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Aracena: Cakes, Caves, &Castles

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A hidden wonder in the world. 

     This weekend, my friends and I decided to take a day excursion to a city right outside of Sevilla. This city is called Aracena. We woke up early to catch a bus at 9 am, and we arrived in Aracena by 10:30. Right off the bus, I could tell that it was a very small city. All of the buildings were white and there was almost no one to be seen on the streets. This was very different from what we were all used to in Sevilla, but it was nice. It kind of reminded me of home.
When first walking through the city the one thing that stuck out was the huge castle atop the hill. It looked like a castle that would be shown in a movie, one that a dragon would pop out of. We started to wander the streets around the castle until we came upon a famous cake shop that is known throughout Spain. It is famous due to the fact that the King of Spain visits it regularly. This cake shop had some of the best pastries that I had ever eaten in my life. I had a fluffy seven layer cake, as well as a chocolate covered croissant. Everything was just 1 euro so we ended up going back to this shop on our way out because it was so cheap and delicious!
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     After stuffing our faces, we were off to find the famous caves to tour. We bought our entrance tickets and got in line. Unfortunately, pictures weren’t ‘allowed’ on the tour so I only could snap a few without getting my camera taken away. However, the image of the caves will always stay in my mind. It was probably the most beautiful thing I have seen to date. We went so far underground and saw a plethora of different rock formations and lakes. It was incredible. The tour lasted almost an hour and I was definitely sad to see it end. This is something I would highlyrecommend to anyone coming to southern Spain.
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     When we left the caves, we were all ready for lunch. We set off to find a restaurant and came upon a cute tapas cafe. We sat outside and ate our food while taking in the hot sun. After eating, we set out to climb the large hill to the castle. I really enjoyed this part of the day, as I felt like an explorer climbing up the big mountain. Upon reaching the top, my breath was taken away. I felt as if I was on the set of The Sound of Music. There were rolling green hills and dandelions everywhere. My friends and I started to run around, as if we were in the movie ourselves. Atop the hill there was also a little church. Inside we just sat and reflected on our day, thanking God for all we have been blessed with.
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     We left the castle and were ready to head home. We had a long day of exploring and were in need of some sleep. We got to the bus station with the help of some locals. Thinking we were early, we climbed on the bus and took our seats, expecting to wait a half hour until we left; however, that was not the case. Suddenly, the bus began to back up. We were slightly concerned because the driver had not checked our tickets and we were leaving a half hour early. With panic in our voices we ran to the driver and asked where the busses destination was. He did not say Sevilla, so we ran off the bus. We found out that we actually hopped on the bus that was scheduled to leave from our terminal a half hour before ours arrived. We all got a good laugh out of it, just thankful that we didn’t end up in a random city in Spain on a Saturday night. We eventually got on our correct bus and headed back home.     I absolutely love being blessed with the opportunity to travel through Spain and Europe. I could not be more grateful for all of the support I am receiving while abroad. I have learned more than I ever thought possible, and I am excited to continue exploring this beautiful world.

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