Semester at Sea

This semester I will be on a ship taking classes and traveling to different countries. I will visit Cadiz, SPAIN ~ Casablanca, MOROCCO ~ Takoradi, GHANA ~ Cape Town, SOUTH AFRICA ~ Port Louis, MAURITIUS ~ Chennai, INDIA ~ SINGAPORE ~ Ho Chi Minh City, VIET NAM ~ Hong Kong/Shanghai, CHINA ~ Kobe/Yokohama, JAPAN ~ Honolulu/Hilo, HAWAII ~ San Diego, USA.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Spain was a lot of fun! The first day we got off the ship, and we were all just SO excited to be on land/in Spain that we went crazy taking pictures and running around Cadiz; it is such a beautiful city. We explored for a while and then got some lunch and sangria (it was funny because we all ate pizza…it wasn’t exactly Spanish food but we were sick of ship food and just wanted something yummy and familiar).  That afternoon we went to the beach and relaxed there for a while, and then we headed back to the ship to get ready for dinner.

We were in a big group (about 11 I think) so as we wandered around that night we couldn’t find anywhere that had enough room for us. We all started to get a little frustrated because we were hungry and it seemed like we had been walking all night. We were about to split up when we found this restaurant in one of the plazas. We ordered a bunch of tapas that Dean David told us we had to try while we were in Spain – I got paella (it had seafood in it so I didn’t really like it), tortilla espanola (I think that was the name…it’s like this potato/egg/tortilla cake and it was delicious) and croquettes (the way Dean David described them made them sound amazing but these had tuna in them so I wasn’t a big fan of these either). The night started a little rough but dinner ended well! After sitting and chatting for a while, we went to a club down the street and had an awesome night.

The next day Ariel and I were up bright and early to catch the bus to Sevilla. We were both exhausted and slept the whole way there, but once we arrived we took a tram to the central plaza and then navigated our way to the hostel. We were so proud of our travel skills! The hostel was a little sketch – it was realllly cramped and our room smelled like mildew. We had our own lockers though and all of their security made me feel safe, so I was thankful for that. After further investigation of the room we discovered the source of the lovely smell – there was mold on one of the walls where the paint was chipping and there was mold on the bathroom ceiling. Yay! Haha. It was super cheap though so I guess you get what you pay for.

Anyway, after we checked in we started walking around and exploring the city. We found this cute little café tucked away on a side street and decided to stop for lunch. I tried croquettes again and they were amazing this time. We spent almost three hours at that café just eating and talking. After that we were still tired so we went back to the hostel and had a four hour siesta. Haha It was such a relaxing day! At the hostel we met this guy from Tennessee who works in Morocco at a handicapped orphanage. Of course I immediately wanted to be his best friend, and it was nice getting to grill him about what to expect. We’re sad because we never got his name (we just keep referring to him as Tennessee. haha)

The next morning we went out in search of churros con chocolate. Basically it is a hot, deep fried churro that you dipped in a mug of thick, warm, melted chocolate…sooo good!  We ran into a friend and spent the rest of the day exploring the city. One of my favorite things was the Archives; it’s the building that houses all of the original documents from the exploration of the New World. It was really interesting! We also saw the Tower of Gold, where they kept all of the gold and silver that the explorers brought back from the New World, the bullfighting arena, and a bunch of other stuff. Sevilla definitely has some fascinating history!

That night we went out in search of dinner and ran into two other SASers who decided to join us. Once again I chose poorly on the tapas, but the good company more than made up for it. Some other SASers passed by on their way to dinner, and we discovered that we are all in the same ‘sea’. It was good to meet other people on our floor, and we are all pumped for the Sea Olympics (the decks are divided into ‘seas’ and then we have Sea Olympics with different sports and activities)!

The next morning we got some yummy crepes on our way out of Sevilla. Once we were back in Cadiz we thought we would be productive and find a laundry mat since laundry is so expensive on the ship and you can only do it on certain days. Anyway it was a major fail because we couldn’t find one anywhere (Google maps took us to some random house). I got tired of carrying my heavy bag so I went back to the ship while Ariel stayed in town. Later I went back out on my own and walked around a different area of town. It was a lot less touristy, so it was really nice. I stopped a few places before I went back to the ship…my favorite was this bakery where I got the most amazing pastry.

On the last day in Spain we all went into the city to get our last fix of free internet before we left. I got to skype my mom, so I was happy. After that we walked up the top of one of the church towers and got an incredible, panoramic view of the city and the ocean. We overindulged in churros con chocolate one last time before exploring the market and getting some things at the grocery store. On our way back we ran into some other SASers eating lunch so we sat down with them and soaked up the last few moments of Spain. It was a little sad to leave because it went by SO quickly, but I was pumped to get to Morocco!!

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