Seville 2016 – Michelle D’Souza

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Metropol parosol, commonly referred to as Las Setas (the mushrooms) is the largest wooden structure in the world, the design of which is inspired by the vaults of the Cathedral of Seville and nearby ficus trees. It is also an excellent opportunity to take in the stunning view of Sevilla.

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Catedral de Santa Maria de la Sede, better known as Seville Cathedral is the largest gothic cathedral in the world. Rather different to traditional Catholic cathedrals, it was built on the site of a mosque that stood during Muslim rule. The current bell tower was initially built to resemble the Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech, accounting for some of the interesting architecture of this building.

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A beautiful day at the beach on a weekend trip to El Peurto de Santa Maria. This was a great experience as I stayed with a friend and her parents who don’t speak any English! Although daunting at the time, I have now realised that fully immersing oneself in a new language is absolutely the best way to learn.

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Whilst visiting the family I also gained a new best friend, Curra. Curra is a native dog, rarely seen in Britain, a Spanish water dog! These dogs are particularly common in Andalusia as they are skilled at retrieval from water and were consequently used by fishermen and harbour workers.

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We did spend some time studying, although Spanish at school would have been much more appealing with gelato during the breaks!

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The iconic view at Plaza de España.

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Another weekend trip took us to the historical city of Córdoba. Having been conquered by Islamic rule in the 18th century, Córdoba was once the capital of the Islamic emirate, leading to the modern contrast of Islamic and Catholic architecture. The Roman bridge pictured leads to the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba.

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Inside the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba there is beautiful Moorish architecture as shown in the picture of columns made from jasper, onyx, marble and granite. In direct contrast to this, a Catholic nave has been built in the middle of the cathedral during the Renaissance.

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The best part about the trip to Cordoba was the company of a lovely Spanish family!

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I was also able to sample some wonderful Spanish tapas; this is a great way to try all the dishes available!

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I was also fortunate enough to try the local wine, a sherry named fino quinta which perfectly complements the strong flavours of tapas.

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Viewing a real-life bullfighting ring, Plaza de Torro. It was interesting to learn about the sport of bullfighting and the necessary measures put in place such as immediate access to medical aid!

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Plaza Neuva, round the corner from Spanish school.

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Also in close proximity is Almada de Hercules, the perfect place to cool down and enjoy a bite to eat after class.

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Enjoying Tinto de Verano (‘Summer wine’) on the rooftop bars of Seville, with new friends from Spanish school. A fitting end to a wonderful experience in Seville.

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