Sevilla

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Yay! I finally visited what some people say

the most beautiful city in Spain

Sevilla. Sevilla ,like many other prettiest and filled with history cities, is located in Andalucia, south of Spain.
Six hours in the bus and we arrived

to where the palms grow 

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It was more than amazing to enjoy sun and heat after many many days of rain in Madrid. On the way to our pension, which was about 10 minute walk, I already started enjoying the city , its clean and narrow streets where, like everywhere in Spain, each building is a piece of art.

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Sevilla Catedral is the biggest gothic cathedral and one of the biggest in Christian world. It amazes you like everything else you see in the city. Tramway, parks, palms, flowers, fountains… You can’t prevent yourself from falling in love with the city. No wonder Mozart found his inspiration here.

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The newer part, which was build for the 1920 expo is also impressive . I especially liked the huge glass ball which was built to chill the air during the hot summer days of the expo.

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Even the few things that were disappointing : rain the rest two days, poor customer service and not very nice locals , – couldn’t ruin the impression and the charm of the city

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Universidad Complutense de Madrid

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Classes started on the 18th of February, but until march 7th students have time to register.. kinda like and add drop week, just lasts longer.  and.. in two weeks we have a 12 day break for Easter=) 

The classes are 2 hours each. In reality.. there are two kinds of professors, at least in my classes. Some come to classes on time, but the students free 20-30 minutes earlier. By the way, “on time”, doesn’t mean sharp =) Spanish time “on time” is no more than 15 minutes late. Others come to class more than 15 minutes late, sometimes 30-40, and finish 5-10 minutes till the end of class time or even sharp. So do the math. 

Lectures.. well, depends on the professor. Some read the slides or something else that can be found on the Internet, some explain the things further and tell you many interesting things. But all have lecture notes on a universitie’s portal. So it surprises me why everyone is taking notes.. Actually, many just bring laptop netbook to get on fb or do other things that need to be done. 

Students also don’t find the idea of coming on time and staying in class of any importance. It’s normal to leave the class for whatever reason  during the lecture and come back, or not come back=).  

There are around 2 restrooms on each floor, but there is always a line. 

Students and professors prefer staying in line for the elevator, even if it takes 10 minutes, than taking the stairs. This might be one of the reasons people are late.

I started getting used to the time feeling here. So when I get out of the metro at 9 am sharp(just the tie the class is scheduled to start) I am not rushing anywhere. I know I have time to walk to the building, take the elevator to the last floor, and even stop at the restroom. I still come to class before the professor. At that time many are still smoking outside, taking there time to discuss what happened last night, and just enjoy life. 

Discovering Spanish South

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Seem like it’s been a while since I wrote anything last time. Well, my timing turned upside down… Since I have Wednesdays off, I feel like the week start  on Friday.. 

Well, no matter that Erasmus is supposed to be a student exchange, I am not going to write about University, at least in this post. 

First thing, I want to mention – Carnival. Carnival is celebrated all over Spain for about a week. 

From what I’ve heard it’s very different from Portugal, Germany and other places. For some reason, which doesn’t really surprises me anymore, here people prefer to make celebrations after it gets dark. So on the first day of Madrid’s Carnival, there was a parade. Kids, grannies and just everyone came to reserve a place more than and hour before the actual beginning. This is was kinda unusual, because people in Spain are never on time, not even mentioning coming earlier=)

Anyways, the parade was very impressing, theatrical, interactive and scary! Yes, scary! People dressed as vikings or some not very nice characters, were jumping at crowed, attempting to break the fences, and screaming at the audience. Nevertheless, it was great experience, which made me smile, laugh, and feel like a little kid=)

The next place to watch carnival was Cadiz – a city-island in Spanish Andalusia. There the celebrations were on many streets and squares, with people dancing and singing. Felt like the entire city was just one big Carnival. An it was even more fun with a huge group(3 buses) of students dressed up. 

Apart from having one of the worlds largest celebrations, Cadiz is a very pretty town, with marvellous historic buildings..and sea! I miss my sea a lot, and it was great to see it at least for 2 days.

Next weekend I came back to Andalusia, but now to Granada. A city of contrasts, where roma, arabs and spanish people and cultures live together. Many,many,many teterias (tea shops) with endless choice of teas and amazing oriental sweets made me very happy.The most common tree on the streets of Granada is orange tree with countless oranges on the branches even in the middle of February. And of course, you can’t leave Granada without visiting Alhambra.Can’t believe that few years ago, I made a presentation in school about it, and thought that visiting it was just a dream.  It was build by Arabs in 11th century, and when Spaniards came they diв not destroy it, because it was too marvellous. The gardens and palaces are gorgeous. It always amazes me how people carved all the decorations back at those times without the tool we have now. Every wall, every doorway is decorated by very complicated pattern,which gives the buildings very light airy feeling. 

PS. photos to follow.

Specifics of university’s canteen

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My discoveries of university’s canteen did not finish on figuring out how to order food in the machine and finding out what name for a sandwich represents which food. When I decided to drink something instead of coffee, I looked at the list of beverages.. Surprisingly I found🍺 beer in that list. Well, wired , but whatev.. Enjoying my sandwich with cola cao and vivid conversation with Erasmus friends, I noticed students taking bottles and huge mugs of beer at the counter. Just a normal break between classes, you know…
Next day, I paid some more attention to the list , and found there 3 kinds of beer, plus non-alcoholic one, siders and tinto de verano( wine plus orange or lemon soda). Well, I was even more surprised when I saw our “professors”(guys are doing their masters and teaching us as a part of their studies) drinking beer during the break.
Finally , after last day of classes , where do you think people ( and by people i mean everyone, and not only my group)went? Canteen, right. What for ?🍔 Grab a bite? Oh, no, for a drink of course🍻
What I found out that evening-martini is also sold at the canteen🍸.

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And the classes begin

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Only language courses right now, but still.., they are in the university. Heard many horror 🙀stories about large groups with boring professors and evil 👹students. I guess I lucky as none of the above happened to me. We are12 😸fun and friendly people(5guys&7girls) with fun professor and his 3 fun assistants. 4 🕒🕖hours of Spanish fly by.. Although sometimes I do get carried away with my own 💭thoughts.. I guess I am getting used to the language and the most important ( at least I hope so) more used to all the different grammar.. Well, I am beginning to talk in deferent tenses without looking them up in my 📄notes( huge of a progress for me).
First day it took me a moment to wind restroom🚾 servicos de alumnas is not the name I learned at school. It’s like at my friend’s dance center – room for self-realization) Talking about wc.. Wall writings are all over
The wall writings are all over the building also. Two I liked the most. •anarchy is order without authority and socialism gives liberty or not
The canteen is another interesting place. There are three machines with menu , you put money in, chose the item on the menu by pressing the button, press ticket, take the ticket and then go to the canteen men( weirded but unlike everywhere I have been before there are no canteen ladies). You give them the ticket, and they give you the food. 🍔

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