So, once again, I was caught up in things going on during my year abroad that my blog became a little neglected. But how do I summarise the last, pretty excellent month?
Well, beginning around the 18th February 2012, Rebekah, Emma and I headed to the CADIZ CARNIVAL. And capitalised it should be – this huge event fills the city of Cadiz with people from all over the world who come together, dressed up in admirable fancy dress outfits, to celebrate the culture of the carnival, chill in the streets and have a memorable trip! Although there are carnivals all over the country in February, Cadiz has a reputation of being the biggest and the best, and we were not let down. I link now to Rebekah’s guest blog for Andalucia.com, who captures the craziness of Cadiz Carnival perfectly.
I can’t say it’s been all play… we do work here too! I’ve found myself visiting museums again – one in particular I have visited three times now! In early March, the Carmen Thyssen Museum in Malaga hosted a press release for their new temporary exhibition, in time for the celebrations of their first birthday. During the guided tour around the Museum, by a professor from the University of Malaga, I found myself becoming a little art lover [as I type this, Mum is hysterical with laughter at the thought of a cultured daughter]. He went around explaining the details of the Baroness’ collection of works, describing the traits and the feelings of the paintings and the artists’ intentions. It was all very interesting and I found myself taking in everything he said, so much so that he could have said something completely random, and I probably would have still nodded in agreement. Anyway, when writing my guest blog for Andalucia.com, I quite enjoyed my exploration into Spanish culture through art, which is exactly what you can experience at the Carmen Thyssen Museum in Malaga.
And saving the best until last, PARIS! One of the best things about International Business at the University of Warwick is the compulsory three-day seminar held in Disneyland Paris. Held between Monday and Thursday, I made the most of the opportunity for a weekend in city of Paris! A first time visitor, and complete tourist, I had my heart set on visiting the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre and Notre-dame… in one day. And, in fact, I was pleasantly surprised by the ease with which you can get around the city. Anisha and I managed to see the Arc de Triomphe and walk down the lavish Champs-Elysses following our touch-down in Paris. On my student budget, and frankly not being a millionaire, it was an afternoon of window shopping as I compiled my wish list for fancy cars, Cartier diamonds and…. a taste of every burger from the all-burger restaurant (and exciting prospect for me!)
The following day was a whirlwind of walking, monuments… and rain! I didn’t quite picture my first Eiffel Tower experience wrapped in my coat, and still freezing, and gripping onto my umbrella for dear life. But, despite all of that, I couldn’t help but enjoy the wonder of Notre-Dame and the Louvre, the relaxed charm of the Latin Quarter, the beautiful places we came across and the romance of the city.
All of this was made better by the croissants, pain au chocolat and, for the child in me, the build up to Disneyland Paris. The last time I visited Disneyland, I was an excitable toddler who loved the magic of it all, and dangerously my expectations of Disneyland were based on the memories of that toddler. Needless to say, things had changed slightly. Firstly, I was the same height as the characters, if not taller. I could see the human face inside Goofy’s mouth, and Goofy was a little too friendly in a whole other way! The magic was wearing thin slightly through my adult eyes.
Though, I’m sure my classmates can vouch for the fact that I clung onto the magic as hard as I could, and soon enough it became effortless. I smiled and excitedly waved at my favourite Disney characters as they passed by me on their floats during the Disney parade, I waited patiently to have my photo taken with each character and I queued up for the rides. Be it flying over the Peter Pan story, spinning in the tea cup, being frightened in the haunted mansion, and my personal ‘favourite’, learning all about the different cultures of the world from manic, smiling dolls, alongside the soundtrack of “It’s a small world”. An experience I will never forget.
There was quite a deal of work involved in this three-day seminar: early starts, presentations, group work, reading – but all a lot more enjoyable in Disneyland! In fact, maybe fourth year lectures could be held in Disneyland… that’d be nice.