Emily in Madrid

Emily, a junior Hunt Leadership Scholar majoring in corporate communications and public affairs, is studying Spanish language and culture in Madrid in Spring 2011 as part of SMU-in-Spain.

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Andalucia

This past week our group traveled to the Autonomia of Andalucia in the south of Spain. Granada is about 6 hours southwest of Madrid, but we had several interesting excursions along the way to break up the trip.

Emily5.jpg Our first stop was Cordoba, where we visited un mezquito that was transformed into a cathedral during the reconquista.

Emily3.jpg After a tour and tapas in Cordoba, we went to Sevilla where we saw another famous mosque, rode boats in Parque de Maria Luisa and attended a live flamenco performance!

After Sevilla we traveled to Granada, which is unique because it was the last town to be reconquered by the Catholic monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella. For this reason, the monarchs are buried in Granada, and we were able to visit their tombs inside one of the city’s beautiful cathedrals.

There remains a lot of Islamic and Middle Eastern culture in Granada because of the city’s history. It is noticeable in everything from scalloped arcs and mosaic buildings to endless kebap stands.

Emily4.jpg In Granada we also saw La Alhambra, which is the third most visited monument in the world. It was once a palace and fortress for the Moorish rulers, and because of its intricate beauty, was not destroyed during the reconquista.

Emily1.jpg At the end of the week, most of the group traveled back to Madrid, but I stayed in Granada with four friends to go skiing at the Sierra Nevadas. The mountains and conditions were incredible! I have never skied where there are no trees and such a breathtaking view. On clear days, you can actually see the coast of Africa from the summit.

I returned home a little sunburned and sore, but skiing in Granada was the perfect way to end a great week.

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