Winter break was a complete whirlwind. Last semester came to a close far too soon, but even the end of school and the departure of my friends didn’t leave me with nothing to do. Just after Christmas, I flew to Barcelona to meet my parents there for New Years. We spent the next month traveling across three different countries in two continents. My aunt was able to come with us to Morocco as well and I jumped at the chance to show my family my new home. We did and saw far too much to list everything but here are some of the highlights:
- Visiting the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain – there’s a reason why everyone says you must go and it’s because you really must go.
- Eating what has got to be the BEST pistachio crème brûlée ever in Montpellier, France
- Watching the parade for Noche de los Reyes in the coastal town of Roses, Spain and giving all my candy away in exchange for a smile from a little French boy
- Visiting the Dali Museum in Figueres, Spain and discovering just how prolific and amazing an artist he was
- Trying to see all we could with only one night and one morning in Valencia, Spain (a gorgeous city I must return to)
- Wandering the streets of Cordoba, Spain late at night, not wanting to miss the chance to explore one more alleyway before returning to our hotel facing the gorgeous mezquita
- Climbing the Girlada minaret-turned-belltower in Sevilla, Spain for fabulous views of the city
- Watching a Flamenco show performed by students at a professional Flamenco school in Sevilla
- Sitting at a table next to some prostitutes in a bar on my family’s first night in Tangier, Morocco
- Being continuously “Welcome!”d and stuffed with delicious food by the family that opened their home to us in Meknes, Morocco
- Learning to make Melwi (a kind of Moroccan pancake) and trying to determine the American equivalents of Moroccan ingredients
- Watching a whole square full of food tents set up in the afternoon at Jemaa El Fna in Marrakesh, Morocco
Granted, not everything was absolutely wonderful or went as smoothly as planned. We had navigational difficulties, got ripped off, and suffered from misunderstandings and miscommunications due to language barriers but such is the nature of travel. We had an entire month of amazing experiences and I am so glad I got the opportunity to show my family why I love Morocco so much. They left me in Marrakesh, to fly back to Madrid for a few more days of vacation while I met the new ISA group for orientation, jumping right into the next semester. Life never stops, and I’m loving it!