Sunday, May 31, 2009

Camels and Caves

Sunday morning we took a bus ride around Tangier and then stopped at a few places to do various things. Our first stop was at the beginning of the Strait of Gibraltar, where the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean meet. It was pretty cool! We took a group picture of all sixteen of us from Texas Tech there.

Then, we went on and stopped to ride camels!
Here are Mateo and me on the camels. (There are 2 Matts in our group of 20, so we call one of them Matt and the other Mateo to keep them straight!)

Guns up!!

K'Lann had some trouble with her camel. Once she got on, he didn't want to stand up!! She was scared!

After the camels, we drove for a little bit again and then got to some caves.

This guy was sitting in a cave within the cave type thing and selling souvenirs...I thought his set up was pretty interesting!

Megan and me in the cave

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Moroccan Palace

Saturday night, our tour guide took us to The Moroccan Palace to watch a Moroccan dance show. Unfortunately for me, he didn't warn us about the audience participation...
The band was pretty cool and just played some Moroccan music the whole time. This guy played this violin-ish looking thing that was connected to the speakers. I thought it was interesting!
The first woman came out in this traditional clothing and did a dance for us...

Then these two guys came out. They looked like brothers, but I don't know. They did some neat acrobatics though!

Next, this guy came out with candles on the tray on his head. Some of them were in glasses, and others were not. He was very entertaining and danced around, sat down and did several crazy things with this tray on his head.

Then he came and sat the tray on top of K'Lann's head. She was freaking out! He tried to get her to move, at all, but she was frozen because she was so scared!

Then he came over and made me get up in the middle of the dance floor...and put one of the candles on my head. He tried to make me dance and shake my hips with a burning candle on my head. After just a few seconds of this, it fell off, and I jumped away! I didn't know where it fell, or if it burned part of me or anything! Luckily everything was fine and he made me bow before I got to finally sit down!

Then the next woman came out. Unfortunately, she hadn't been watching and had no idea that I had just been in the middle of attention! She grabbed Mateo (from our group) and me and made us go up there again! We all three danced around for awhile and did all sorts of ridiculous things! She finally let me sit down, so I got a picture of Mateo and her dancing before he sat down too!

It was a fun, interesting evening, full of surprises!!


We spent Saturday evening walking around the marketplace of Tangier. It was ridiculous. Tangier is a place where people beg and pester you to buy things from their stores more than you can even imagine! And these young boys that are probably five years old will walk with you as you walk through the city begging you to buy little tissue packets from them. No matter how many times you tell them no, they just keep on pestering you and walking with you, for 20 minutes! Also, outside of the hotel and every place that we were going there were people standing there with necklaces and watches hanging off their arms and following you to try to get you to buy from them. In some ways it made me sad, because these people have so little compared to me and they will work so hard to try to make a sale. It was humbling to go to this city and country and remember exactly how blessed I am to be an American. On the other hand, as an American, who is used to being able to say, "No thanks, I'm just looking" and being left alone by the salesperson, it was just annoying! We all felt rude ignoring the people, but if you start talking to them or show any interest in what they're trying to sell you, they will never leave you alone.

One of the streets of the marketplace

Megan, Me, K'Lann, and Kelsey- you can see the coast of Spain in the distance

The Moroccan flag which has a 5 point star on it, for the 5 Pillars of Islam


Saturday, we went to a typical mountain village in Morocco, ChefChaouen. This was my favorite part of the whole weekend! We had a local guide who was this little old man that has lived in this village his entire life. His family has been there for generations. He told us that he has been on Lonely Planet and he was just hilarious and very entertaining. He also told us that all the walls of the city are blue because that color keeps out the heat and the mosquitoes.

Me with Hammad, our tour guide

This is the Coca-Cola donkey. The roads in ChefChaouen are too small for the Coca-Cola trucks to get the Cokes to the stores, so the people there have to unload the bins of Coke onto the donkey and walk the donkey to each individual store.

It was beautiful!

This is the entrance to the medina, which is the old part of the city with windy twisty roads. We spent our entire tour of the town in the medina.

Here I am in the courtyard area that's in the middle of the shops that we went to.

Beautiful Beach in Tetouan

We started out our Moroccan adventures in Tetouan. We spent Friday night there, but the one time that we started to leave the hotel to see the city at all, we got terrified because there were absolutely NO women outside. Apparently, only men go out after dark in Morocco. So, we promptly turned back around and went back into the hotel.

Our tour guide told us that the city of Tetouan is different than it was ten years ago, because the new king vacations there every summer, so now they're making improvements on the city of Tetouan a nice place to go.

