After our week long travels in London and Austria, we had to return back to Malaga so I could finish work, and to meet my roommate from last year, Catherine! So while I was at work, Dani, Catherine, and her boyfriend Austin traveled around Andalucía. They did a ton of day trips to Granada, Cordoba, and Nerja. Then we all traveled to Bollullos (YAY!) and Sevilla for a long weekend.
Quick note about Nerja: it is a great day trip outside of Malaga if you want to lay on some beautiful beaches and see some pretty neat caves. I’m not going to lie, it’s touristy, but the beaches are amazing, and you can totally explore to find your own private part of the beach!
When we arrived in Sevilla we had a great surprise: two of our other friends from CIEE were visiting too! We got to catch up with them before we caught our bus to Bollullos! If you haven’t figured it out by now, regardless if you leave Spain you ALWAYS come back. Spain always finds a spot in your heart, para siempre.
Then the weekend had finally arrived, AND WE MADE IT TO BOLLULLOS. Catherine and I were so excited to go back. I have been back a few times, but by myself…which we have learned that Btown (that’s what the cool kids call Bollullos) by yourself is super boring and sad. I couldn’t wait to show my town off to Dani. We first of course went to our kebab guys and inhaled the best kebabs in Spain. Seriously, these guys know what’s up with a kebab. If you have never had a kebab, I feel really sad for you because it’s the greatest food for any occasion (breakfast, second breakfast, hungover breakfast, lunch, fika, dinner, 4 AM snack…SO GOOD!). Sadly, I have ZERO pictures of my past kebabs, probably because they are gone before any of us can think of taking a #selfie.
The next morning we set off for a big day: breakfast of el mejor tostada con tomate y aciete en todo de españa at the local hangout spot Candy. Then we set off to our old schools to visit with our students and coworkers. Words cannot describe what it is like when I go back to my school, Las Viñas. It’s like my second family is there, I get waaaaay too many hugs and kisses, too many comments that I am too skinny and I need to eat more jamon (lies, I eat too much), and that I need to visit more. That’s not even including my two spanish moms…that list can go on and on forever. Of course my students were so excited to see me, I got football cheers, standing ovations, and so many besitos. My now six level students, AKA my not so secret favorites, even showed me their dance moves, you can watch it here. We then went to our favorite bodega, wine cellar/restaurant, Abuelo Curro. Where we got to stuff our faces with the best choco, cuttle fish, and adobo and enjoy my six level students stopping at my table to ask me random questions in English.
Of course our trip to Btown was short, but we had to get back to Sevilla! We met up with our friends Michaela and Christine. After spending our crazy first month in Sevilla, we all had so many memories to share with Dani. First, I wanted to check one thing off my list: having drinks on top of hotel Eme. It’s located RIGHT across from the catedral de Sevilla and at night it has THE BEST VIEW.
What else is a must in Sevilla? The Alcazar, the royal palace, next to the catedral. It isn’t used by the monarchy any more, but it is much more manageable than the Alhambra in Granada. After you finish there, head over to the catedral to say “hey!” to Christopher Columbus and to climb up to the top of the Giralda. Once you have caught your breath again after the hike up the Giralda, head over to Plaza de San Salvador to get a cerveza or tinto de verano before lunch. This area is in front of a church, and it totally kosher to sit on the stairs and drink. Sevillianos head there around the 2 o’clock hour to catch up with friends and to de-stress from their very un-stressful 5 hour work day. After lunch it is a must to take a siesta. Seriously, Spain forces you to because NOTHING is open from 2-5 PM. For your evening paseo, head over to Plaza de España for a stroll through the parque (Click here for more info about the plaza). Then a great merienda, snack, is Rayas. This ice cream shop literally has THE BEST helado, ice cream, ever. I am not ashamed to admit that I have eaten there twice in one day, because it is THAT good. Obviously for dinner, search around the Alameda area for a tapas place to try all of the deliclious spanish food. You can always end the night along the river, there are many bars and discotecas that have open dance floors or patios.
If you are lucky enough to come to Sevilla during the bull fighting season, that is also a must-see. Even if you aren’t super keen on it, just go see it. You won’t regret it. Last year, Catherine and I went to see our first fight, so it was only appropriate that we drag Austin and Dani to one. It wasn’t a regular professional fight…it was novices (AKA the newbies…). Before you read any further, go back to my post about my first fight to learn the basics. To continue my lessons in Spain, we got to see the awarding of ears and tails to the novice bullfighters…that means we finally got to witness the presidente of the fight who decides how good the fight was. Also, you really see how novice these novices are, which means many of the fights didn’t end as cleanly.
After a whorl-wind weekend in Sevilla and Bollullos, Catherine and Austin had to head back to the states, and Dani and I had to pack up for our last trip together: GREECE. Let the Olympic games begin! Hasta luego!