Hola! It’s been a bit since I last checked in, so by way of summary know that I’ve been fully enjoying my final few weeks studying in Spain! The Royal Palace day-trip I mentioned in the previous post was wonderful, and last weekend I spent two days in Salamanca sightseeing among the historic (like ~3,000 years old historic) town’s incredible monuments, churches, and museums. I also found a wonderful vegetarian restaurant whose unbeliveable gazpacho I will be attempting to recreate at home. In between finishing projects and studying for finals, I intend to make a visit to El Escorial—Philip II’s incredible palace outside Madrid—and a second trip to El Museo Reina Sofía before (with much sadness) departing Alcalá at the end of July.
While today’s heading does read “What I Would do Differently,” I don’t honestly have many regrets about my summer in Spain. I’ve made lots of new friends, improved my Spanish, done loads of sightseeings, and learned so much about Spain’s rich cultural heritage! That said, if I could impart any wisdom to my beginning-of-June self, I would say to not be worried or self-conscious when speaking Spanish. Most Spaniards are incredibly nice and very patient when you inevitably make mistakes. In addition, I would advise taking some notes or possibly journaling after trips to monuments and art museums. I honestly don’t think I could’ve fit much more into my trip without being exhausted, but it would’ve been nice in retrospect to have preserved a little more than my photos. I’m intending to write down some brief reflections throughout my remaining time here (in Spanish of course) and maybe even try some poetry (probably not in Spanish), but I wish I had started building the habit earlier in my stay.
Today’s cover photo is La Catedral Nueva de Salamanca just before the onset of one of central Spain’s infrequent summer showers; I’m terribly proud of it. At the bottom I have the tortilla de patatas I learned to make today during an outing for my Spanish culture class!
As this is my last in-Spain post, I won’t be sharing another update until I return to Pittsburgh in mid-August. Once classes end I’m going on a two week lighting tour of six cities in Andalucía and Cataluña, but when I get back I’ll be sure to tell you all about the final days of my study abroad. Until then, enjoy your summer!