This morning we attended our last day of school, and picked up pastries on our way to share with some friends. We were lucky enough to have a bakery less than a minute from our apartment so most mornings we grab pastries, coffees, or empanadas for breakfast. We started off school with a grammar lesson and ended our last class with some interpersonal speaking where we discussed commonly used hand gestures in Spain and did a skit portraying them. After school we went home to finish packing and returned later for our covid tests, where we all got a negative result! We were given a lot of free time to enjoy our last day in Spain, which we used to some shopping, hanging out with friends, and running in the park. All in all, today was a perfect conclusion to a great trip!
Today we travelled on the bus to Zamora, a city in Spain. We saw the Palacio de los Momos which is a Renaissance building that utilizes Elizabethan Gothic elements such as chains, and balls. We also got to see Palacio de Alba y Aliste which is a Renaissance building from the 15th century. It has a beautiful courtyard with mythological, biblical, and historical characters. Later on, we went to explore Plaza Viriato where many small vendors were set up selling various things. After exploring the plaza, we ate lunch, and tried more tapas, which are common appetizers in Spain. Once we finished eating, we sunbathed in the plaza! Overall, it was a great day!
Today, we went to visit Zamora. It was beautiful and had amazing views, as well as different types of architecture than Salamanca. The first location we visited was a cathedral. It was incredible. It had many different rooms that were all unique and colorful, with many structures that represent Jesus. Next, our class went to the castle. Aidan and I loved the views from the top of the castle. It was very exciting to see how the castle aged. Finally, we visited the murals, which was our favorite place because of how detailed the art was and how interesting each structure was. All of the structures on each wall, floor, and ceiling because it depicted important events in the past for the people of Zamora. We have had a ton of fun in not only Zamora, but also Spain as a whole!
Today we visited Toledo, one of the oldest and most historically rich cities in all of Spain. Historically speaking, Toledo garnered fame as a city in which Jews, Catholics, and Muslims could all live together in relative peace.
However, perhaps even more famously, Toledo garnered fame as a producer of fine swords and knives, thanks to its long smithing tradition. Unsurprisingly, during their free time, many students took the chance to tour some of the various different shops in which such fine hardware was being sold. Once free time concluded, we finished off the day with a further tour of the city and a visit to two famous museums, the first being an ancient Jewish synagogue, and the second being the home and art studio of famous Spanish Renaissance painter, El Greco. Unfortunately, after concluding the final tour it was time to go home. Nonetheless, it was a day filled with new sights, fun, and adventure.
On today’s excursion, we visited the town of Toledo! While on our 3 hour long bus trip, we took a stop at a cafeteria, grabbed some breakfast, and made sure to do some of our homework. To get in the study groove, we listened to New Light by John Mayer. During the early morning, the weather was everywhere. From clouds, to a sunny sky, later followed by a rainstorm. Once we arrived, we learned that Toledo used to be a town flourishing with Judaism. However, by the 11th century, Alfonso VI of Castile and his catholic army had driven them out of the area. Today, the Spanish government has recognized Jewish people, who had previously been pushed out of Spain, as Spanish citizens. We adventured around the city, admiring the Santa Iglesia Cathedral and the synagogue of San Román. After our lunch, we visited The House and Museum of El Greco, a famous renaissance painter. We explored his house, walked in his garden and viewed his paintings, as well as other art he had collected over the years. Overall, we had a great day with some lovely sights!
Today was a very relaxed day. We started off by going to school. Then, after lunch, we visited the Museo Art Nouveau y Art Deco. It was filled with so many unique pieces of art, such as colorful stained glass windows and antique dolls. Sadly, photography was prohibited so we couldn’t capture all of the art work. Since it was raining and we all had free time after the museum tour, we finished off the day by going to the movies. Most of us watched the horror film, Veneciafenia. It’s ironically about tourists who travel to Venecia and are hunted by locals. Overall, it was a very lowkey but enjoyable day!
