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Study Abroad Blog

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Eating and Existentialism in Another Hemisphere

June 30, 2016
by CEA CAPA Content Creator
Looking back at the past four months, I am faced with the fact that I've added not only ten pounds to my physique, but to my head. Seeing something new, experiencing something new everyday is a lot. But it's the best. I've never had my emotions so far out of my control. Spain will always have a part of me, and I think it's mostly my angst.
 Mushrooms at the Market

On our tour of Valencia, we were lucky enough to see the central bustling market. These mushrooms would make my art school roommate back in Chicago weep. She loves fungus. She's going places...
 Upstairs Pannenkoeken Strawberry Pancake

Amsterdam offered up this delight: Upstairs Pannenkoeken (Upstairs Pancake House). The inside was made up of only four tables, but over 100 tea kettles hanging from the ceiling. The real magic was in this strawberry pancake, which still manages to wake me up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat.
 Fresh Market Bread

This blog post is an accurate representation of how much of my abroad semester was focused on food, markets and comida. This loaf of bread was the last to be picked out for the day, so I snapped a picture of its perfection then quickly paid the 1 euro charge to take it home.

For my Spanish Art class I was instructed to choose an example of Modernisme architecture (think Gaudi) and do a full paper and presentation on it. My wonderful teacher, Ari, said the only option that was free was the Caixa Forum. So I quickly chose that and after visiting, I fell in love with this Textile Factory turned Art Museum designed by Catalan architect Puig i Cadafalch.
 My favorite sigh: The Mosque of Cordoba

And last but not least, my favorite sight I saw while abroad. The Mosque of Cordoba in southern Spain is breathtaking. It's dramatic. It's a representation of Islamic beauty that isn't visible to many westerners. You can't help but walk through this gargantuan building and think about your place in the world.

My time abroad could be summarized through my visit to the Cordoba Mosque. Overwhelming, humbling and confusing. But overall I knew it was beautiful and it would take a few months to process. The photos of food above go along with that because my body is still processing.

Bob Smith is the Spring 2016 CEA MOJO Photographer in Barcelona, Spain. He is currently a junior at Columbia College Chicago.

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