like waking up from a four month long dream. It was as if I hadn’t left at all and had just experienced some kind of weird time jump and there I was back at home. Thankfully, I have photos to look back on. 

    I am notorious for taking an excessive amount of pictures, particularly for my snapchat memories; but I do it for good reason I promise. For me photos and videos are like little portals that I can jump through to insert myself back into a memory, and I treasure being able to look back on such amazing adventures. So, for my final post I thought it would be fitting to look back on some of my favorite photos, and reminisce about the moments they were taken. This is definitely more for me than anyone else, but maybe it’ll give you an idea of some of the incredible experiences you could have while abroad—and remind you to take lots of photos!

1: La Alhambra

    The Alhambra is the jewel of Granada, the most famous landmark, the most common attraction. This photo was taken on a late night excursion during orientation week from the lookout point at Mirador San Nicolas: a hilltop parallel to the Alhambra with a perfect view, especially at sunset. To get to this viewpoint we had to climb through the windy roads of the Sacromonte neighborhood and then desperately try not to fall down the slippery stone steps coming down the other side of the mountain through the Albacín. If you are ever in Granada and want a prime view of the Alhambra, I highly recommend this spot—just wear sturdy shoes. 

2: Exploring Plaza de España

    The Plaza de España is a major attraction in Sevilla, famous for being used as a film location in Star Wars and Game of Thrones. This picture is of me and some of my good friends that I met through IES on the day we got to explore the city, and one of my favorite things about this picture is the running joke we had regarding the Plaza itself. Whenever we took a day trip to a different city in Andalucia we would inevitably visit a gorgeous historic building and subsequently one of us would claim it as our “summer home”. My friend Marissa (in the middle of this picture) was the lucky one who claimed the Plaza de España  as her house, and this photo makes me think of all the time spent playfully arguing about who lived where. It just makes me smile to remember funny things like that being attached to such famous buildings. 

3: Tortilla Española

    Traditionally in Spain, when you go out to eat you will order a few drinks and some small plates of food commonly known as tapas. One of the most iconic tapas is tortilla española: the lovechild of an omelet and a potato pancake, it’s a wildly delicious slice of heaven. This picture was taken in Cordoba outside the city’s most famous tortilla shop, and you can clearly see I’m enjoying myself! Not only does this picture remind me of all the amazing food I got to try, but of the very travel-blogger-esque photoshoot my friends and I had with my tapa that day. Good times!

4: Es Vedrá, Ibiza

    One of the coolest things I think I can say about studying abroad was that I got to spend Halloween on the beautiful island of Ibiza! This picture was taken on the 31st on a cliff overlooking the magic rock known as Es Vedra which is supposed to be where Odysseus encountered the sirens in Greek mythology. Not a very traditional Halloween activity, but sitting at the edge of that cliff looking down at the impossibly blue water was truly unforgettable. The wind was so strong that day it felt like at any moment I could take flight! Seriously though, shoutout to my friend Alexa who suggested we check out this crazy destination (even though we had to take a million dollar taxi out to the middle of nowhere just to get there hah). 

5: Dinner with Friends

    This photo was taken by the lovely waiter who bravely served our table of ten during one of my friends birthday dinners that we got to share during our last week in Granada. What I love about this picture is not only that it reminds me of the incredible pasta we all ate last night (gnocchi bolognese always hits the spot), but the interesting game we played while waiting for the bill. My girl Noel convinced us to download the app Photo Roulette where a random photo is selected from one of the players camera roll and everyone has to quickly guess who the photo belongs to. Not only was it a great way to gain free access to a friend's baby pictures, but it was hilarious to see who people thought the pictures belonged to, and it was a fun way to end the evening.

6: The Last Walk

    One of my favorite things to do is go on long walks with very little idea of where I’m going. My goal is always to climb somewhere high and get the best view, preferably at golden hour. I definitely succeeded the day I took this picture, which was during finals week when I went on my last major walk of the semester. I came across this view of the Sierra Nevada totally by accident on a trail that takes you above the city and above the Alhambra called “el camino al silla del moro." I remember being so blown away by the view and by the fact that I essentially had this whole countryside to myself, and was extremely glad I decided to go for it and explore this wonderful area all by myself. It really helped me clear my mind, and I can still picture those mountains perfectly (even without the photo). 

7: Saying Goodbye

    I’d never been to a proper cocktail hour before I went to the one pictured here, but I can confidently say that it will be one of my fondest memories from my time in Spain. Not only was there amazing food (I swear I literally ate 4 goat cheese hamburgers), but it was a chance to say goodbye to everyone with no other stresses getting in the way. My friends and I could goof around and enjoy our final day together without worrying about finals, and we could interact with our professors in a much more casual and fun way. I definitely did some schmoozing and tried to talk myself up to my teachers hoping for a good final grade, but it was all in good fun and was truly a great way to end the semester. Plus, who doesn’t love an amazing view and some good tinto de verano!

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Katie Moore

<p>Hey Y'all! My name is Katie and I am so excited to be studying in Granada, Spain this fall! I go to Occidental College in Los Angeles and am a psychology major with a double minor in linguistics and journalism. I am very active in my school's dance community and have choreographed twice for our all-school showcase called Dance Production. As a dancer, I can't wait to learn more about Flamenco and explore new music from the area. I love going on long walks, trying out new foods, and I'm very much a movie nerd. I'm looking forward to sharing my adventures with you, and hope you enjoy reading along with me!</p>

2021 Fall
Home University:
Occidental College
Arlington, VA
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