Posted by: amabroad | December 16, 2011

Last day!

I have been away for 85 days. I can’t believe that my time in Spain is over. I have done so much that I’ve always wanted to do. Studying abroad was nothing like I expected it to be. Classes were way different and I didn’t anticipate that I would be as homesick as I was. Nevertheless, I have had the coolest, most amazing experiences that I will remember forever.

Here are my favorite moments from my trip:

  • Surfing in San Sebastian
  • “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci
  • Climbing the walls of Obidos, Portugal
  • The Sahara Desert (during the day and night)
  • Venice, Italy
  • “Guernica” by Pablo Picasso
  • The Medina in Fez, Morocco
  • Exploring Toledo
  • The Plaza Mayor in Salamanca

I can’t wait to be home! Adios,

A.

 

Posted by: amabroad | December 13, 2011

A mi me gusta…

These past few weeks I have not been that homesick. I think I’ve gotten used to being abroad. It’s weird, as soon as I’m used to being way from home, it’s time to go back! I’m a little bit sad about leaving Spain- there is a lot that I really enjoy. Here are some things that I will miss:

  • Pastries
  • Walking everywhere
  • Crema de Cacoa
  • Traveling
  • My roommate, Emma
  • Soccer
  • Using Spanish
  • No tax on food and clothing
  • Tapas
  • Food markets
  • My new friends
  • Spanish music

Hasta luego,

A.

Posted by: amabroad | December 11, 2011

Last week!

I have less than one week left in Salamanca! I’m a little bit sad to be leaving, but mostly excited to go home. I’ve never been away from home for this long. This week is going to be crazy busy because I have five finals on Monday and Tuesday, class Wednesday and Thursday, Nocheveija Thursday night, and then I leave for the airport late Friday. Nocheveija means “Old Night” and it is the Spanish celebration of New Year’s Eve. Yes, Nocheveija is December 31, but here in Salamanca students celebrate it the day the semester ends (December 15). Traditionally at midnight, twelve grapes (or raisins) are eaten to symbolize every month of the year and for good luck.

I need to start packing and studying for finals!

Hasta luego,

A.

Posted by: amabroad | December 9, 2011

Venezia, Italia

I took a train from Milan to Venice, Italy for a day. Venice is by far the most incredible city that I’ve ever been to. There is no other place in the world like Venice.

Venice looks just like the movies. The entire city was built on top of water. The buildings are old and close together. Bridges are needed because water is everywhere. I had to take a water taxi to get from place to place. It was so bizarre passing by houses that have front doors that open right over water. I can’t imagine living in a city without cars.

I went to the main tourist attractions in Venice since I only had a day. I went to Piazza San Marco to see the Grand Canal and Saint Mark’s Basilica. Piazza San Marco is home to the bravest pigeons I have ever encountered. The pigeons would fly right on top of people and I saw some people let the pigeons sit on their arms. Normally birds fly away from movement. I suppose that the pigeons are used to tourists. Saint Mark’s Basilica was extremely elaborate on the inside. The walls were gold and biblical stories were painted on them. Local residents actually use Saint Mark’s Basilica for prayer and confession. Because so many tourists pass through Saint Mark’s Basilica, confession was offered in five different languages!

Hasta luego,

A.

Posted by: amabroad | December 4, 2011

Milan, Italy

I went to Milan, Italy this weekend. I’ve wanted to go to Italy for a while and I found a cheap flight for thirty euro! Milan is known for fashion, but I spent most of my time out of the shops and in the city. I went to the Church of Milan, or the Duomo. But more importantly, I went and saw “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci! The Last Supper was painted onto a wall of a tiny church where monks used to live. The Last Supper was painted on the wall next to the kitchen, so the steam and humidity damaged the painting early on. Also, the monks wanted quicker access to the kitchen, so they made a door right through the painting under Jesus! The church was also bombed during World War II. It’s a miracle that the painting has survived all these years.

The Last Supper was under restoration for twenty one years by a team made up mostly of women. They managed to undo the previous restoration attempts, dirt, dust, and damage. Eighty five percent of The Last Supper today is the original work done by da Vinci. To see the painting, I had to book a tour in advance because only twenty five people are allowed in to see it for fifteen minutes at any time.

I’m really pleased that I went to see The Last Supper because it’s one of Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous paintings. The coolest part about the experience was standing in the same room that da Vinci was when he was painting The Last Supper. I was not permitted to take pictures inside the room, but I feel like I have the image permanently engrained in my mind.

Hasta luego,

A.

Posted by: amabroad | November 29, 2011

Barcelona!

Last weekend, I went to Barcelona. Barcelona is incredible. The city has a unique blend of history and modernization. I spent two ten hour days walking around and I still don’t think that I saw everything. I flew to Barcelona on Thursday, which was Thanksgiving! Since I was not at home to celebrate, I went to an Argentina and Japanese buffet to indulge and have a pretend Thanksgiving dinner. Instead of turkey and stuffing, I ate sushi. It was a weird feeling to not spend Thanksgiving with my family.

On Friday I went to see La Sagrada Familia. Architect Antonio Gaudi designed the building to be a Catholic church. Every day is sets the record for the longest amount of time it takes a building to be constructed. Construction began in 1882 and it still is not finished! One of the entrances hasn’t even begun being built. La Sagrada Familia is massive. Upon completion it will have three entrances, each with a particular style of architecture. The first arch is about the birth of Jesus, the second is about the crucifixion, and the last is dedicated for the twelve sufferings of men. The Pope came a few years ago and blessed the church in front of the third entrance. When constructed is completed, La Sagrada Familia will be able to hold twelve thousand people.

La Sagrada Familia is set to be completed in 2026. But everyone I talked to seriously doubt that date. I more realistic date is 2050. Gaudi realized what a huge ordeal construction would be. He knew that he would not live to see it fully built. Gaudi spent the last years of his life making models for future builders.

Hasta luego,

A.

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