Visiting the towns around Spain
A lot has happened since my last entry! I've been pretty busy. Last Thursday we took a train to Medina del Campo. There's not much there except a really big castle. The had a huge tower in the middle and a moat around the it (although it doesn't have water in anymore). They were saying that in the summer, they bring bands into the castle and they have a concert in the moat, that would be cool to see! The train system here is very independent. It makes it difficult for people who don't speak Spanish to catch the right train. Some from our group ended up getting on the wrong train and went 40 minutes away in the opposite direction.
Last Saturday we went to Salamanca. Salamanca is an extremely old city and actually has the oldest university in Europe (I think even in the world). Like everything here, it's beautifully decorated and hosts a myth with a frog. It's said that if you are able to find a frog in the immensely decorated front, you will return to Salamanca in a year and if you don't you will fail your exams. After a while of searching, I found it (supposedly) but it doesn't look like much a frog anymore.
Salamanca is one of the few cities with two cathedrals. They have a really old one with a newer one right next to it. The new one is especially nice with tons of detail inside and outside. On the outside of it, it has an astronaut and devil eating an ice cream cone. No one knows how it got sculpted inside because the cathedral is much older than astronauts and ice cream cones. Besides the cathedral we went to a convent with a huge church and also went to the plaza major which is the biggest plaza in Spain.
On Sunday, if anyone wanted, we could go with the Professors to the city of Toro. They are known for their vineyards and wine. Nine of us showed up however our professors didn't. After waiting for them for 30 minutes, we decided to make the trip ourselves and try to take a bus by ourselves to the city. By the time we got to the bus-station we missed the bus there. We then decided to pick a random city in Spain and go to it. We ended up going to Avíla which is about 1.5 hours away by train. It was actually really cool. They had a huge wall built around the city, kind of like a fortress, and a bunch of old stores and the cathedral were inside. While we were there, they had some churchy parade that lasted for about 20 minutes.
Besides that, not much has been going on. We have still yet to see the sun as it's been raining every day. The temp has been a constant 5º-15º and I'm starting to run out of warm clothes! They don't have driers here and since it rains all day, it makes it really hard for our clothes to dry. The food is still exceptionally delicious, having a host-mother who's a butcher is amazing. I've been hitting up a bunch of the little shops around town as well. There aren't any big corporate companies here, they really emphasize the small business. Which is great because all the food is organic and fresh and amazing. At the rate I'm eating, I'm going to need a whole new set of clothes.
Upcoming this week: Today I'm going to Contemporary Museum. Saturday we're going to Segovia. Sunday we're probably going to go to Toro. And the last weekend here we're spending on a beach in Valencia.