Hi! Friday is here and we're in Salamanca! This weekend is a peaceful one before our finals, we only have one trip and it's to Segovia and it's for a day on Saturday! Guess what? Segovia has a castle and it's the castle that either inspired or is the one the castle in SLeeping Beauty is based off, I'm so excited to see where Aurora/Briar Rose slept and got her kiss from haha!
We just had dinner and Paco (Lourdes' boyfriend who we've seen four times now) made it for us! It was soup and tortilla espanola! We thought she was sick because her bedroom door was closed and she was tired this morning but she came out in a dress and it turns out she wasjust getting ready for their date night, soo cute!
Before dinner, Portia, Emily and I went shopping. I thought we were going to shop for souvenirs but we just went shopping for ourselves but it's okay I didn't buy too many things, no shoes were bought! I bought a sleeveless sweater/vest that I've wanted all summer for the fall, a blue dress shirt that I've also always wanted and this brown dress with a lace skirt and a belt that was on a super sale..so it wasn't bad at all! I haven't had to withdraw money out yet! And I'm planning on buying the rest of my souvenirs either Sunday or Monday and I've already written it all out so I just need to go find them and buy them! So after I buy the souvenirs we'll see if I need to withdraw some money out but hopefully I'll be good! Lauren joined us after awhile and it got quite awkward. Well last night we all went out but Cameron and Lauren were flirty the whole time like they were holding hands and when I would talk to him, she'd get upset (he used to have a crush on me so that's why she cared) and the whole night it was like that where she'd hold his hands and sit on his lap. well Cameron's newly single but Lauren's had a boyfriend of 3 years but when we went to Cubic (the discotecta/dance club right by mine & Emily's place) and Portia and I left to get some Leonardo's (Leonardo's is Spain's only fast food place and it kicks McDonald's ass because they make it when u order and it's real food like hamburgers are real and the chicken nuggets are cooked in front of u as a chicken fillet that gets cut up into nugget size) and when we came back Emily goes to us you guys! go inside and look at Cameron and Lauren and we went inside and there on the corner of the dance floor making out!!! It was so awkward. More awkward today but I didn't talk to Cameron and I only did small talk with Lauren, I just don't get how they could have done that.
Anyway so today was a good day in class! I am glad though it's my last real week because it's getting hard to focus in all Spanish all the time in class. But there was an excursion for a lot of students to go to Madrid so when I entered my Grammar class today there were only 2 people (Vicki & Natsumi) and Marina (our teacher) in a circle and they were like join us! this is the whole class! It was crazy! She didn't even collect our homework and we didn't talk about Grammar at all haha. She just asked us what we were going to do for the weekend, what our majors are, if we were excited to go back home and Vicki (who I love! she went to school in the US for like 9 years and she's 23 so we get along really well, she interned for Calvin Klein) was talking about how she didn't want to go back to Taiwan and Natsumi didn't want to go back to Japan. I said I wanted to go back to my friends and family but I would miss the beauty and environment of Salamanca. Then we got to talking about where we're all from and I told her how I was born near Manila and I guess last year she taught Spanish in Manila! She said she loved it, very pretty and she said she loved the volcano and the beaches and she liked all the similarities and were explaining how close the language is to Vicki and Natsumi how cuchillo, cuchara, derecho, mesa and even kumu esta (como esta) are all the same! Then we got to talking about the Chinese & Japanese language and they started writing stuff down for us (I took a picture of what we wrote down)! I learned soo much about language, I was obviously sooo excited that I could talk about it! I found out that the Japanes language combines their original language with that of Mandarin so some characters are the same but some can have dif meaning. In China, last names come first then your first name (they have 2 first names). If you have sibilings then you guys share the first first name and only the second part changes. Also, the symbol can be interpreted into a really long word and there's a certain way you have to draw each chinese symbol. It was sooo cool! Then Marina was telling us how names in Spain are usually based on religious people but lately Spaniards have been havingg obsessions with celebrities like ones in America and her mom loved Kevin Costner so she named her brother kevincosner as the first name! SO it's like Kevincosner Rodrigo Perez lol! Then we took our little break and when she came back with a coffee, Vicki and I made the joke that we should take the class to the bar (we have this bar/cafe right next to our classroom and we always get coffee or water from it and so do all the teachers and students) and Marina said yes let's vale! (go!) so we had the rest of our class at this bar/restaurant and had coffee (I had green tea) with her. It was such a fun class,she was telling us that to fully be fluent we have to come back for longer than 4 weeks. She said our spanish is really good now but then we might lose it when we come back and that made me sad :\ lol My history and culture class went well too! After our siesta we went shopping and that was cool then after dinner we went out to the bars; it was fun but Lauren & Cameron kind of killed it..I had to walk Portia home myself because Cameron wanted to stay out later with Lauren when Portia lives farther and she already gets extra attention when we go out at night because she's black and people in Spain aren't used to that color so they give her extra attention. I