Wednesday, June 23, 2010

travel break

Rodrigo: This photo was taken in Morocco during an excursion trip by Discover Sevilla. We traveled to M'Diq, ChefChaouen, Tetouan and Tangiers in one weekend. This was very exciting for me since it was my first time ever to be in a third world country and because the scenery was beautiful. It was a completely different world for me. ChefChaouen is a very interesting city since the walls and doors of buildings were blue colored and the walkways were very narrow. It was somewhat interesting that although we were sleeping in a four star hotel the water was still a bit brown colored. The people in Morocco are very friendly to foreigners, despite that the starting price is very high when you barter with local merchants. I enjoyed the food for the most part and I was surprised of how much food they provide in one plate. What I didn’t like much is that there wasn’t a lot of variety. Almost every Moroccan menu had only tagines and couscous dishes. I felt that the food was a bit bland, at least for my taste. I hope that I will return to Africa to see other countries and regions, especially the Sahara desert.

Trevor: I went to Rome over the break between classes. I was there for a total of two and a half days, during which time I'm sure I walked over thirty miles and saw many things I'll never forget. Even though it was roughly only a two day trip, it's still hard to sum up in a few sentences; the weekend was packed full of seeing things and experiencing Roman culture.

I started the trip with a bang on the first morning at the Vatican City, the smallest city-state in the world and home of the Pope. It was incredible, as could be expected. One of the friends with whom I was staying and I took a tour in the morning for about 3 hours through first the Vatican Museum and then the other highlights of the city, including the Sistine Chapel, which features arguably Michelangelo's best work, The Last Judgement, and St. Peter's Basilica, the largest church in the world. The whole city was full of incredible history, architecture, and of course, tourists. After the Vatican City, we went to the Pantheon and saw multiple plazas and fountains, of which Rome has an incredible amount. After supper that night, we went to see some of the sites we would go to the next day as they were lit up at night; the Coliseum, the Roman Forum, the Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, etc. After a few hundred pictures and a few miles, we called it a night.

The next day we all went our separate ways to see everything we wanted. I went to countless more small churches and plazas and got to see the Trevi Fountain, another incredible and beautiful work into which I threw a coin to ensure I'd come back to Rome. After having seen a church with a solid gold ceiling and more plazas than I could remember, I went to take a tour of the Coliseum, the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. I've always wanted to see the Coliseum, and it didn't disappoint me at all. To this day, it is an amazing feat of engineering, especially considering that it was put up in only eight years. The Forum and Palatine Hill are both full of more history than I could remember, but basically, the Forum was the direct center of ancient Rome and Palatine hill is where the royalty stayed (or so I believe). After these tours, I saw the famous Plaza of the Republic and the Castle of San Angelo, a castle very close to St. Peter's Basilica that's connected to the old Vatican City walls.

As I said, it's a hard weekend to sum up in a few short paragraphs, but what I have written includes the highlights of the trip. I had a great time and can't wait to go back. Here is a picture of me at the Castle of San Angelo with St. Peter's Basilica and the courtyard of the Vatican in the background.

Andy, Garret, Eric, Brian, Robert, Erika, Rodrigo, and me(Riley): We went to Barcelona for our 5 day break between sessions and had the time of our lives. Barcelona is on the Mediterranean Sea and also surrounded by mountains, and none of us had ever seen the whole mountain, beach combo so we all thought that the city was absolutely beautiful. We got to see the famous "Segrada Familia" cathedral done by Guadi and many other architectural masterpieces done by him. Our favorite adventure was probably the bike tour that we did that took us all over the city. It was an awesome way to get to see all of the highlights and all in all, we had an amazing time.

Sebastian: Over the 5 day break, I had the opportunity to go to Barcelona and travel with my parents. It was an amazing trip, and I enjoyed Barcelona a great deal! I was able to visit La Sagrada Familia, which was an incredible sight, both from an artists perspective, as well as an engineers. My second day we went to Parc Guell, and that night we met up with my uncle, who lives in Bilbao, and went to see the classical guitarist Manuel Gonzalez who performed an array of great classical guitar pieces from Concierto de Aranjuez to Recuerdos de la Alhambra. The following day, we took a trip to the Dali-Gala Theater Museum, which is in a town about an hour and a half from Barcelona called Figueres. The museum is unlike any I have ever been to. It is as if walking into one of Dali's paintings, from the moment you step in the door there is no way of knowing what you can expect. Along with all these great places, there was also the food! I had some of the best paella, shrimp, sardines, and sangria I have ever had the opportunity to taste! I can't really point at either of these and say they are my favorite, since I enjoyed all so much. But I'll send you a picture that made the most impact on me during the trip.

from Amelia: I went to London for the break between summer sessions, and it seems that, by and large, what I saw most were the street performers. Funny or talented, they would elicit coins from passerby using various tricks and gimmicks. This guy was wanting to draw a crowd for some reason, so he was breakdancing. This was in Picadilly Circus, but many of the performers I saw were also in Covent Gardens. I guess they figure that, if people are going to be spending money anyway, they might as well give spare change to performers on the street.

The best thing I did in London, though, is visit the British Museum. I spent four solid hours wandering the exhibits, and I didn't even cover half of it. Everything there was amazing. Other than that, I just wandered around. London was a really great trip.

Rebecca and Mary: Over the four day break between classes Mary and I decided to stay in Seville. Even though we had both been here for 5 weeks already we still felt like we hadn't really seen much. Only class and then home, with an occasional walk around the shops by the cathedral. It was really fun to finally be able to walk around without having to keep checking time to see if we were late or not. A park that we always pass on the way to school was holding a neat fair that had artists and people selling crafts. There was a little miniature trampoline/bungee contraption, but it was closed when we passed. Then we also visited the Maria Luisa park. It is absolutely gorgeous, and HUGE too. The trees that grow there are like something out of a Disney movie, there roots seemed like they would go down to the center of the earth. They were definitely my favorite part of the park. We also experienced some night life. We went to the discoteca which was a lot of fun. It was called Buddha and people would walk in and automatically walk to the third floor. There was probably only like ten people on the first two floors and then when we went to the third floor we saw how packed it was. The funny thing is that they played all American songs, and there weren't even that many people speaking English but it seemed like everybody was singing along. Besides that Mary and I took advantage of sleeping in and relaxing watching some world cup games. It was a fun break, now back to work.

Austin, Matthew, and Eric(me): In Paris France during the study abroad program in Seville Spain. We took full advantage of one of our free travel weekends alloted by the staff at the Seville Tech Center. Using the metro system, we were able to see the Eiffel tower, Notre Dame, Arc de Triumph, The Moulin Rouge, The Louvre, and the Catacombs. The food was amazing, and unlike any place we have traveled to before, the entire meal was set for one low price with your choice of appetizer, entree, and a dessert. The Paris experience was not complete, of course, without a taste of some fine wine. . . Paris was an experience that everyone should enjoy.

No comments:

Post a Comment