This past week, ISA made my day by taking us to the ruins of a Roman city about 20 minutes from Sevilla called Itálica. Statues, lonely columns, remains of houses, tile floorings, and (most excitingly) a theater remained. Founded in 206 BCE, the city was also the birthplace of the emperor Trajan. I was delighted that some of the beautiful mosaic tile flooring was still resting intact – one even depicted the labyrinth of the Minotaur.
Yesterday and today we were free from class for the Corpus Christi holiday (four day weekend!) and thus many of us are travelling. Some went to Morocco, some to País Vasco, some to Valencia, and some to Barcelona. Libby (a fellow student in the program) and I left España altogether (although we already miss it!). Instead we’re staying in a hostel in Lisboa, Portugal.
Honestly, I was terrified of staying in a hostel, but it’s not too bad I guess.
So far we have enjoyed Lisboa – we had a wonderful morning exploring O Castelo de São Jorge, riding the metro, and walking around. Travelling can be tricky though: one taxi driver somehow made a car ride more thrilling than a roller coaster (several times I closed my eyes, sure I was going to die…), and we kept trying to travel by trolley, but they would unexpectedly kick everyone off at certain stations and make you wait another twenty minutes and pay again to continue, so we finally gave up and walked. We’re surviving though, and Libby has decent navigating skills. Fortunately, unlike Spain, everyone in Portugal seems to speak perfect English somehow – which is great because my Portuguese is atrocious.
Back at ISA, classes are more challenging than I would have thought. Still, we are learning more just by being in Spain than we ever could in a classroom.