Feria de Abril

Feria is a huge week-long celebration in Sevilla (and all over Spain) which began as a livestock fair but grew to become one of the biggest festivals around! Everyone dresses up in flamenco dresses, visits casetas (tents set up in one section of the city) and go on rides. It reminds me of a county fair, but with a lot more Spanish flare!

For the first part of the week, my friends and I booked a trip to Northern Spain, visiting three cities altogether: Bilbao, San Sebastian, and Santander. Our first stop was just a quick day in Bilbao to explore the city and visit the Guggenheim! It was luckily right across from our hostel, but we did have an interesting experience. We ended up staying in a room with 21 beds and communal showers and bathrooms. It was quite the experience to say the least, thank goodness it was only one night! Then we were out of there! The Guggenheim was fun to explore and see all the exhibits too, I’m glad that we stopped by for the day!

We then hopped on a bus where we spent the next few days in San Sebastian! It was absolutely beautiful! The weather got a little better too so we were spending the days in sunshine! We were right near the water and could explore all around the city since it was so small. I loved visiting the aquarium that they had, learning a little more about the town as a whaling community (though very sad to see art about it). It was a few days in paradise! San Sebastian is hands down one of my favorite cities in Spain that I’ve visited so far!

Our last night was spent in Santander where we just spent the night before our early flight. From what we could see walking around briefly, it was a cute town that had a lot going on. It would have been fun to explore more but I was really looking forward to getting home to Sevilla to see and participate in Feria!

We landed Wednesday morning and had the rest of the day and Thursday to experience the excitement of it all! I met up with my friends both days and we maneuvered through the rows of casetas and all the horses running through the streets (controlled by people of course, not just wild stallions). Feria was one of the most amazing experiences, I highly suggest if you are in Spain and can go for at least a weekend, do it! Throw a shawl on and put a huge flower in your hair. You instantly feel like you fit in more!

After relaxing and having fun in Feria, my friends and I headed out on our last trip. Yes, last trip. Isn’t that crazy to think?! We planned these trips months ago and now we were on our last one! We jumped on a bus to Lagos, Portugal where we went to a few different beaches and just enjoyed the sun. We also got to speed around the caves along the water in a speedboat and relax on a pirate ship! It was extremely relaxing and a nice way to round out the end of our travels!

“Now what is left?” is what you are probably thinking. Well, as of now, Wednesday, April 29, I have 9 days left. 9 days full of my last few classes, finals, a friends dinner at my house (hosted by my lovely host mom), buying the last of my gifts, hoping everything fits into my suitcase, and just taking a step back and realizing that though this experience is coming to an end, I couldn’t have been happier that it happened. I’ll of course write a sappy blog of all the happiness this has brought me, but until then, I hold off and just focus on the fun weekend to come. We are going to a pool party and just enjoying our last time out with each other, and I couldn’t have asked for a better last weekend.

Kathryn Miyahira is a student at St. Michael’s College and an official API Student Blogger. Kathryn is studying abroad with API in Seville, Spain.

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