Carnival in Sevilla, St. Paddy’s Day in Cork

Catherine Boudreau

Time is really starting to move quickly here. Two weeks ago I traveled to Sevilla, Spain, about five hours south of Madrid. That trip kicked off a two-month stretch of going to a different place every weekend.

Sevilla is absolutely beautiful. With lots of palm trees and old architecture, it’s very different from Madrid. We climbed the Giralda Tower, which is connected to Catedral de Sevilla, and were able to see the entire city from up top. What a view! Going out at night was also a blast because drinks were so cheap! In Madrid, a shot can put you back five euro. In Sevilla it cost just one little euro coin. One and two euro coming in coin form is very dangerous, because it makes me feel as if I’m spending virtually nothing. “Five euro for some tacky souvenir I don’t need? Sure why not? I mean, it’s only a few coins.” This is my thought process most of the time. These Europeans are very clever.

Saturday night we took a bus to Cadiz, Spain where a huge carnival brought out what must have been half a million people, all dressed up in outrageous costumes and “boteoning,” which is what Spaniards call drinking in the streets. Basically I celebrated Halloween in March. My favorite costume was from guys who all dressed as the pope. They were hysterical. The whole night was just wild!

Unfortunately upon returning from Sevilla I had to start preparing for midterms. I am still not in school mode. Studying is like a foreign concept at this point. I had three exams on Wednesday and a presentation for my Diverse Spain class. I had to talk for 45 minutes in Spanish about Cantabria, a region of northern Spain. I am really happy it is over with, because for the next two and a half months all I have to do is listen to other group’s presentations.

Right now I am actually writing post-St. Patrick’s Day from Cork, Ireland, where two of my friends are studying. It was a long trek, but worth it. My flight left Madrid at 6:30 a.m. and once in Dublin I had to take a four-hour bus ride to Cork. I flew with Ryan Air. With this airline you truly get what you pay for. The seats don’t recline, they try and sell you crap and keep the lights on for the entire flight, so it is hard to sleep. Plus, once going through the boarding gate you don’t even get on the plane right away. You go outside and walk to the plane in the middle the tarmac. I am so thrilled to be here, though! I really couldn’t ask for a better time to be in Ireland!

Photo credit: Monica Torpey