By Osman Zuberi, University of Michigan
I’m currently taking a class called the ‘7 Wonders of Spain’ where I’m led by my wonderfully crazy teacher, Marta, all over the city of Barcelona as she shows us the history and special parts of the city. I look forward to this class every Tuesday and Thursday because I know every class with Marta will truly be an adventure. I decided to create my own 7 Wonders of Spain using inspiration from some of the things Marta has talked about, and my own impressions of this amazing country.
The first stop on my 7 wonders tour of Spain are the people who live here. Everywhere I’ve travelled to in Spain the people have always been my favorite part. Everyone I’ve met is extremely excited that I’m experiencing their city, and gladly welcomes me with open arms. People have gone out of their way to help teach me their customs, taken me along to see the best parts of their city, and eat the best food it has to offer. The people of Spain are the first on my list because no matter where I seem to go, the people have always managed to make my experience amazing.
My second and third wonder are all of the different buildings and doors I’ve found here. If a building doesn’t have a unique balcony, it has a unique door. If it doesn’t feature different arches or architecture, it’s painted in a color completely different than the rest of the buildings surrounding it. The buildings and doors of Spain are just as diverse as the land that they were built on. Each building or door seems to be telling a different story, and every time I look around, I see something new.
The fourth wonder I’ve discovered is all of the amazing food I’ve tried. Tortillas de Patatas, Patatas Bravas, Tapas, Paella, and everything else I’ve been lucky enough to eat has been delicious. The food of Spain is just as diverse as its architecture, and every dish has a new taste for you to discover. The time and care that people take with their food is what makes it so delicious, and so amazing to enjoy.
My fifth wonder is no surprise to hear once you realize I’m abroad during winter in Michigan. Instead of freezing cold weather and piles of snow, I get to enjoy the endless sunlight and beautiful scenery of the Mediterranean.The weather in Spain is amazing any time of year, and especially so when compared to the negative temperatures my friends are experiencing in Michigan right now.
The sixth wonder on my journey through Spain is all of the history that surrounds it. Knowing that anywhere I look, there was a time when Ancient Romans walked in my same footsteps is mindblowing. I always knew that Europe had a lot of history, but what surprised me is how people celebrate it and integrate it into the architecture and planning of the city. Old Roman roads can be found next to multilane highways. Buildings have been built on top of ruins more than 2000 years old. Ancient aqueducts still stand tall thousands of years later. The people here have an immense respect for where they came from, and it truly shows when walking around the cities of Spain.
My seventh and final wonder of Spain is the culture here. People stroll in the streets, sit and enjoy their coffee in cafes, and always make time for another glass of wine. The culture of appreciating everything around you is something I didn’t expect to find. Knowing that I only have a bit of time left here, I’m trying to learn as much as I can about the culture here, so I can bring it back home with me.
Spain is full of amazing wonders. The people, architecture, food, weather, and history all come together to create a unique culture of appreciation and enjoyment. I know I haven’t been here long, but I know that I’m already going to miss all of these things dearly when it comes time to come home. My 7 wonders of Spain will be something I can look back on and reminisce about when I’m older, and I look forward to discovering even more during my travels here.