From Monday to Friday, we had classes (Spanish history and Spanish literature) from 9 am to 1 pm. That would be all well and good if the monitores (guides) didn't take us out til at least 3 am every night. I'm an eight-hours-a-night kinda girl, and four hours left me completely catatonic. I did my real learning after my afternoon siesta, when we went on walking (duh) tours of the city.
|Tour guide speaking insanely emphatically about Baroque architecture|
|My not-so-baroque nails and lefty ballpoint pen stain on my ring finger|
|My first jarra de sangia...perfect way to end a long day|
|Note the program director awkwardly walking into the shot...|
|Stripey friends! Kat in yellow, Danielle in red|
|View of Santiago...more red, white, and blue than I expected in Europe ;)|
One of my biggest fears before coming to Spain was that I wouldn't like the food. I'm not a picky person, but I like to eat healthily and I'm not the biggest fan of seafood. I was told that vegetables didn't exist in Spain and I would subsist solely on french fries and churros. Well, vegetables certainly are scarce in Galicia (unless you count oil-drenched pimientos de padrón [tiny spicy green chili peppers]). But it turns out, I actually like seafood! Chipirones (squid) are absolutely delicious, and I've even started to like gambas (shrimp) because here they are fresh and not at all chewy. But the one food I'm about ready to wage a vendetta against is pulpo (octopus). Traditional Galician pulpo is simultaneously bitter and spicy, tasting more than faintly of bacon. But the worst part is definitely the texture. If I wanted to eat erasers, then I could get them for a hell of a lot cheaper, and erasers don't have SUCKERS that can potentially LATCH ONTO YOUR THROAT if you don't chew them thoroughly enough (and since chewing is an intensely laborious/nauseating task, it's tempting to just swallow the pieces whole).
|Pulpo--this picture doesn't do justice to its repulsiveness|
On Wednesday, we toured yet another church, la Iglesia de Santo Domingo, which is now a museum. In Galicia, the people speak a dialect called gallego, and although in most places signs/menus/pamphlets are in both gallego and castellano (Castillian Spanish), this church/museum was entirely in gallego. I can read gallego, because it's very similar to castellano, but it's pretty time-consuming. So instead, I just took a lot of pictures.
|Tomb of a famous Galician|
|A locked enclave of the church|
|On the walk home, I met my first Spanish kitty!|
Thursday was incredibly rainy and cold. Apparently Galicia has a climate similar to that of Washington state, but since we arrived during a heatwave, the thunderstorms took us by surprise. We took a bus to a brand-new building on the outskirts of town called the Cultural Center of Galicia. It's supposed to be a library/museum, but since it's so new, the library is sparse and the only museum installation was of...typewriters. The external architecture of the cultural center is striking--I guess it's called the Guggenheim Bilbao of Galicia--but since it was absolutely miserable out, I didn't get to look at it much.
|Cultural Center library|
|Typewriter ribbon cases|
|My last name!|
|Lucy & me|
|Adorable card my friend Kat made for me. I'm an old woman now! 20 years old!|
|In front of the Cathedral after dinner|
|Me & Kat|
|Kat, me, & Eliza. Ignore my wrinkly skirt...I tried to iron it with a curling iron. Didn't work too well.|
|About half the group!|
- bread with roasted vegetables
- lobster carpaccio with arugula and lime-basil sorbet
- scallops with chorizo crumbs and paprika
- cod with garlic mousseline and romescu (traditional andalusian sauce)
- chocolate lava cake with Bailey's Irish Cream ice cream
|Amazing views while walking to dinner|
|With the chicas before dinner|