This morning we got up and ready to a lovely breakfast made by our host mom. Then off to school we went! We continued to learn grammar and communication skills until early afternoon. After school, we came home to a delicious authentic lunch with soup, pork, bread, and veggies. We rejoined as a group for a dance class with a Cuban instructor named Henry and we all had so much fun awkwardly, but still joyfully, attempting to dance Salsa and Bachata. This was followed by local, marvelous ice cream at Novelty Heladería, in the Plaza Mayor, and our second tour of Salamanca "tapas bars" for dinner! Overall it was a fantastic day and we are all having a blast!
Today was absolutely stunning. We started the day by going to school, we played a Kahoot in grammar class and just worked in our textbooks. Then in our speaking/communicating we did today's wordle in Spanish and the answer was “Ligar”. Our AP Spanish class all love our communication class because it’s always fun, and we just talk about our experiences here. After Class Aiden and I walked back home and were invited to play some card games with our French roommates who are also studying Spanish at Colegio Delibes, to hear 3 languages spoken in rapid succession was crazy while we were trying to translate card suits. Overall we had a blast. After lunch and our Siesta, we headed to Plaza Mayor and began our tour to one of the oldest Universities, Universidad de Salamanca. It was absolutely beautiful, and the history there was absolutely amazing. We learned that Christopher Columbus himself went there. After our tour, we went to our favorite cafe, had ice cream, then headed home for a warm dinner. All in All, it was a great adventure.
We began our day at school; we learned grammar for two hours, and practiced our speaking skills for another two hours. After lunch, we looked at graffiti and played a game. Each group had 45 minutes to find specific pieces of graffiti around Salamanca and take creative group photos in front of them. Our group won overall and our prizes were orange hats. After the graffiti tour, we made non-alcoholic sangria and a traditional Spanish dish, Tortilla de Patatas, that consists of eggs and potatoes. Despite the rain, we were able to have fun and create new memories that will last longer than the orange hats.
Today we started off our day by going to class where we improved our knowledge of the Spanish language. After class we were given free time to do as we please. Jack and I decided to use the time to rest and relax at home until 4 o’clock. At this point we met up with our group mates and went on a guided literature walk. We learned about the local stories and folklore of Salamanca. After our educational walk the group was given free time again, many students went out on the streets to shop while others went home to prepare for the evening. For dinner we went to three different restaurants and ate “tapas”(small dishes of local food). Finally, we returned to Plaza Mayor to buy ice cream and experienced the amazing atmosphere of the city at night.
Transcript for the interview:
Jack: What is your name?
Augustine: my name is Augustine Herrero
J: How many years have you lived in Salamanca?
A: I have lives in Salamanca for 60 years
J: You are a teacher in the city, correct?
J: How many years have you worked here
A: 39 years
J: You have worked 39 years in mathematics?
A: And science
J: What type of science?
A: Natural sciences
J: How long have students come to stay In your house?
A: 20 years
J: That is all, thank you
Today, we went to a town called “Alberca” and a mountain called “La peña de Francia”. The mountain is almost 2000 meters above sea level and has a beautiful view of all the land around the Sierra de Francia. The drive up was pretty scary but the view was totally worth it. You could see all the towns in the area including Alberca which we later visited. Alberca is a small town with a different style of buildings than other cities and towns we have visited. There we explored the town and tried new foods. It was a very fun day and we can’t wait to explore more cities and towns in Spain.
Transcript for video:
Question 1: Where did you grow up?
I was born in Salamanca. A long time ago. I grew up in the Canary Islands. Do you know the Canary Islands? (Visual description of Islands). The Canary Islands include: Gran Canaria, Capital Las Palmas, y Santa Cruz de Tenerife. My dad grew up in Las Palmas. I was born here (Salamanca), but I grew up for 10 years there, in Las Palmas. They are beautiful islands, and for your next trip you should go there.