K'Lann and I had a beach view from our hotel room. It was truly beautiful, and not what we expected after the things we had seen driving through Morocco.

The view straight from the balcony.

K'Lann and me in front of the mountains and Mediterranean Sea.

Also, the courtyard of our hotel has beauiful hydrangeas, I just had to take a picture!

Saturday morning, Matt, K'Lann, and I all three went down to the beach to enjoy the view and walk around for a little bit before getting on the bus.

Here I am with my feet in the Mediterranean Sea!

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Strait of Gibraltar

So, last weekend I went to Morocco!

Friday we met our tour guide and took a bus to the ferry.

The windmills made the drive seem oddly familiar...west Texas anyone? :)

We took the ferry through the Strait of Gibraltar from Spain to Morocco. Here's the Rock of Gibraltar.

Some pictures from the ferry...

We weren't allowed to take any pictures at the border between Spain and Morocco. But we had to get off the bus and walk through a machine that checked our body temperature or something like that, to make sure that we were healty enough to enter Africa. It was interesting!

Torre de Oro and the River

So today we went out to an American resturant for Matt's birthday. He turns 20 on Saturday, but we'll be in Morocco so we decided to celebrate here! It was fun, we bought him a cake and everything.

Happy Birthday Matt!

The whole group at lunch!

Then we all went exploring some more. We walked to the Torre de Oro (Tower of Gold) which is on the river. It was a neat building, but we were hoping to get in and go to the top of it, but it was closed so we couldn't. It was a beautiful walk though. I really haven't seen the river much while we've been here, so it was gorgeous to finally see it!

Me and K'Lann in front of the Torre de Oro

The river!

Some game that is apparently played in the river. At first we thought it was basketball, but then we realized that there aren't hoops on the poles, they are more like soccer goals.

Here in Sevilla, there is a bike rental system. It is really cool, because you just have an account with a company and can rent bikes for however long you want. It's pretty cheap too! There are tons of places throughout the city where you can rent the bikes- we're planning on going and biking down the river one day soon!

Matt and I on the bikes- we're excited!

We all went out tonight to celebrate our midterm grades. I got a 100! I'm thrilled! :)

K'Lann and Me

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

La Plaza de Espana

So today after class, K'Lann, Megan, and I went to La Plaza de Espana. I went there the other day, but I didn't have time to look at much then- and now I realize how much I missed. I'm so glad I went back! It was an incredible place full of beautiful, very detailed tiling! I don't know much about it, (sorry Dad) but now I've seen it and it's gorgeous!

Me and K'Lann

Me and Megan with the random bull that was in the middle of everything...haha.

They have these little "cubicles" for all 50 of the provinces of Spain. They are very interesting and neat! This one is for Cadiz, the town that we went to with the beach. The detail in these murals is INCREDIBLE! We were amazed!

We always have to take a "Wreck'em" picture...

The view from the top

Megan, Me, and K'Lann from the top of La Plaza de Espana

It was just such a beautiful place!

After our siestas, a few of us went to see Angels and Demons at this one movie theater in town that shows movies in English with Spanish subtitles. We had fun, and then K'Lann, Matt, and I went to the supermarket and had fun looking around! Look at how small the baskets are here! I guess it's because people here pretty much go shopping every day for the meals they're going to make that day, so they don't buy in bulk like we're used to.

Matt at the supermarket

Monday, May 25, 2009


So, the oranges here are AMAZING! We have them for dessert after lunch every day, and I bought some more and have them for breakfast sometimes. They are seriously delicious. I get so excited about you can see!

The oranges are probably so wonderful because Sevilla is covered with orange trees! It is beautiful, and so cool to me to see oranges growing everywhere. I've seen a lot of fruit trees (thanks Dad!) but I've never seen orange trees! :)

Today we didn't do much because Dr. Delgadillo assigned us a lot of homework for tomorrow! I spent about 2 and a half hours doing homework after my siesta, we have our midterm on Thursday!

Sunday, May 24, 2009


This morning I got up and went to church! It was interesting to say the least...all in Spanish, of course. But, it was neat. There was a girl there who is a student at UNC who spent the semester here in Sevilla, Jesse. She translated for me, for the most part. It was very helpful! I was so glad she was there, and there was someone that I could talk to in English! It was a fun, different experience.

I tried to get a picture with the sign and me, but it was too high so I couldn't!

After church, the girls who went to Italy got back, so we just caught up and everything this evening, it's been a nice Sunday.