Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Pictures of Feria

Precious girls with their flamenco dresses on!

Some of the rides in the "fair" area!! so much fun!!!

Lexie, Becca, and I in the street where all the tents are! The lights were all lit up every night and it was beautiful!!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Feria in Sevilla

Kim and I at La Portada (the grand entrance) of Feria. Feria is a huge area with colorful tents where everyone goes and also a huge area with tons of ferris wheels and rollar coasters. It is a huge fair and so much fun!!!!

Flamenco dancing the "Sevillana" dance in la caseta (the tent) of my family and their friends. So much fun!!!

There are thousands of tents lined up like this and all the girls have on beautiful, colorful dresses and the men wear suits. Feria is a week long of dressing up, dancing, eating, and drinking a drink of what they call "rebujitos" which is manzanilla and sprite. Feria is so much fun!! (I liked it sooo much more than Semana Santa) I got to go in some different tents and dance the flamenco Sevillana dance that everyone dances here. Everyone was so surprised that an American knew the dance so well... i guess that flamenco class came in handy!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Cinque Terre, Italia (my favorite place in Europe)

Cinque Terre is a town on the north western coast of Italy with 5 villages. We stayed in the most southern village called Riomaggiore. There are amazing hiking paths along the coast of Italy that goes to each of the villages. It is a 5 hour hike from the most southern village to the most northern village. Me and Christina made it to right outside the 3rd. I definitely want to come back here after college when I backpack through Europe and do this entire hike. The views were absolutely beautiful!

The Pesto from Cinque Terre and Focaccia bread is one of the things Cinque Terre is known for and is absolutely delicious. It is such a cool little town. There are a lot of young back packers who come here. We met a girl and a guy who just graduated from College and are doing a 3 month world trip. They have been all over Europe for the past 5 months and are going to Asia in about a week. It was so cool to talk with them. I would love to do that after college and go to Australia and New Zealand as well. This is Blaire and Lexie who both go to UNC Chapel Hill!

The town, Riommagiore, that we stayed in Cinque Terre. The views, feel, people, hikes, food everything about this town was incredible. I would absolutely love to come back here. Nothing is better than the mountains and ocean combined!

Florence, Italy (2nd stop in Italy)

Michealangelo's Famous Statue of David in the Acadamia from the 1400's. The intricate detail on this statue of David was breathtaking and i stood in awe of his artwork for atleast 20 minutes. I couldn't see one thing wrong with it that didn't make it look so real. It was absolutely perfect.
Christina and I with the beautiful background of Florence. Florence is a beautiful city with a river running through it. The building to the right is the Duomo. Florence is a great place to shop and bargain in the markets. I bought some great gifts here and used by bargaining skills :o)

My 4 UNC Chapel Hill girls and 1 Clemson Tiger. We watched the sun set over the city of Florence while sipping on some Italian wine. It was such a beautiful view! Everyday while we were in Italy we had Gelato, which is the icecream there. It is absolutely delicious and i think i tried about every flavor. All of the Italian food is absolutely delicious, but it is expencive in Italy.

Italy is definitely my favorite country in Europe so far!

Rome, Italy (1st stop in Italy)

I traveled to Italy with 4 other girls who I met here in Sevilla and have been going to a Bible Study with here. They all go to UNC Chapel Hill which is so cool bc i absolutely love Chapel Hill and would have loved to go there if it wasn't out of state. The Coloseum in Rome, Italy. Rome is amazing. The history behind Rome is so old and ancient that it is hard to believe. The Coloseum is one of the best preserved monuments of ancient Rome. Ancient Rome is from the 300's. The Coloseum held more than 50,000 spectators to witness bloody contests including the slaughtering of beasts and gladiator fights. I still can't believe I was there.

This is the famous Fountain of Trevi. If you throw one coin in behind your back the theory is that you will return to Rome one day. If you throw in 2, you will fall in love in Rome and 3 the legend is that you will be married in Rome. I think I remember seeing pictures of my sister Laura in front of this when she went to Italy with Uncle Bruce and aunt BJ. It was so beautiful!! We had so many good meals in Italy. The food there is amazing!!! (although expencive)

This is the Pantheon. This was built 2000 years ago out of granite columns, bronze doors, and a domed interior. I have always heard of the Pantueon but never knew exactley where it was or what exactley it was. There are so many famous things in Rome, so it was really cool to be abel to see them. The Roman Forum was really amazing to see. This was used as a market place in 8 B.C. and was the center of ancient Rome. We toured the Palantine Hil which is the oldest Part of Rome and the ruins date back to 800 B.C. A lot of them were just discovered by archeaologists in the 1900's. It is said that there still about 60% of the ruins have still not been discovered yet. We also got to see the Circus Maximus where they use to have the huge chariot races and is the biggest stadium in history. It was constructed in 600 B.C. and held over 300,000 Romans.

We also got to see the "Scala Santa' which are the sacred steps that Jesus walked on which were brought all the way from Jerusalem to Rome. Everyone was kneeling on them, bc they all believe that if you do, all your sins will be washed away.. It was very interesting to see.