still had fun, I danced a lot but I went home at a reasonable time because on Saturday we had to meet our group at La Fonseca (this place where the University used to have classes but now it's a gorgeous building where they have cultural events like concerts and flamenco dances) at 8:45 AM. We got there on time but of course the people that live at the Residencia didn't get there until the very last minute and they only made it because they took a taxi there lol. The bus was small this time (it looked like a special yellow bus haha) because they knew our group was going to be small now. So it was a 2 hour bus ride to Segovia but it felt like soo long because the bus driver was the worst bus driver we've had yet. He took every turn (and there were a lot because Spain has a lot of traffic circles) like Nascar style and you could feel every bump and turn in the car so good thing I took my Dramamine but we finally got to Segovia! We went through some streets with a lot of shops and we made our way to their city center. We walked past this area with little white tents where they were selling live roosters, so weird! But then Rodrigo stopped walking and we looked up and holy crap there were these enormous long aquaducts in front of us!!! I can't describe it in words, you'll just have to see the pictures I put up of it! It's 15 km and considered the best aquaduct in the world because of the way it was constructed (it's supposed to be the most durable) and if it had to, it could still work today! There's a legend on why it was made (because there's no actual history of how and why it was made) so legend goes that the devil built it! The devil built it for this maid and he was going to take her soul when it was completed but the maid changed her mind and prayed to the Virgin Mary and right as the devil was going to lay the last brick of the aquaduct the Virgin Mary appeared and she put the last brick so that he didn't complete and the maid's soul was saved so that's why there's a little statue of the Virgin Mary in the middle of this massive aquaduct! There's mountains overlooking Segovia and they're called Sierras Mujer Muerte (mountains of the dead woman) because it kind of looks like a dead pregnant woman the tour guide said haha. Then we went to look at the churches, cathedrals, and one synagogue. On the way there we saw a statue of the hero of Segovia and his name is Juan Brava and it was funny because we call that guy Mark from NY Johnny Bravo lol so it's the spanish version of him. Our first stop after the aquaduct was the Iglesia de Justo y Pastor (patron saints of Segovia) and it didn't really look like anything cool from the outside and even in the inside it's not that amazing but there are some great stories about it especially of the paintings in it. The arch at the top of the place where the priest stands has paintings on the inside of the arch that play out the story of the original sin with adam & eve. The mural/painting at the altar area is not finished and it makes it look like it got torn up or something but the guy didn't finish it and one part of it is only in red and is really plain cus it's the first draft. no one knows who the painter is and there's even a little sign above the virgin mary in the painting saying don't touch, will finish (haha clearly not). There's also a big Jesus wooden puppet in the front of the church in a glass case and the architect for that never finished him either because he doesn't have clothes and his face is very plain but the cool thing is his joints are movable like a puppet so that they can reenact events from the bible using him and he's movable. Then we saw the Catedral de Segovia but couldn't go in but it's verrry pretty and wanna know why it's very pretty? The person who built it is the same person who built the Catedrales in Salamanca! They have the same gold look to them, so breathtaking. It's also the last gothic style Cathedral built in Spain. Then we visited the last synagogue left in the area..the only reason it's still there is because it agreed to convert itself into a church during the Inquisition (where the Reyes de Catolicos killed off any jewish person who wouldn't convert into Catholicism). So it's a church now but the style is very different from that of a regular church. Then we visited the Castle of Segovia! It's called Alcazar de Segovia!!! It's BEAUTIFUL! It's the castle used for the Disney logo and most importantly it's the castle used for SLEEPING BEAUTY! It was so exciting to see it in person! At the end of the tour we got to climb the highest tower of the castle (152 winding steps) and Emily and I were joking that we were climbing it to find Aurora and save her! lol. I was so proud of myself for climbing that thing because it wasn't easy, the steps were super steep. The actual castle itself was really big! All the relics in it were from its original built (it's super old it was used as a summer house for the Reyes Catolicos who were the king and queen that told Columbus to discover America!) and the only restoration its gone through was from a fire back when. Felipe II was the last king to actually use it to live in before he moved to the El Escorial palace where I've also visited! It was also used as a prison for a short time and my only reaction was that it was a beautiful prison hah. It was a lot like the El EScorial where each room's ceiling and decorations were unique to that room. The living room of the Reyes Catolicos was to me the most beautiful. We got to take pictures so I can finally show you guys the rooms of these old palaces. They also had a room with a replica throne of the Reyes Catolicos so that was cool. After the visit to the castle and the climbing of the tower we got to take a break for lunch. We ate at this restaurant in between the Plaza Mayor of SEgovia and the aquaducts. We were going to try the cuchinillo which is the food Segovia is known for (mom, it's lechon and for paul, it's roasted pig with the apple in the mouth deal lol) but it was too