Sunday, November 4, 2007

Viajes Buenos


Pues, I have a few things to catch up on…last weekend I visited Ciudad Rodrigo and Sierra de Francia with my program and this weekend I went to Sevilla. Really, besides my weekend trips there is not much to tell because everyday is more or less the same. I’m doing pretty well with Spanish, I can keep up my side of a conversation. I did get frustrated this weekend because the accent in southern Spain is a LOT different than the one here in central Spain, but then the Spanish guy who is living with us informed me that he couldn’t understand it either so then I didn’t feel so bad.

So I suppose I will start with what I can remember of Ciudad Rodrigo and Sierra de Francia. Both of these places are in the region of Salamanca which is also the region where my city is (logically since both are called Salamanca, I just didn’t want you to mix the city and the region up). The trip overall wasn’t one of the most amazing ones, but it was definitely worth going on. My favorite part was probably the Peña de Francia which is a church on top of a very tall mountain. The scenery was unbelievable, which I know I say about every place we go, but it’s always true. So of course the church is a Catholic one, but what is a little different about it is that the Virgin Mary within it is black. It’s not that weird because there are other black virgins, for example, the Virgin of Guadalupe. I can’t really remember the significance, which is horrible, but that’s one thing that distinguishes this church from others, in addition to it looking over the mountains and valleys of Spain. So anyway, we kissed the robe of the virgin because it’s supposed to be good luck and that was about all there was of that.

I also enjoyed the cathedral that we saw, as always. It was a little different than the other cathedrals I’ve seen, though, in that it was more gothic style than baroque. Also, half of the courtyard was built in one century and the other half was built two centuries later and both had very distinct styles. It exemplified some of what I learned in Art History in high school, and it’s always nice when something you learned in class turns out useful because it doesn’t happen very often.

We also saw some little pueblos, or neighborhoods I guess, that seemed almost untouched by the rest of the world. They are teeny little communities that have conserved their particular way of life and haven’t been overrun (for lack of a better word) with tourists and international peoples. Which isn’t to say that either is bad or good, it’s just another look at the culture of different parts of Spain.

So overall it was a good trip, though not as impressive as the others (with the exception of the Pena de Francia, I've never seen anything like that). I am looking forward to visiting Granada this weekend, which is in the same region as Sevilla but this time I'm going with my program.
Hasta luego...


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