“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller

*¡Beso!* ¡Beso!*

Did you know that when Spaniards, or los españoles, greet each other they always give each other one kiss to each cheek? This is true between men and women, and women and women. Men greet one another with a firm handshake. It is very normal, and would even be considered rude to not give a kiss.

And here is another interesting thing… here in Spain, all of my friends and teachers call me Victoria. Although this is my name, “Tori” is not a common name in Spain. Instead, the nickname for Victoria is “Vicky”. What do you think some other Spanish names would be?

I saw this advertisement, or annuncio, in the Metro Station, and thought of you all! Here are some examples of Spanish names. Which ones are your favorite? What would you like your Spanish name to be?

Many Spanish names on this billboard in the metro. Which name do you like?

Have you been able to make any plans to visit the ancient Seven Seas? Can you still remember the names of all seven? And how about those Spanish dishes? Hope I did not make you all too hungry!

As I mentioned in the last post, I was about to embark on my next journey, this time to Salamanca!

On the way to Salamanca, my group and I stopped in a city called San Lorenzo de El Escorial, where there is a 16th-century monastery, or  monasterio, built when Phillip II was king. Today this building is a monastery and a school for kids your age! You can also find a church, a library of over 40,000 books, and the tombs of royal family members from the 1500’s.

This is the courtyard inside the El Monasterio de San Lorenzo de Escorial!
The monasterio is surrounded by beautiful mountains.
These students attend the classes in the monasterio, and are about your age. What things do you think you would have in common with them?

Salamanca is a city in western Spain, in the community of Castile y León.  It is known for its’ beautiful buildings, and excellent universities. Some of the best Spanish language classes in the world are taught in Salamanca. In fact, The University of Salamanca, which was founded in 1218, is the oldest university in Spain!

One of the many beautiful buildings in Salamanca is  La Catedral Nueva, which started to be constructed in 1513, and finally finished in 1733! Here is a picture of the front of La Catedral.

La Catedral Nueva

Here is something you all might find interesting, too! Because La Catedral is quite old, it often needs reconstruction… which in 1992, led to one prankster carving this into the wall of La Catedral!

An astronaut!
An astronaut!
I took this photo so you all could see just how huge La Catedral was... because this was not even close to being the tallest ceiling! The tallest point of La Catedral is 92 meters... which is about 301 feet!
This is a picture of the highest point in the church, a beautiful dome!

Do you remember the picture of the bear statue found in Plaza Mayor in Madrid? Well, did you know that almost every city in Spain has a Plaza Mayor? Here is a picture of the one in Salamanca!

Plaza Mayor Salamanca

On our way home from Salamanca, we stopped in another city called Ávila. In this city, you can find a very large, very famous stone wall! This is impressive because it was constructed in the 11th-14th centuries. This medieval work has a perimeter of approximately 2,516 meters (8,254 feet), and 12 meters (40 feet) tall!

This is the view of Ávila from the top of the wall! It was built to help protect the city.

This weekend, I will be going to Granada… we are going to see Al Alhambra! I’ll be taking lots of pictures for you all, so please send me any questions you may have about my travels, or any other part of my life here in Spain.

¡Dos besos!

Tori a.k.a. Victoria

Author: vshover

Hola! My name is Victoria, and I am spending the fall semester of 2011 to study Spanish in Madrid, Spain. At home in Kentucky, I am studying Elementary Education and Spanish at Georgetown College. Why Madrid? Why not? It´s a beautiful city, with a rich culture, that also offers excellent language courses. By studying here, I hope to become a well-rounded teacher who can better share my cultural knowledge and language skills with my future students. For this blog, I am sharing my experience with St. Patrick Elementary School of Louisville, Kentucky, because as a 2005 graduate, I feel it is a great way to give back to the school that has helped me to grow into the person I am today. I believe the students at St. Patricks could benefit from learning about another culture, particularly the culture of the language taught at their school. I am honored to be a representing member of the Classmates Connecting Culture program of ISA, and I hope my enthusiasm for Spain will inspire the students of St. Patricks to also explore the world!

2 thoughts

  1. The students really enjoy reading your blog. Your pictures are amazing and illustrate your travels very well. The students want to know if you came to Spain knowing the entire language, also if when you return if you can visit them here at St. Patrick. We look forward to hearing and seeing more about your travels.
    Gracias,
    Srta. Martin and los estudiantes

  2. Hola!
    I want to do the study abroad program… Salamanca is on top f my list…
    Can you describe how your days go? How are the classes conducted? Do you get to spend time with other study abroad students? do you live far from the university?

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