Week Three/Semana Tres (Alyssa in Spain)

Monday, July 18th:

Nerd day. Tuesday I had an exam, so study, study, study! I went to office hours and studied throughout the night. That was my day….soooo yeah, moving on.

Tuesday, July 19th:

My exam was not bad! I just need to work on my grammar, which will hopefully continue to improve during these next few weeks. After working on a paper for my art history class and going for a much-needed run, we all went out for the evening. It was a blast as usual! We ended up staying out until the 4 or 5 AM, which is what time all of the locals stay out still. It was so interesting to see all of the places get packed the later it got. There was one food place open and it was so yummy! Late-night Spanish food is ranked very high on my recommendation list.

Wednesday, July 20th:

Well, this is week three, I would hope that you know what day it is….KARAOKE NIGHT! But first, instead of having the usual class, we went on throughout the city and learned about legends and histories for each place we went to. Our professor got us ice-cream and tapas, meaning that this was probably the best day of class I had ever experienced.

For dinner, a few friends and I went down to Calle Van Dyck, the street notorious for its tapas restaurant. The Tapa Crawl was so good. The last place we went to had quesadillas, nachos, and burritos (insert happy dance here.) We split nachos and drinks and had a grand ol’ time. After we met up with everyone at karaoke! It was fun, as per usual! We chatted with Hot Bartender Danny and jammed out to the most American songs you could think of. Our friends that we met on the bus during our excursion to El Escorial ended up joining us, which made it even more fun.

Thursday, July 21st:

Today was pretty casual. To procrastinate my homework after class I went shopping. During the summer every store in Salamanca has discounts and sales and it is a god send. After, my friend and I work on our papers in the plaza with some wine. I wanted to get as much work done as I could before this weekend.

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Friday, July 22nd:

Today is the day…Off to San Sebastián we go! After class we all took taxis to the train stations. I was so excited because I had never actually been on a train before. I was slightly disappointed that it did not look exactly like the train in Harry Potter, but you win some and you lose some I guess. The was no WiFi, so we all just chatted and told stories, along with the occasional nap. We had a 2 hour ride to Palencia, and then a train switch to a 4 hour trip to San Sebastián.

After getting off the train around 9:00 PM, there was the “when shit what do we do now” moment, and then we found a bus that led us to our hostel. It turned out that our hostel wasn’t near ANYTHING besides the big hill that we had to walk up to get to it. But it was like in the middle of this forest which had pretty chill vibes. The hostel rooms were cool. I was with four other friends and it was bunk bed style room, like summer camp all over again!

Also quick side note: Not only is there the usual Castellano-style Spanish but also Euskera, which I did not know at all! Interestingly enough many people also spoke English, probably because of the large flow of visitors and tourists throughout the city. Overtime I attempted to speak Spanish they would respond in English….is it that obvious?!

We all met up and took taxis back into town, searching for food and drinks. Everything was closed restaurant-wise, so we ate at McDonalds (you can take the girl out of America, but you can’t take America of the girl.) After we bar crawled and danced. Being in a group of 19+ people is pretty damn hard, I’ll tell you that much. But we made it work, often breaking apart and finding ourselves together again. Towards the end of the night, the girls in my room and I ended up at this club, Friends. How cool! It was so fun and so strange at the same time (example: this like 70 yr old was there jamming TF out.) Also, everyone here seems to be 100x more attractive then anywhere else that I have been…how does that work? May I live here?

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Saturday, July 23rd:

After waking up and getting around, we went downstairs for breakfast. I was so happy to finally get something other than toast! Eggs (YESSSS), bacon/ham, and bread with coffee and juice. How could one meal make me so happy. We the took a bus to the beach area, time to surf! We rented boards and wetsuits (which clung to places that they should not cling to!) but instead of taking classes our friend Callie gave s a 5 minute crash course…simple enough, right? The weather was pretty gloomy and it drizzled on and off, but the water was warm and the surfing’ was great! This had only been the second time I’ve been in the ocean, and it was so fun! Surfing is hard, I’ll start with that. But I eventually got the hang of it! I could stand a few times, and then I could ride a wave the entire time on my knees, so not bad for the first day! I still cannot believe I got to learn how to surf, let alone in this amazing city.

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Those that didn’t surf eventually met up with us and we swam at the beach and played frisbee. It started raining pretty hard so we went and grabbed food and went back to the hostel! After showers and siestas, we went back out to dinner. Dinner was FAB. There is this wine, Txakoli or Chacolí, that Pais Vasco is famous for, and it was to die for. It’s a slightly sparkling dry white wine that you have to pour from high up in the air. It was delish, just like all of the food we had too. We ate patatas bravas and I have a calamari sandwich, it was food porn at it’s finest. After we all went out and got drinks and danced. We stumbled upon a concert and listened to music dancing on the beach. All of us were exhausted so we went to bed by like 4. I only mention this because our taxi driver made fun of us for heading back so early, telling us that everyone stays up till 7….HOW.

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Sunday, July 24th:

Check out day! So sad to be leaving so soon.😦 We spent the day frolicking throughout the city and trying tapas at different places. I had to get my last few drinks of Txakoli in too. I wish I had the space to bring it home with me. We took on of those little “train” tours throughout the city. As touristy as it was it was gorgeous. We walked along the shoreline to La Playa de la Concha, the main beach that everyone in San Sebastián goes to. Sadly, we had to leave. The whole group met up and we left on a 6 hour train ride mack to Salamanca. Sleeping on trains is NOT COMFY.

 

To learn more about the (Language and Culture in Salamanca) program, please visit: M-Compass

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