It is stunning how much a country’s culture can shift, even when you only fly an hour and a half away. Last weekend, the Holy Cross A Coruña study abroad students headed south to two cities to experience the Andalucían culture. Our first stop was Granada, which had one of the most impressive man made constructions on earth. We spent over five hours in the castle that is over one thousand years old, known as the Alhambra. The Alhambra is famous for being the final Moorish stronghold in Spain, lasting until 1492 (directly related to Christopher Columbus’s 1492). It was even listed as a finalist among the Seven Wonders of the World, and once I set foot in it I could easily see why. The palace was enormous. There was so much to see that I cannot possibly recount it all, but here are some highlights: The ceilings were ornate with designs of incredible mathematical precision, the staircases and gardens were laden with little canals that carried water down the mountain under the steps that we walked on, and from the top of the highest tower, I could see the entirety of Granada from the ancient platform.
The next stop we made on our trip was to Seville, with sights that equaled Granada, and we were exposed to even more Andalucían culture. From the incredible pork to the distinct accents of their people, Seville was brilliant. We enjoyed touring the most famous bull fighting ring in Spain, the third largest Cathedral in the world, and a breathtaking flamenco performance. Each day that we were on the trip was filled with some of the most impressive sights I have seen in my life, but even with so many things to do, the voyage was only made better by going with the great group of Holy Cross students. When we were not left breathless in certain moments, like when we saw the tomb of Christopher Columbus, we were laughing and growing closer together as friends. We would experience the night life with other travelers and local Spaniards, or we would laugh at ridiculous dub step remixes to various songs. This trip was indispensable for anyone who wishes to get to know the entirety of Spain, and I believe it was pivotal in creating long lasting friendships as well.
James O'Connor '18