Spain – Salamance Cathedral and Settling in

Hey guys,

Let me start off by apologizing in advance, as my words will not do justice to my experience so far. It feels like I have been here for a lifetime, as cliché as that sounds, and the friends I made have already managed to become among my best. We have gone out to the clubs/bars every night with the exception of one night when the sleep deprivation got the best of us. This lifestyle is foreign to me as I’m usually the kind of person that enjoys a mellow night with an occasional party every few weeks, yet here the drive to explore and learn everything always gets the best of me.

When I first got here to Madrid I did not fully wrap my mind around the fact that I was not in Sunnyvale anymore. Over night I went from being a substitute preschool teacher in Palo Alto to a tourist in the center of Europe. I saw famous paintings by Diego Velasquez and Francisco De Goya in the Prado museum in addition to getting a tour of the Royal Palace. If I were to delineate the palace for you, I would say imagine the most beautiful, enormous, fancy, and important castle you have ever seen in a movie, multiply that by 1000 and you would maybe be able to understand what it was like. Keep in mind this tour was on Saturday and I only slept one hour since I left San Francisco on Thursday, yet somehow I was not shaken by the sleep deprivation. As for the party scene in Madrid it was loads of fun but it was nothing that exceeded my expectations.

After the tours on Saturday we finally got on a bus with Salamanca being our finally destination. I was hoping to add a few hours to my sleep log but the excitement of seeing my new home smashed any shred of exhaustion out of me. The 2.5 hour bus ride that seemed to take several days finally ended and I was taken into my apartment where I settled into my own room with a giant bed—I got last pick on the room yet somehow managed to get the best one. The first few days were hectic as I was trying to settle in while still trying to figure out where everything is. My roommate and I went to get groceries and it took us 5 minutes to get the market and an hour and a half to get back—Just to give you an idea of how new this place is.

At the one week mark though I can safely say that I feel at home. I’ve made a solid group of friends and I’m excited to begin our travels around Spain. Every night they continue to surprise me with how awesome they are and I can already say I’ve made friends for life. We go out every night even if its just for a drink or two and we always manage to have a blast. For example my friend Eric and I entered a beer pong tournament and placed in third out of 100+ teams. All formalities aside, every night is full of exciting and safe shenanigans that cannot be relived back in the states. I wont attempt to recap a weeks worth of partying into this blog post but every time something notable happens I’ll post it up for you guys to hear about.

That’s all my computer battery is allowing me to tell you guys for now but I’ll be posting more hopefully daily so stay tuned.

P.S. This blog was started for homework purposes and I believe I am supposed to write about my experience during the tour of the Cathedral in Salamanca. Basically comparing this cathedral to a place of worship in the states is like comparing a puddle to the Great Barrier Reef. The architecture is so precise down to every square centimeter of the enormity that is the cathedral. The art work is breathtaking, not only the aesthetics of it but also the concepts—by this I mean how long it must have taken the artists to pain the roof of the cathedral as they were not allowed to make mistakes. As for the religious aspect of it, I was told to take off my hat because apparently it is disrespectful to wear a hat in a cathedral. I relieved the tension by assuring them that in my place of worship we are encouraged to wear hats on our head :)

That’s it for now my next post will most likely be tomorrow before class I want to tell you guys about the excursion to Toledo.