So, over the past ten days or so, this Swiss Miss wasn’t in Switzerland (yet again). The University of Fribourg had their first vacation for Easter, and rather than stick around and study, I decided to meet up with my American roommate in Spain! Feliz navidad! (Okay, so I don’t know how to say Happy Easter in Spanish… This is the best I’ve got.)
Because nothing in life can ever be easy, my plan was to take the train from Fribourg to Geneva, then from Geneva to Paris, sleep overnight in the airport, take a 6:30 a.m. flight to Sevilla, and then take a shuttle bus into town to be there around 10 a.m. The only problem was that I had to take an exam right before my train, giving me about thirty minutes to get my life together after class. Wanting to simplify my life, I decided that I might as well just take my luggage to class and leave from there to go to the train station. On my way to the building, my backpacking backpack on my back and my schoolbag slung around my front, I switched gears on my bike, and…I heard a tremendous, horrific noise. The chain squeaked and shrieked, and I could pedal no further. I wasn’t even halfway. Bref, I was about a minute late for my exam, sweating like a madman with two huge backpacks. And this is the class whose teacher is the human reincarnation of Grumpy Cat. I’m probably not going to do so hot on the exam…
Thankfully, all the stars seemed to align, and my train arrived on time, I was able to take the Metro and the bus to the Orly Airport in Paris, and then I found a corner on the floor to nap. I wisely decided to pop a squat next to the chapel, and I was protected throughout the night by heavenly forces.
“I’m getting too old to travel like this,” I thought to myself. I was quite sore after the couple of hours of sleep I managed to get, despite the fact that the airport was freezing. Never again.
I made it to Sevilla, bright and early in the morning, and checked into my AirBnB, complete with my own private bathroom and balcony. Not that I spent much time there, my days being chockful with tourist activities. I had arrived in Sevilla the week of Semana Santa, the week leading up to Easter, and the place was hoppin’. Each church organizes their own heavily-decorated float, and then they coerce volunteers to carry the giant thing on their backs around the city. I was a bit freaked out by the number of people dressed up in KKK-style wardrobe, with pointy hats and dirty socks, but I had to remind myself that this garb appeared long before the white supremacist-inspired American apparel.
I would have to say that Sevilla was my favorite city I visited in Spain. It was almost ninety degrees outside, I finally got to show off my Snow White legs, and the architecture was beautiful. We ate tapas (small plates with a snack-sized portion of delicious food, including tortillas (sort of like quiche), fried cheese, tuna and vegetable salads, meats, cheeses, seafood, paella, and Tinto (wine punch)) at a local restaurant three days in a row, made friends with Spanish and French travelers, danced to Spanish music until the wee hours of the morning, visited parks and palaces, and basically just had a good time.
A few days later, my friend and I took a Blablacar, a ridesharing program which is similar to Uber only less expensive, to Cordoba. The Blablacar experience (like you may be able to infer from the name) forced me to practice my Spanish, but after an hour or so, my brain was ready to give up. No más, por favor!
We only spent a day in Cordoba, but we were able to enjoy the sun, taking model-style pictures in a garden, eating more tapas, and working on our tan. The next day, we took another Blablacar to Madrid, where we weren’t highly impressed with the industrial city. So, naturally, being female, we decided to take advantage of Spanish prices and do some shopping. My bank account is now screaming bloody murder at me, but money grows on trees, right?
Our final stop on our Spanish tour was Barcelona, and although I never got to see Messi (and the Messi shirt I bought for myself was stolen), the city was amazing. Our first day there we went straight to the beach, although the 60-degree temperature wasn’t as appealing as Sevilla. We visited parks, made Argentinian friends at the hostel, and danced reggaetón until the sun peaked up over the horizon. Naturally, my 7 a.m. flight the following Sunday morning was exhausting, but I was pleased to discover the sun had reappeared in Fribourg upon my return.
Unfortunately, it is supposed to snow this week in Switzerland. Just my luck. Take me back to Spain! But of course, it’s time to get back into the swing of things and ‘pretend’ to study. I’m here for school, right? Right…
À plus dans le bus!