When I first arrived in Spain I was convinced that my heart belonged to Valencia (mostly because it was my first glimpse of Europe…) but after seeing so many cities over these past few days I can confidently say that Sevilla was one of my favorites. While each city has it’s own charm and it’s own ‘vibe’, it was in Sevilla that I felt I grew the most. By the time we got here I was starting to feel comfortable with my Spanish and actually using it in public (added bonus: people actually understood me!)
The first day we spent at ‘La Rabida’, a monastery on the coast where Christopher Columbus went before proposing his expedition to Queen Isabella. Besides being a beautiful structure, this place really opened my eyes to the time period Columbus lived in, something I feel like we aren’t really taught in the American school system. We know that “In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue” and we know that he murdered numerous people upon his arrival. In America, people refuse to celebrate Columbus Day because they see Columbus as a murderer and only a murderer. While I am in no means justifying Columbus’ actions, it is important to remember that this was an age of conquest in the Iberian Empire. Kingdoms were trying to gain as much land as possible as fast as possible and by any means. The picture below is a collection of flags and dirt samples from all the nations Spain has founded.
When Columbus set out he thought he was sailing west to Asia. After not reaching land when expected, his men started to panic and almost overthrew his ship. Columbus was very much so in uncharted waters. While I do acknowledge that his decision to kill was wrong, I think it was out of fear more than out of evil. I couldn’t imagine discovering a whole new continent. I’d be completely out of my element.
Okay, sorry, done with the rant. I’m not asking you to agree with my thoughts, I’m simply suggesting that in order to understand peoples’ actions from 100s of years ago we must put the story and actions into context before passing judgment.
The afternoon was spent at the beach! The Mediterranean (I finally learned how to correctly spell that word) water was simply beautiful and we enjoyed the fresh air and surprisingly not too freezing water! (Totally forgot Spain was surrounded by beautiful beaches when I signed up for this program! Spring break is gonna be fun!)
Meal of the Day: All I can tell you is that this was rice with some kinda sea food. It was delicious and tasted even better with an ocean view!