When choosing a study abroad program, everyone chooses what is best for her. CEA is a well-known program
in many countries, not limited to just Europe. My program offers classes at different universities in Sevilla,
international cell phones for their students, housing, and most importantly, excursions. We are offered both
overnight and day excursions to cities in Spain and other nearby countries, all included in the program’s tuition.
This past weekend, our program took us to the beautiful country of Portugal, in which we visited Lagos and
Portimao, both beautiful cities. Our adventures began on Friday with an 8AM bus ride from the University of Sevilla to Portimao. The ride lasted about 4 hours, most of which I slept.
The view from on top of the cliff was more amazing than any picture could capture. We were able to walk down
near the water where people were fishing and taking boat rides. The water was so clear that we could see to the
bottom, and it remained shallow for quite a ways away.
After seeing the view of the cliff, they took us to get lunch at a restaurant overlooking the ocean. We ordered
traditional Portuguese food—cod fish, potatoes, and spice! After we ate, we frolicked on the beach and relaxed
while drinking “vinho verde”—Portugal’s drink of choice.
As the day turned into night, the 150 students on our program all planned to pregame in our hotel room—not the smartest choice we have made. We were quickly asked to leave the hotel, and if we did not leave, we would be kicked out for good. We quickly went from sipping to chugging and left to go the strip of bars down the road. We went to a karaoke bar, a bar with a cover band, and a discoteca.
The night ended well, and the next day, we were supposed to go on a boat tour of the city, but it rained so our
program cancelled it last minute. At that point, everyone went their separate ways—some went home, some went to Lisbon, and some on a booze cruise.
Another excursion that was offered by CEA was the infamous bullfight. Bullfights in Spain are extremely important. Spain is the most famous country for having the best bullfighters, but Portugal and some Latin American countries are known for them as well. It is seen as both a sport and an art in each of these countries.
The bullfight occurs with three bullfighters and six bulls. They take the bull out and the bull is always really angry and immediately begins to run around angrily. The first group of men begins by waving the big red sheet around in attempt to make the bull really tired. They then hook the bull a few times behind its shoulder, while leaping over it. The bull then becomes very weak and begins to bleed. The last step is when a man finally sword thrusts the bull. As soon as that happens, the bull falls to the ground and dies. They have four horses pull the bull back to behind the ring, and they serve the bull at restaurants within a few hours.
As an animal rights advocate, it was already difficult to go to the bullfight. I figured that because I was in Spain
and it is such a big part of the culture here, I should do it. It was extremely hard to watch and sad to see the blood gushing out. Most Sevillanos stay at the bullfight watching each and every bull die, but I had to leave after two. Overall, I am happy I went, but watching the bullfight was extremely brutal.
Feria de Abril is next week—Sevilla’s big week long drinking festival, our Spring Break #2 as some call it! I will be in Munich, Germany for Springfest, Prague, Vienna and finally Budapest. It should be an amazing trip, and I hope to have lots of stories!