Well, we've only been here a little over a week but we have to say, it already feels like home! Here are some of our high points from the last ten days, from buying bikes, to stumbling across Flamenco dancing, to starting out on fieldwork at the Doñana Biological Station!
''Since buying bike about a week ago I have barely let my feet touch the ground. Two wheels is the way to get around this superbly smooth city for sure. Scenic routes run along the river and intricate streets connect the bars and cafes. Settling in is all about getting out and about, exploring and immersing, and a bicycle makes it so easy to do so.''
''My absolute favourite thing I’ve done so far was wonder around Plaza de España by myself on a lazy, cloudy Saturday, people-watching and looking at the amazing tiles in each region’s section.
I couldn't believe it when I stumbled across some live, spontaneous flamenco dancing! I sat and watched the amazingly talented dancers for over an hour, just giving a donation when I finally dragged myself away to find some lunch!''
''I think for me our first language exchange was a definitely the biggest highlight of the week. It was so lovely meeting the locals and practising Spanish! It was such a nice chilled out atmosphere that I was able to overcome my initial hesitation about testing my Spanish speaking skills. I am slowly growing my vocabulary which is very exciting, and I'm looking forward to going each week and maybe meeting with some of the locals I chatted with for a coffee and private language exchange once a week!''
''My personal favourite moment from the past week was walking through the Macarena arch and down Calle San Luis for the first time. (We only live ten minutes' walk from it so I'll be going there a lot more often.) I was walking down to a language exchange and it was dark already… and walking down the street just took my breath away. I have been to Madrid before and the streets reminded me of the beautiful classic Spanish architecture there, but here the streets become narrower and narrower as you keep walking. Each building has its own beauty and quirky features, and each corner can turn onto a magnificent old church or a crowded plaza… the whole walk to the bar was just magical.'' - Miranda
''Last week I had my first two days in the field, and was lucky enough to go into the Doñana national park. I stayed in the old rangers’ house for two nights, and worked with two Spanish scientists on a study investigating small mammals. The park was so beautiful, and I saw wild boars, so many birds , bats, and deer.
However, the highlight for me was definitely the sunset on the second day, when after a long, tiring day of setting traps and measuring and releasing mammals, we watched the sunset over the fields with not another person, car or building
anywhere in sight. Doñana is an
amazing place!'' - Flo.