First week accomplished! It’s been quite a ride but I’ve survived and have a lot to catch up on. I love my host family. They’re very accommodating especially my mom <3, her food is fantastic too and she is fine with the fact I’m a picky eater. Tisquismisquis. Also the girls in the program are also very nice, all down to earth, you know typical wisconsinites ;).
So I don’t know if I complained about my key situation on here but there was quite a conundrum I had to tackle in the form of getting my keys to work; a very big problem to have in a foreign country. For all intensive purposes I did not know the secrets of the keys, yes there are secrets and they do not function normally as american doors and locks do, shocking I’m sure. However through trial and error this problem is a thing of the past which was one of the biggest relieves of my life because now I can go out and not fear having to wake up my mom at 3 AM because I don’t know how to use a key
Another important step I tackled already was getting a sim card for my phone. Pretty simple task actually. Luckily the lady at the store I went to knew about everything I needed and did everything that needed to be done which included cutting and inserting the new sim card for use here in Europe and for only 20 Euro. Texts and calls are actually pretty cheap and my maps service still works somehow through location services so I will never be lost. Que suerte!
The school we’re at is also pretty nice. It is located inside an old bullfighting plaza which is now home to many different businesses and apartments as well. The professors are very nice and know to speak slowly so we can understand and that is a godsend because we are picking up the language faster every day. Unfortunately the school has barely any heat so it is very cold but we do our best to bundle up.
The city is beautiful. It is very old and has many churches and palaces where the royal catholic family used to stay when Valladolid was the capitol. It’s getting easier to navigate the city as well which is good because it has only been a week and we basically know where everything is. There are also many plazas and parks which are must see’s here. Campo Grande, sort of a central park if you will, is very beautiful. It has many fountains and outdoorsy sights. Oh and did I mention lots of peacocks. There are a lot of peacocks.
This week we went out to the countryside to see one man’s winery business outside the city. He showed us new new factory before showing us the old town where everyone had wine cellars. They were glorified basements filled with barrels. Then he took us to his Castle….no big deal. It was his family’s castle and he recently had it renovated to become this ultimate hotel and restaurant. Needless to say it was spectacular and that man deserves every bit of business he gets. At the end we got to sample some of his wines and while I’m still not the biggest fan it wasn’t bad and picked up a bottle for my beloved sister. While were on the subject of food, for the record, I’ve also tried cafe con leche, still not my thing, tapas, and churros con chocolate mmmmm.
Yesterday we went on a day trip to historic Salamanca about 1.5 hours outside Valladolid. The city was surrounded by old fortifications which added to the antiqueness. Salamanca was an interesting city filled with frogs, churches, and american fast food….random yes and the only reason we went into mcdonalds was for wifi and a place to eat our packed lunch! …..and maybe some fries. But yes Salamanca, great old churches with splendid views and also home to one of Europe’s most prestigious universities, the town was littered with souvenirs from the college and also of frogs…yea they like frogs.
More to come soon about my excursions to Toledo and Lisbon!