Thursday, July 12, 2012

A mitad de camino

Doing my best to update on a weekly basis so here you have it: my latest blog entry.  Since I last wrote, we made a visit to Segovia and somehow already managed to hit midterm exams.  Many of my friends from the program here spent last weekend in Pamplona for the running of the bulls but three of us stayed behind for the excursion to Segovia offered by our university.  Much like Toledo, Segovia very much had an antiquated feel to it, yet it was somehow like being caught somewhere between the Roman empire and a fairytale.  First of all, the city itself is absolutely gorgeous.  Much, much smaller than Madrid, Segovia only has about 60,000 inhabitants.  While there, we were able to visit the Aqueduct, the Alcázar (a castle!) and the cathedral, as well as la Iglesia de la Vera Cruz.  It was an incredibly surreal experience to pass through the castle, almost like being transported to another time period.  I'm very thankful that we've been able to explore provinces outside of the capital.  It's really amazing just how much there is to see and do here in Spain.

This week, we took a tour of the Palacio Real (The Royal Palace).  The palace itself is enormous and has 2800 rooms (we were only able to visit about thirty of them in our time there).  The interior is extremely intricate and is in itself a work of art with regards to the use of a multiplicity of construction materials and decorations, including paintings by Velázquez and Goya.  Unfortunately, photos were not allowed inside the palace so I was limited to taking pictures of the view of the exterior and the courtyard.  You'll be able to see just what I mean as far as how enormous the palace is!

The hustle and bustle of class, weekly visits and excursions has been absolutely incredible, though I have to admit some of my favorite moments here have been ones I've spent alone, wandering, exploring and relaxing.  Yesterday I took the Metro to a neighborhood called La Latina to find a café-bar called Delic recommended by one of my guidebooks.  After about a 15-minute detour (I walked the opposite direction that I needed to coming out of the Metro station), I finally stumbled into la Plaza de la Paja and lo and behold, there it was!  The woman who helped me was extremely kind and when I asked for something sweet, she recommended una tarta de banania (banana and dulce de leche).  It was absolutely delicious!  I spent a good hour and a half at least sipping a café con leche and taking leisurely bites of what was very yummy cake.  Hoping to make another visit that way before leaving the city in two weeks.

This weekend, we're heading to Salamanca.  I have no idea what to expect but I'm very much looking forward to exploring a little bit more of Spain in the upcoming days.  Next weekend, I'm making a trip to Barcelona with a few friends from the program.  We've been debating for the last week or so whether or not to go and finally found transportation that was inexpensive enough to justify taking a weekend detour.  Again, I have no expectations so it'll be an adventure, that's for sure!

No comments:

Post a Comment