Becoming acquainted with Valladolid has proved a fun and eye-opening experience over the past few days. In the three days I have been here I have probably walked the city at least twice each day and while I can easily find my way around without a map, there is still so much more to explore. Valladolid was officially founded in the Middle Ages, however there is substantial evidence that people lived here long before then, explaining the rich and extensive history of the city. For orientation today, one of our professors took us on a brief tour of the city explaining major landmarks and plazas. To begin, we started at our university, Universitas Castellae, which is located in a plaza called la plaza del viejo coso. Its construction dating back to the 1800’s, this plaza was the first bull ring in Valladolid, clear from its architecture. After a larger ring was constructed, la plaza was converted into a prison years later. Today this charming area houses apartments and our classrooms.
Walking is a way of life here in Valladolid, and as we continued on our tour Patricia, our professor, pointed out various monuments, parks, and churches. There are so many impressive churches here, honestly I’m not even sure which one is the cathedral because they all look equally grandiose. Might I add, neither of these are the cathedral of Valladolid.
In addition to the endless history of this city, Valladolid has many claims to fame even today. There are a number of museums here, some the best in the country. During Easter, or la Semana Santa, Valladolid produces impressive sculptures honoring the holiday. People come to Valladolid from all over the world during la Semana Santa just to see these sculptures. For some reason this city also attracts motor heads who come from numerous nations across the globe to ride their motorcycles called “pingüinos.” Additionally Valladolid is known for its gastronomy, tapas, and hopping nightlife (which I can’t wait to discover for myself). Although there is no place like home, I don’t think I will have any trouble adjusting to the lively and exciting city of Valladolid.