For those of you who don’t know, Cameron and I met while studying abroad in Sevilla nearly 2 1/2 years ago.
While there, we didn’t just fall in love with each other. We fell in love with this city, it’s culture and most importantly, the amazing people we studied with.
It was easily the best time of our lives, and we still see Sevilla as our “home” albeit a second home.
Upon first arriving in Sevilla, I cried.
I stepped out of the train station and caught my first glimpse of the city in two years…and cried again.
We passed by our favorite cafe, where we went to school and walked down familiar streets and there were more tears. The whole time.
(I really am my mother’s daughter.)
I regained composure quickly though. Tears turned into laughter and just an overall giddiness that I haven’t been able to shake yet. I’m sure you’ve felt that before: when you’re so happy and excited about something you’re almost nervous in a way, your stomach is in knots but you’ve got a huge stupid grin that you cannot wipe off your face.
It’s surreal being back. Every memory, all the wonderful emotions we felt living here, all came back so easily. As did our Spanish, thankfully!
On our walk from the train station to our hotel we saw Donna Wright (Tech study abroad coordinator) leading a group of students on orientation (n00bs). We waved her down and she let us into the center. Talk about a surreal experience. The center is where we had our classes and spent most of free time (when we weren’t at the Rio). At the center we were introduced to Austin Wheeler, a new coordinator for the program, or at least new to us (he’s actually been with the program for a long time, he just wasn’t here when we studied). We were also reunited with fellow Spainer Kelsie Aziz, or Kaziz for short. It’s amazing to be back here but it’s even more special to share it with someone who was here with us 2 years ago and lived through all that we did. So much reminiscing followed.
Kelsie’s younger sister Lexi just finished up a summer session so the four of us went to dinner at a tapas bar and then set out to enjoy the wonderful nightlife of Sevilla.
A few things have changed since our time; apparently Calle Betis and Alfalfa are no longer the “cool” spots to go out at night, instead the recent groups gathered near the mushrooms, which had yet to be completed when we were here. The following changes might make some of you very sad, so proceed with caution:
1. The bocadillo lady is no more. Her little bocadillo shop that brought happiness to so many of us in the form of a simple sandwich was bought out by La Pintarra (the bodega where we’d often get coffee). Which brings us to change number 2.
2. La Pintarra, which to some was known as the place to get tostada con marmalada, or coffee, to others as the wine bar with 70 cent wine and to Dilyn as the place to get jamon Serrano sandwiches, has now expanded to include more dining area. Happy for La Pintarra, sad for the bocadillo lady. Also the wine is no longer 70 cents, it’s now 1 euro.
3. Cafe Dharte where Joe worked and where we all had multiple tostadas and coffee per day, the place which quickly became known as “juandi’s bar” is NO LONGER OWNED BY JUANDI’S PARENTS. Devastating. But it will still always be “Juandi’s Bar” in my heart.
Despite these tragic changes, for the most part Sevilla feels largely the same. It still our amazing, beautiful little city. Except it’s way too hot at the end of June to spend a day drinking by the rio, sadly.
We’re about to meet up with Fran and John Lillegraven (more SPAINERS)! We’ll update with more pictures and tales of Sevilla later, but here’s what we’ve got so far:
So we miss all our Spainers dearly. It truly isn’t the same without you guys. Thank you all for being amazing friends and making it so special to come back here. Special thanks to the Aziz sisters, Austin and Juandi for making our first night back such a memorable one.
We love Sevilla and this won’t be our last Sevilla post.
Kelly and Cameron