I am pretty much done with my traveling in Spain and I thought would share some of my experiences from this beautiful country. The first place my program went to was Zamora and Toro. They are key places for wine making in Spain. We went to this really cool bodega (wine cellar) and found out how wine is fermented. The darker wines are fermented and stored for a longer period than lighter wines and since we also got to taste the wines this reflected in the flavor. Darker wines are more bitter and lighter wines are sweeter. We also went to a field of underground restaurants and ate tons of racks of ribs in an underground cave. Pork is a big portion of all meals in Spain and this reflected in many of the restaurants in Zamora and Toro.
The Town of Segovia was really small but incredibly beautiful. When you first arrive you are greeted by this grand aqueduct of Segovia. Fun Fact: The aqueduct is not built with any cement, which makes you wonder how it is still standing. Then we went to the castle/palace of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand, who are probably the most respected and loved rulers of Spain. It had so many intricate designs and paintings that you felt like royalty.
Toledo is equivalent to the motherland of medieval times. We went to a sword-making factory and I held what is probably the heaviest sword of all time. The skyline was probably one of the most spectacular in Spain and the town is kind built on a hill, with the city being high up and surrounded by water.
One of my favorite trips was our excursion to Granada and Sevilla in Andalusia (southern Spain). First we went to Sevilla, which in my opinion has the most gorgeous plaza in all of Spain: Plaza de España. My friends and I had a mini photo shoot with gorgeous fountains and bridges in the background. In Granada, I had my first Frappucino from Starbucks since I left the United States, which is a feat itself. Later we went to the Alhambra, which has so much historical significance. It was cool to see the Arabic influence in Southern Spain because there were so many Arabic writings in the alleyways. We ended the trip with a fabulous flamenco performance and those dancers left it all on the dance floor.
Lastly, and most recently, I went to Barcelona on a personal excursion, and it had all the right vibes. It is usually the most talked about city in Spain, and for good reason because it is so artsy and cultural. From the works of Gaudí to the beautiful cathedrals to the magnificent museums, Barcelona has everything to offer. Not to mention I got to go to the beach in the Mediterranean Sea for the first time ever! I also had Mexican food for the first time leaving the US and it was definitely sufficient.
Overall, Spain is a very beautiful country that has so much to offer. I can’t wait to visit Madrid and of course spend the rest of my time in Salamanca. I can finally now say that I am adapted to the study abroad life, and I learn new things about myself every day. I feel like just being away is enriching my life in a way that I never thought would happen, especially as someone who has not been as privileged to travel to different places in my life. I definitely have many more countries to visit and learn about in my future.