expensive. It's funny because every restaurant we passed had a window that had an actual pig or more with it, it got a little creepy after awhile. I did the Plato Del Dia like I"ve done before (every Spanish restaurant especially during lunch has a plato del dia which offers either wine or water, a desert, and instead of an appetizer and an entree they offer two entrees since lunch in Spain consists of two plates or two entrees usually). I got paella for my first plate, second plate was pork with patatas and we had ice cream for desert. It was pretty yummy. I've loved EVERYTHING I've eaten in Spain and there's stll things I need to eat before I leave like churro con chocolate and the hornzo del Salamanca (this sandwich that is famous only in Salamanca!). After lunch we were all SOOO tired but we had to go to this one palace famous for its jardines (gardens) in a suburb of Segovia. So we get there, I can't even walk anymore and I"m so hot (one of the hottest days we've had here and there was no shade anywhere) and when we got to garden we found out the biggest fountains there (what they're known for) weren't turned on for that day so we had to go inside and take the tour of the Palace (it was a summer palace for some old kings) but I was so tired and so thirsty and since we were an unexpected group, we got stuck with touring with a lot of locals and the tourguide went at their rate so I couldn't understand aynthing and I was dying of heat. It was pretty, a lot of tapestries, paintings, and statues/figurines but I felt like I was overheating so I had to go to the bathroom at the end of the tour for awhile to splash some water on my face and I felt a little better. I did eventually make it out to the gardens of the palace and it was very pretty; a lot of fountains that overlook the country side. Once I got to Salamanca, I crashed. I went out after I got some much needed sleep because Portia wanted to go out too and I felt I had to experience a Saturday night in Salamanca!! Well the streets were packed, busier than any other nights and most nights are crazy. Portia and I were going to pregame by doing shots (chupitos) at Jacko's Bar, the bar underneath my apartment. We get there, it's packed! People were outside drinking. Jacko's has besides the huge shots, these enormous mixed drinks for 5 euros, bigger than any other drink I've drank..I had to hold it with 2 hands. We got a drink called orgasmo (Portia first ordered it saying organismo it was so funny). It was fun and busy but it was a lot of guys and everyone seemed young like maybe just 18 or maybe even some 16 i don't know. We sat there and just talked for about an hour, mostly about Cameron & Lauren's stupid asses and then at one point, the lights turned off and everyone just screamed and yelled like it was part of the party! Portia and I were so scared well I guess Jacko's and some bars do this at one point in the night and everyone just screams lol. So we left there and met up with these three guys: Corrado, Alex, and Nikolas (Italian, German, and Belgium). They're from Portia's residencia (dorm). They were really cool, for one thing they paid for everything which was a really nice change even though we felt bad and tried to pay, they just wouldn't let us. We went to Gatsby first and did some shots of tequila there (they love tequila, we hated it) then we went to the Chupiteria and we were going to order our own little shots then they order us the Diablo Verde to share!! Diablo Verde is a shot of Absinthe (the 80% one even) and this other shot called Canabis and all I know is it looked like it could kill me and it burned in my throat/tummy for almost the whole night lol. We went back to Gatsby and of course theye ordered tequila! I wa slike noo, we'll pick the next shot so we picked green apple vodka and they were like that's a girly shot! lol. Then we went to Cubic (the dance bar right next to my place) and there was a line but somehow we sneaked past it! We danced a little bit (and found out they kind of dance like us like with the fist pump and especially Alex danced like an American guy..I was even doing the robot with him) but then I was getting tired so I told them I was going to go home. I got some shit for it lol like I taught that guy Alex the phrase going hard and he goes going hard doesn't mean going home lol but I had to! But it was one of the more fun nights at the bar I've had cus I got to talk to people of other cultures and they were more like my personality, like they were sarcastic and funny!
Sunday was a very relaxing day! We got up around 9AM and got to go to Church..I really needed to pray so Emily was nice and went with me. I went to this little chuch called Capilla de San Sebastian across from the Catedral Nueva and there wer elike literally 5 people there! The church was beautiful but no one sang and they read the 1st & 2nd & gospel back to back so it only took like 20 minutes lol, it was crazy but at lesat I got to experience a mass in Spanish in Spain! Then we went to the souvenir shop and I got Mama and me some Universidad de Salamanca gear and they put your name on it for free so I got to write Ponce on it, it was pretty cool. After that we had an awesome lunch of course from Lourdes (I haven't liked a single thing that woman has made!) and this was especially awesome cus it was Paella from her restaurant! Super cool then we got this ice cream sandwich! It was a square of Ferrero Rocher flavored ice cream between these 2 vanilla waffles, delicious! After that, we tried to find this flea market by the river that always happens on Sunday but we couldn't find it. Instead we found the paddle boats! and some people playing like what looked like horshoes but it was intense and there was an announcer and a hot dog stand lol. We couldn't find the market but it was okay because we walked everywhere around the river and got tos ee a different side of Salamanca! Then we went paddleboating with Connie, Jiaxi, Portia & Mark later! That was sooo fun and such an experience!