Tag Archives: Spain

On the Road

I think i forgot to reblog this – Nathan is now back in the US and busy, busy, busy as usual.

Enter Wonderland

For all those who thought I would have travel updates: my bad! Here’s the first of my summaries from this semester.

Ironic that the first travel post I’m going to make is about the end of my semester, but it is what it is.

Thursday, May 18 represented my last full day in Salamanca. After many tearful goodbyes and vise-like hugs, I pulled myself away from the lovely friends of En Vivo to grab a couple hours of rest before collecting my bags and making my way to the Salamanca estación de autobuses. A few friends were there. Some, like me, were boarding. Others came to say goodbye. Tears had run dry by this point, so instead we exchanged bittersweet smiles as the bus pulled away. It was over.

A few hours later I found myself lost in Madrid Bajaras, searching for a Ryan Air check station. Aftr listening to…

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Salamanca, Spain – the city

Old, historical cities have such a charm that one doesn’t mind the throngs of people.  Salamanca does not disappoint.  Perhaps because everyone is relaxed, strolling, and being at peace amongst the the storied ancient catedrals and universities.  Shops and restaurants line the stone streets with restaurants spilling into the center of the streets from noon on to accommodate lunch hour and the late lunch crowd from 2-4, typical of the Spanish culture.

This beautiful city is where son, Nathan, lives for the 2017 spring semester and attending the Universidad de Salamanca as the study abroad requirement for his International Business degree from Northwest Missouri State University.

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My three children at Plaza Mayor, Salamanca, Spain
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 (New) Catedral Nueva de Salamanca – view from Plaza de Anaya – styled in late Gothic and Baroque, building began in 1513 and consecrated in 1733.  Commissioned by Ferdinand V of Castile and declared a national monument in 1887.
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Critical damage was done to the New Cathedral during the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake with visible evidences in much of the reinforced walls, walkways, and foundations.
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Cracks caused by the 1755 Lisbon earthquake are clearly visible throughout the Cathedral.
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Inside the New Cathedral of Salamanca
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The Old Cathedral of Salamanca – Catedral Vieja – building began in the first third of the 12th century and completed the end of the 14th century in Romanesque and Gothic styles.
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Bell tower
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Our goofy mugs overlooking Salamanca from the Old Cathedral.
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Famous facade of the entrance to Universidad de Salamanca.  Finding the frog is a favourite tourist pastime and of course is exploited by vendors and souvenir choices. 

University of Salamanca – short history via Wikipedia:  The University of Salamanca was founded in 1134 and in 1218 it was given the royal charter of foundation (“Estudio General”) by Alfonso IX of León. It was the first university to receive the title of “University” in 1254. Under the patronage of the learned Alfonso X, its wealth and reputation greatly increased (1252–1282), and its schools of canon law and civil law attracted students even from the Universities of Paris and Bologna.[when?] In the 16th century, the city’s fortunes depended on those of the University. About the time Christopher Columbus was lecturing there on his discoveries, Hernán Cortés took classes at Salamanca, but returned home in 1501 at age 17, without completing his course of study. (About ten years later the conquistadorFrancisco Vásquez de Coronado was born in Salamanca.)

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Courtyard of one of the minor schools at Universidad de Salamanca

We leave tomorrow for Lisbon – Nathan stays of course to finish his studies and continue the ministry with Globalscope Spain (En Vivo).

Cheers!

tauna

 

Salamanca: Language and Intercambios

Can a mom’s heart burst with pride, frustration, and worry at the same time?

Enter Wonderland

Only two weeks late, here’s an update on my life in Salamanca!

Today marks the end of my first month in Spain.  Thus far, it’s been a rollercoster of emotions, which is uncomfortable to hear from a guy, but whatever.  Honestly, there are many days where it’s hard to find the will to get out of bed and face my roommates (who are Mexican, though they speak excellent English).  The largest barrier is language: no amount of mental exercises can prepare you for the difficulty of live in another one.  Living here is giving me a peek into the daily life of an introvert, I do believe.

We’ve all heard those stories, the ones where the stupid American says something funny in another language by accident.  Unfortunately for me, I’ve become the stupid American in too many of those stories.  They started before I left the States, when I told…

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And of These Chains

Enter Wonderland

This is San Juan de Los Reyes, a monastery in Toledo.  On one wall hangs shackles and chains, a monument erected to symbolize the freeing of Christians during the battles of Malaga and Almeria against the Moors.  During this same period, the Spanish monarchy was instigating the Spanish Inquisition.  The irony is as real as the cold, hard bolts that secure them to the wall.

I don’t like to judge persons with the advantage of hindsight, but it seems that perhaps humanity should take more time to introspect.  It isn’t wrong to celebrate the hand that brings freedom, but perhaps we should take care to make sure we aren’t overlooking great injustice in the other hand.

“With a grace that takes the place of chains”

– Disciple, Beautiful Scars

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Giralda

Enter Wonderland

Bell tower of Catedral de Maria Santa de la Sede.  Also known as Seville Cathedral, this is the largest cathedral in the world – though both St. Peter’s in London and the Basilica are larger churches, they are not the seats of bishops and thus, not cathedrals.  I will have a series of posts over the next couple days with stories of my travels and time here in Spain, so keep an eye out for that!

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Diá Cero: Sick in Spain

He made it! Still sick, though – buggers…..

Enter Wonderland

8:08 am, touchdown in Madrid. After ~12 hours of flight it’s good to put my Chuck’s on solid ground again. Lydia, our coordinator, and Karla, another team member at En Vivo, pick Rachel and I up from the airport. We eat the traditional Spanish lunch of *ahem* pizza and calzones *ahem* for our first meal in Spain, then go to a small coffee chain before hitting the road for Salamanca.

I sleep most of the way there and wake up with un garganta that feels like it went 9 rounds in the boxing ring. Karla drops us off at Rachel’s apartment, then the blitz begins.

Stay awake, beat jet lag. Say “ciao”, not “hola”. Doors lock behind you. Once out opens, twice in double locks. If a car is coming as you cross the street, go, they will yield.

I’m shivering.

Welcome to the plaza. You’ll look like tourists, but…

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Salamanca: One Day More

I take Nathan to Kansas City airport in the morning. Will i cry? yup, can’t help that, but i’m excited and thrilled at his hard earned opportunity.

 

Enter Wonderland

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

– Matthew 6:34, NIV

“One day more! Another day, another destiny. This never-ending road to Calvary.”

Jean Valjean, Les Miserables


Sometimes I wonder if this icestorm isn’t a godsend. I would probably be much more stressed about leaving for another country if we weren’t blockaded by horrific weather. Instead, I’ve been worrying about whether or not I’ll be ableto leave.

All kidding aside, people often ask if I’m scared or excited for this semester, and since I hate to disappoint, I feed both their vicarious travel dreams and inate fear of the unknown by saying, “both, really.” The more accurate, but far less interesting answer would be neither. Although I am a worrier, I worry about things right in front of me: where’s my next turn to…

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