On Wednesday when we went back to Rome to catch our flight to Barcelona we went to the Vatican Country. This is where the Pope lives. He speaks every Wednesday so we got to see him speak. There were thousands of people at St. Peter to hear him. We went inside St. Peter's which is the largest church in the world. We went to the Sistine Chapel which was painted by Michealangelo.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Semana Santa

This "paso" was in Marbella. We thought we got away from the processionals and crowds, but they were in Marbella too. All week there are these processionals through out the cities and they carry big golden floats of Jesus and Mary that are hundreds of years old. Sevilla was so crowded that we could barely even walk to get anywhere.

I promise this is not the Ku Klux Klan, but they are almost as scary. Everyone wears these pointed hats in the processionals and a different color each day.

This is the view of the crowd from the top of Hotel Dona Maria where we escaped to. It was crazyyyy!!!! I love Sevilla, but not during Semana Santa!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Family in Spain!! (Sevilla and Marbella)

I had so much fun with my mom and sisters! Semana Santa was a crazy week here in Sevilla with millions of people here to see the processionals. But it was an experience and we all had fun together. (we missed ya Dad, but it was a good girls week!) This picture is in Marbella, Spain which is a beautiful town on the beach with an old town full of awesome shops! We are holding up churros which we ate 3 times while they were in Spain. It is like a funnel cake and you dip it in a thick chocolate sauce! (delicious!)

This was one day after my host-mom cooked lunch for us. She is the best cook and all of her food is always delicious! Me and Martha are wearing the flamenco dresses that everyone wears during the week of Feria. (next week) Feria is a week full of dancing, eating, drinking out on the streets. It should be interesting to experience! I will be here for about 3 days of it after Italy!

This picture is from Carmona, which is a pueblo about an hour outside of Sevilla. We made this a day trip and took the bus here. It was beautiful and we basically explored the entire pueblo!

This is in the Parque de Maria Louisa. We rode this around the park and afterwards the processionals began for Semana Santa. I will post some pics of that so you can see what it is like. We stayed busy all week and I got to show them around Sevilla then we got to enjoy the beautiful beach of Marbella for a relaxing "holiday" as they call it here!

I miss you all already!!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Lagos, Portugal

I am absolutely in love with Lagos, Portugal!!! It was the most beautiful beach I have ever been to. In Lagos there are about 5 different beaches. This one was surrounded by cliffs and had these huge rocks close by. The big rock had ropes attached and you can jump. I would LOVE to go back here one day!

One day we went out on a sailboat along the coast of Portugal. Each of the different caves have a different name to it. I think this one was called Cathedral. We then went on speed boats and they took us right along the caves. It was so much fun!

We got to watch the sun-set one night. I absolutely LOVE sun-sets!! This was at the very west part of Portugal which had huge cliffs. This use to be known as the "end of the world" before Columbus discovered America. It was amazing watching the beautiful sun set below the ocean. I think this would be the most romantic spot watching the sun-set! :-)

This is definitely the most gorgeous beach I have ever been to. I was offered a job to work in a cute little restaurant this summer ;o) I was actually thinking about it! haha It is only about 3-4 hours away from Sevilla. If i had more time I would def go back!! My family comes in 4 days!!! (mom and sisters) I am gonna miss my Dad but it will be a fun girls time!!! Write more soon!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Fez, Morocco - Africa

Me and Jenn riding on the Camel on the coast of Africa. We got to do this right before we left Africa to take the ferry back to Spain. I have always wanted to ride on a camel and I finally got to do it... in AFRICA! Morocco was an experience I will never forget.

One night we went to a belly dancing show. They also had some men do a drum performance, they had some music, and a little magic show. The belly dancing wasn't what I always pictured belly dancing being (a line of women with perfect bodies in all different colored bikini tops) BUT it was just one at a time doing moves with their hips and rolling their stomach. haha This one lady in particular did some juggling with the fire then put the fire in her mouth which was really cool! At this show we got some mint tea and cookies. Morocco is known for their hot mint tea. It is delicious and reminded me of when I was a little girl going in our back yard and picking the mint leave for mom to make some cold mint tea. :o)

This is what everyone wears. Everyone wears long robes and the women sometimes wear these and the men wear pointed hoods. I think I would have felt much more comfortable in Morocco if I was wearing this. Women HATE when you take pictures. I found this out the hard way..... right when we reached the coast of Africa i went to the bathroom. The bathroom was just like a hole in the ground so I decided to take a picture of it. The two Moroccan ladies in the bathroom saw me take a picture and started yelling at me in arabic and getting all in my face. I was SO scared and tried to leave but they blocked the door. Finally I took my camera out and showed them that I deleted it. That really shook me up!

This was amazing!! This is wear they dye all of the leather for purses, wallets, shoes, jackets...etc. They have all different colors which are used from mud, minerals, natural things, plants.... The workers do it all by hand! We watched them dip the leather in the color, they would have to get in the mud/dye in order to stir it around. I will post some more pics for ya!!