By Abbie Paloucek
Hola, again! Ready for the highlights of week 5? Gosh, week 5 already?!
Monday, June 19, brought with it the beginning of our final full week of classes (only Mon-Wed of classes for week 6). On Tuesday, June 20, in “Health, Law and Justice in Developing Countries” with Professor Watson, we had a guest speaker via Skype: Emily Rosenfeld (’15), a SLU LAW alum who now works for the Center for Disease Control. She Skyped in from Atlanta, Georgia, and lectured on "The Role of Law in Achieving Public Health Law Outcomes." It was so sweet of her to give up her time (and wake up at 5 in the morning) to teach us. I really enjoyed her lesson!
That night we celebrated my roommate Ed's 24th birthday at Restaurante Botin, the "World's Earliest Restaurant" according to the Guinness Book of World Records (1725). Ernest Hemingway even wrote about eating the roast suckling pig and enjoying “rioja alta” at Sobrino de Botin.
Wednesday was my last “Intro to Spanish” classroom session with Prof Julio. We sang our final song "Comprare" by Jose Luis Perales. Intro to Spanish was a nice way to brush up on some old Spanish skills I had filed away after high school. It was very important to me to try to learn the language as best I could to not only make the transition a little easier but to make sure I didn’t stick out like a sore thumb, as most tourists do here. I do regret not brushing up on the language before coming to Spain. With that being said, I cannot recommend the Intro to Spanish course enough. It is a must for anyone who comes to study at SLU-Madrid.
After classes on Thursday, June 22, nine of us students went to Seville, the capital of Andalucia, a southern region of Spain. We toured the Seville Cathedral. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Santa Marta De La Sede en Sevilla is the cathedral with the largest area, 126.18 meters long X 82.60 meters wide X 30.48 meters high – and we got to see it in the flesh. We walked up to the top of the bell tower and got an amazing view of the city. (Oh, and there was a student discount, too!) In Seville we also saw the largest wooden structure, Metropol Parasol, and got to go to Plaza de Espana, which was amazing! We rented these little 4-person row boats and had a blast just rowing around.
On Saturday, three classmates and I went from Seville to the port city of Algeciras and then from there we took a ferry across the Strait of Gibraltar and ended up in Tanger, a city in Morocco, Africa! For all four of us it was our first time in Africa. From Tanger we went to "The Secret Blue City" of Chefchaouen, Morocco: hands down my best side-trip so far.
On Sunday it was time to travel back to our home away from home, Madrid, and prepare for the final three days of classes before exams. But before week 5 came to a close, we got to celebrate one more classmate’s birthday at Mozza Bar on Sunday night. Happy Birthday, River! Here’s to one final week in Madrid, Spain.