Okay then where to begin. I don’t think I have a lot to catch you up on so I suppose that’s good news for me! This past weekend our group spent the day in Toledo. This marked our inaugural journey as we ventured off on our own for the first time and used both the bus and train systems that Spain have to offer.
We took the bus from Valladolid to Madrid which took about 2 hours I think. It was very early so everyone just snoozed except me who got to enjoy the “inflight” movie, “Man on a Ledge.” Riveting
From the bus station in Madrid, we walked to the train station however we did originally start to go the wrong way thanks to the little blue dot on my apple maps….sorry guys :p However we eventually made the grueling journey down ONE long street to the train station and were in Toledo in no time.
Toledo offers tourists and visitors a number of great spectacles. The city is synonymous with the famous painter known as El Greco as well as being an ancient Roman armory, hence all the steel swords and armor stores one can see galavanting around town. Toledo itself is a walled city built on a hill….A very very big hill and must have been quite a venture to try to capture. However once you get into town the walled off surroundings provide you with stunning visuals of medieval-esque landscape featuring rolling green hills, large rocks and the ancient river.
We spent our day checking out these amazing sights but also took some time to venture into some museums that showcased some of El Greco’s works; one museum happened to be situated in his house which oddly even was very small, like that of a hobbit hearth. At any rate his works are tremendous and he was the life-force of Toledo during his time.
Now we come to the venting about Toledo. The main attraction i wanted to go inside is called the Alcazar. This historic fortification just happened to be where Hernan Cortes was received by the Spanish Royal Family after he slaughtered countless indigenous peoples in South America. Unfortunately, thanks to the great Fascist dictator Francisco Franco, the Alcazar is now adorned as a museum….and it’s not free. The other main attraction of the city is their giant cathedral. This too has been turned into a giant, and pretty expensive tourist trap that we did not fall for. Needless to say we succumbed to admiring the awe of these colossal buildings from the outside.
After a tiring day of walking we returned home and arrived in Valladolid at about 12 am. Yesterday (Sunday) we spent the day looking at an exhibit on early African art and culture that the local university has been holding which turned out to be fairly insightful, though they do need some new translators for their signs. Yesterday also marked a day I’ve been looking forward to; a day where we could go to a bar and watch the local football game. The bar wasn’t packed by any stretch of the imagination however we had a good time and Valladolid beat Zaragoza 2-0. Aúpa Pucela!
This week brings us to another exciting week of classes! Strangely for me I had to switch classes today so that I would be able to graduate with everyone when I get home. Good safe LVC registrar office. Jill Russell also deserves an honorable mention as well for saving me. Turns out literature is easier than history anyway so I lucked out ;).
Hopefully this week goes by very fast because were spending the whole weekend in Lisbon, Portugal!!! We’re leaving Thursday night and taking an 8 hour train overnight to spend Friday and Saturday there. Here’s the amazing part, it’s predicted to be about 60-65 degrees there during our stay which is a pleasant surprise and juxtaposition to the weather as of late in Valladolid. I’ll be sure to blog my visit to Lisbon on my return. Take care and Hasta Luego!