My classes so far have been going great. I have picked my four classes that I’m going to keep: The History of Slavery in Latin America, Cultural Anthropology of Latin America, Cervantes and His Masterwork: Don Quijote, and Literature and the City: The Case of Sevilla. I’ve also finally found my way around the University. It’s huge! It used to be a tobacco factory back in the 1500s. It’s a beautiful building and one of the largest in Sevilla. I still have yet to have homework, which has been great, of course.
Two weekends ago, my ISA group took a trip to Lisbon, Portugal. It was amazing! We visited Castillo de San Jorge, which is the ruins of this huge old castle that was built in the 1300s. We also went to Torre de Belem, which was a Portuguese fortress and is a mixture of many different architectural styles such as Islamic and Oriental. We saw the tomb of Vasco de Gama, the famous Portuguese explorer who was the first person to go from Europe directly to India. We also toured a few of the famous neighborhoods in Lisbon. In our free time, my friends and I explored the city. We ate bacalhau, which is fried cod, every place we went basically. Lisbon is famous for that dish and it’s really good there because it’s so fresh. At night, my friends and I went dancing and went to some of the famous clubs in Lisbon, such as the Chinese Pavilion. It used to be a teahouse and now is filled with hundreds of antiques that the owners collected over the years. We also went to Estado Liquido, which had the most amazing sushi bar. Overall, it was a great trip.
The week before in Sevilla was pretty fun as well. My friends and I go to this restaurant every Wednesday called Cien Montaditos (100 little sandwiches). On Wednesdays, they have ’euromania’ where everything is one euro! Last week, we made some new Spanish friends there; three guys named Manuel, Fran and Adrian. After Cien Montaditos, we went and played Foosball with them , which was really fun. It’s great to make friends with Spaniards and get to practice Spanish some more.
Last weekend, I went to Salamanca, Spain, which is north of Madrid. It was AMAZING. By far, my favorite place in Spain. It’s a smaller city with a population of about 200,000 people. Everyone speaks very clear Spanish, which is a big difference from Sevillano Spanish! The people were very nice and friendly and the city was beautiful. All the older buildings are made of sandstone and seem to glow gold, so Salamanca’s nickname is the Golden City. The University of Salamanca is the oldest in Spain and was built in 1218. The symbol of Salamanca is the frog and legend says if you can find the frog and skull carved into the front door of the University, you will pass all of your classes at the University. If you’re not a student, you can make a wish and it will come true. Salamanca is also home to La casa de conchas or the House of Seashells…it’s public library is covered in seashells. Another legend says that there is a treasure under one of the shells that is magnificent, but it you find it, you’ll be cursed.
I’ve already planned a few trips for the semester! This weekend, I’m going to Ireland and in March I’m going to Slovenia and Hungary! In April, my mom and I are going to Rome which I’m really excited about.
Please post comments if you have any questions! Saludos, Megan