Question 2: What is your favorite thing about or in Salamanca?
The other day I told you that there is a river you had seen and had passed. By the river, I really like to walk along the river. Next to the river, there is a park where everyone walks. It is very beautiful. The people of Salamanca spend a lot of time there.
Today we visited the cities of Avila and Segovia. Avila was our first stop, where we learned about the walls originally built in the 5th century by the Vettones. After the Roman conquest of the city, it was restructured like a typical Roman city, with a rectangular shape and streets intersecting in the center of the city. The walls that stand today, however, were built after the conquest of Raymond of Burgundy in the 11th century. Austin and Nevin are photographed atop one of the towers in Avila, and the second picture displays the view from the same tower.
Next, we headed to the city of Segovia, where we were greeted by the sight of the ancient Roman aqueduct. It has stood the test of time, since it was most likely built around 50 BC. This is even more impressive due to the fact that no cement or mortar was used to build it and it is essentially supported by its own arches. After learning about the aqueduct, we went to the top of the Alcazar castle. The Alcazar Castle was the principal residence of Alfonso VIII and his wife Eleanor of England during the 12th and 13th centuries. We included a view of Segovia from the top of Alcazar, which was incredible. We also interviewed our host father, who is an incredible artist. We included a picture of one of his paintings of a section in the Plaza Mayor in Salamanca.
Today we went to a bull ranch, where first, we rode in a tractor and a worker told us all about the different types of animals on the ranch. They had meat cows, “toros bravos” (fierce bulls), and horses. It was a beautiful day, so next we got to go on a horse ride that took us around the farm and allowed us to see a little bit more, as well as strengthen our horse riding skills. Finally, we had a wonderful lunch of paella, and then from there, we left to go back to town and watch the procession for Holy Week, which contained a lot of music and impressive statue floats with images of religious stories. It was a wonderful experience to see them all, and I am glad we got the chance while here. All in all, it was a great day, and we are looking forward to many more for the next two weeks!
It is our 3rd day in Spain and we have already done so many things. Our family is very nice and they make very good food. On Sunday we have 3 students from France coming to stay with us for 6 days. So far we have been shopping and visited many places. It’s very weird eating dinner at 8:30 or later in the evening because at home we eat at 6 but with the big lunch keeping us full, we are getting used to it. We think It’s so cool being able to walk to most of the places and the views are beautiful! Today we went to a farm where we rode horses and saw lots of cows, after we ate a big lunch with rice and see food along with flan for dessert.
Today we arrived in Madrid and drove to Salamanca. When we arrived in Salamanca, the first thing that we did was meet our host families. After meeting them, we went to their houses and met the rest of their families. Then we had time to relax after the long days of travel. After our time at the house, we went to the school to be introduced to what this program is about and what it will entail for the next 2 weeks. Once we learned what school will be like and what to expect, we went on a guided walking tour around Salamanca to some very culturally influenced places like old Cathedrals and ancient Libraries. Once this tour was done, we got to have time to ourselves and walk around the city and go back to the houses of our host families. After our return we ate dinner and then got to relax for the rest of the night. So far, this trip is a 10/10.
We began our journey today landing in Madrid and then hoping on a bus to Salamanca-perfect time to sleep! Upon arrival, our students were greeted by their host families and then spent some time getting to know them over lunch. Afterward, we toured the college where the students will be taking classes and then strolled through Plaza Mayor on a historical tour of churches and office buildings.
And the countdown begins…11 days until departure!
As students and chaperones continue to prepare for our upcoming trip to Salamanca, Spain, spirits remain high! We will have a daily blog to keep everyone in our LOL community informed with our experience and this can be found here at:
Feel free to share this link with others and stay tuned for our first student post on Wednesday, April 13th. Until then, nos vemos!
33 students and 4 teachers from LOLHS travel to Salamanca, Spain for the experience of a lifetime! We look forward to sharing our adventure this April break.