What better way to renew a visa then a trip to Spain?Rabat, Spring 2012

Spring Break has finally begun and there’s no better way to start it off then a little sangria and tapas (oh bacon, how I have missed you!) around Southern Spain. After living in Barcelona for a summer a few years back, there’s something so peaceful to me about the Spanish way of life. Despite a rather chaotic boat ride from Tangiers, after stepping off the ferry, I immediately felt so at ease and remembered how this country had stolen my heart in the past.

We were lucky enough to arrive during Semana Santa (the Holy Week) just a day before Palm Sunday and all the festivities that accompany it, making the place as colorful and lively as ever. IES prepared a 3 day trip for us around the main sights of Cordoba and Granada, but Morocco’s love of organization (sarcasm) ensured that we arrived a good 3-4 hours late to our destination. While our trip schedule was a little jam-packed, it was worth it for all of the places we got to visit including the Mezquita in Córdoba (an old Mosque converted into a Catholic Church), the ruins of Medina Azahara and the famous Alhambra in Granada. The Islamic influence on Southern Spain was so prevalent and it was so fascinating to see the intermixing of Arab & Spanish design in the architecture and culture. Each site was as beautiful and photogenic as promised and made for a lovely, memorable trip.

It’s so weird to me though that this trip now marks the halfway point. Before this week arrived, my calendar was based around how many weeks were left until Spring Break… now it’s how many weeks are left until I’m back in Minnesota. It’s the most bizarre feeling to try and describe, being both homesick for your friends, family and the familiar things in America but not wanting this incredible experience abroad to end. I guess it’s just a good reminder that we can’t let a moment slip by during the little time left here to experience the beauty of Morocco and the surrounding countries.

To help drown out a little bit of that homesickness though, in a few hours I will be flying out in order to meet my parents and continue my Spring Break in Israel!! Insha’Allah I have enough euros left to make it to the airport after all those delicious tapas…

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