This weekend we went to the region of Asturias, which is the home region of Ms. Fuertes. We went to a beautiful beach, and Tazones, a fisherman's village. We also went to Villaviciosa and Lastres, other villages which were one of the most picturesque places we've been. We also ate fresh fish, octopus, and squid, which were surprisingly good.
~Salam & Abby~
Yesterday, all of the students took a day trip to Zamora from Salamanca which was about an hour long bus ride. It was by far the most incredible destination we've been to so far. The moment we stepped off the bus, it was clearly a different sense than that of the other cities we've been to. Not only was it quite warm with the sun beating down on our faces, but there was a sense of calmness that I had yet to really feel. We began exploring with a walking tour around the more known areas of Zamora, and then were given several hours to split up and explore on our own. As much as I enjoyed the walking tour, my favorite moments were going off on our own in small groups to explore and really take in all the gorgeous scenic views. No matter where we looked, whether it was to the left or right, there was always some sort of incredible view so it was hard to know which way to explore first. The group I went off with began by exploring practically every inch of the castle. I've spent a decent amount of time in Europe previously, however, this location was unlike any place I've been to. The castle had a medieval way about it, including a mote surrounding it and lots of hidden passageways surrounding a large courtyard with ancient staircases. We spent majority of our time here, exploring, as well as simply standing on some of the highest points of the castle just gazing out at the beautiful view of Zamora. The views were clearly awe-inspiring, however, one of my favorite reasons for loving Zamora was the lack of crowding and that sense of calmness/quietness that gave it a much different feel than that of Madrid and Salamanca. This was due in part to the fact that there's simply a smaller population living there, but it was also a perfect time to explore since it was during La Siesta (a time where the locals close shop and give themselves time to rest). To top off the day, we stopped on the way back to the bus at a local bakery to have some some savory pastries. I found myself saying several times, "I am so content right now", and even though I felt the need to say that probably every five minutes, no one argued because it was truly how we all felt. It was by far my favorite day on this incredible journey so far. - Sophia Glazerman
Zamora was a city full of antique churches and castles, some of which were built as far back as the eleventh century. The architecture was very similar to our host city of Salamanca, narrow cobble stone roads and intricate balconies, but there were much fewer people and the feeling was much more tranquil. While inside the walls of Zamora, our group was able to hear the relaxing sound of surrounding birds singing their evening chorus. The sun was shining bright during our visit to Zamora, there wasn't a cloud in the sky and the temperature was perfect for exploring the ancient city. When a few of us reached the top of the old sandstone castle, the view of the Spanish country side and 'el rio Duero' was absolutely breathtaking. While on our way back to the bus, we were allowed time to indulge in our share of Zamoran pastries and beverages. - Robert Bizier
Salamanca is amazing! Yesterday we went to a local school to practice our speaking with people our age. At first the students were timid speaking to us, but after a few minutes they were eager to tell us all about all the things that Salamanca has to offer, we even went as far as exchanging numbers. They also enjoyed Kris´ demonstration of human car sounds and followed up by showing us their freestyle rapping and beat boxing.
Even though it is the only second day of school, we have been engulfed with jet lag, yawns, and getting lost, but we are surrounded by a completely different culture with so many different norms. It's fascinating to see how fast we have adjusted, or tried to adjust, to the time differences and the different eating schedules. I know I have eaten some amazing food, and between Salamanca and Madrid, I can't tell you which food I like the most. Being in the host family's home has been interesting; seeing the life of the family and the way they communicate with one another is a little weird (because I can understand only half of what they say), but super exciting. I have never felt confident in my speaking, and I have been able to advance and challenge myself, just in three days. I can't wait for the next week and a half!
The center of Salamanca is old and gorgeous. Group photo outside the University of Salamanca 15th century building! - Alisa Conner
A whirlwind weekend in Spain! El Estadio Santiago Bernabeu (where Real Madrid plays), Plaza Mayor, and outside El Prado. We were all jet lagged and exhausted but it was worth it! - Alisa Conner